Element Six is a synthetic diamond supermaterials company. Element Six is a member of the De Beers Group of Companies, its majority shareholder. Element Six is a global leader in the design, development and production of synthetic diamond supermaterials, and operates worldwide with its head office registered in London, and primary manufacturing facilities in China, Germany, Ireland, South Africa, US and the UK.
For over 50 years, the core business has remained the synthesis and processing of synthetic diamond supermaterials, a term which includes manufactured synthetic diamond and other supermaterials such as cubic boron nitride (CBN), tungsten carbide and silicon cemented diamond. While synthetic diamond is well known as the planet’s hardest known material, it has many extreme properties and is one of the most useful and remarkable materials. It is from carbon therefore, the sixth element of the periodic table, that the business takes its name: Element Six.
Element Six’s mission is to deliver extreme performance for end users through innovative supermaterial solutions. Element Six focuses on close strategic development partnerships with customers to deliver customised, innovative high performance products. The business consistently strives to provide excellent customer service and continuous productivity enhancement.
Element Six is made up of two businesses; Technologies, which is 100% owned by the De Beers Group; and Abrasives, which is ~60% owned by the De Beers Group, with Umicore, a major global materials group, owning the remaining ~40%.
The Abrasives business encompasses our Oil & Gas, Advanced Materials and Hard Materials Divisions. Abrasives uses high pressure, high temperature (HPHT) synthesis to manufacture synthetic diamond and cubic boron nitride (CBN), and high temperature sintering to produce tungsten carbide products. These supermaterials are used in applications including cutting, grinding, drilling, shearing and polishing. This has driven demand in industrial sectors as diverse as automotive, aerospace, oil & gas drilling, mining, electronics, road maintenance, stone and construction, and wood-working.
The Technologies business utilises the extreme properties of synthetic diamond beyond hardness, through manufacturing very pure synthetic diamond using chemical vapour deposition (CVD) techniques. These properties are opening up potential applications in a wide array of industries such as optics, power transmission, water treatment, semi-conductors and sensors. The unique and extreme properties of synthetic diamond have the potential to solve some of the world’s biggest industrial challenges, leaving synthetic diamond well placed to enter an exciting era of future growth in the coming decades.