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WESTINGHOUSE, SGS TOOL TARGET COMMERCIAL DIAMOND FILMS

 PITTSBURGH, Feb. 4, /PRNewswire/ -- Westinghouse Electric Corporation (NYSE: WX) and the SGS Tool Company, Monroe Falls, Ohio, have launched a $5.2 million effort to develop an efficient, high-volume technology for producing diamond films using the Westinghouse plasma torch with the chemical vapor deposition process.
 The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently revealed plans to provide $2.4 million in funding support over the program's three years. For the first year, now underway, NIST has made a commitment of more than $1 million.
 Project managers said that a successful scale-up would cut the cost of diamond coatings from today's $30 to less than $5 a carat, opening up a variety of applications. It would also give the United States the lead in the emerging market for diamond films, now estimated at $4 billion a year by the end of the decade. The project's primary target is a coating for carbide tools that would greatly extend their useful life, substantially increasing industrial production by minimizing downtime for tool changes.
 Besides applications based on diamond's hardness -- it is widely recognized as the world's hardest substance -- uses that depend on its other unique properties are expected. Diamond is the world's best heat conductor and at the same time one of the very best electrical insulating materials, making it superb for electronic packaging. Its transparency to light from infrared wavelengths all the way to the far ultraviolet make it ideal for aircraft windows and missile domes. It is also corrosion resistant, has a low coefficient of friction and can be used to make semiconductors.
 The plasma-torch/CVD effort combines the know-how of SGS, the leading supplier of precision rotary carbide tools, with the expertise of scientists at the Westinghouse Science & Technology Center (STC) in Pittsburgh in both diamond film fabrication and high-power direct-current electric arc heating technology. The two firms will be assisted by the University of Minnesota's department of mechanical engineering.
 "Over the past few years Westinghouse has become a leader in the development of diamond film production technology," said Arthur H. Long, manager of diamond film programs for Westinghouse, "and our leadership in large-scale industrial plasma torch technology goes back more than 30 years. Engineering these technologies into a practical, robust commercial-scale system will be the major challenge of our three-year program."
 The plasma torch, whose interior can reach sun-surface temperatures of 36,000 degrees F (20,000 degrees C), is a clean and efficient source of highly concentrated heat in the form of ionized gases at temperatures of 10,000
degrees F (5500 degrees C). Plasma torches for the


Westinghouse/SGS/NIST program will be supplied by STC's plasma center in Waltz Mill, Pa., near Pittsburgh, where the experimental diamond production system will be installed and operated under the direction of Westinghouse plasma systems manager, Dr. Shyam V. Dighe.
 "Our commercially proven and rugged torches have found increasing use over the past decade in metals production, chemical processing and the breakdown of hazardous wastes," Dighe said. "Their multimegawatt power ratings far exceed the 5-kilowatt ratings of the microwave heat sources now commonly used with CVD apparatus. This high-power capability promises to greatly speed the formation of diamond film made by the chemical vapor deposition process, increasing the productivity of workers manning the process more than a hundredfold."
 Arc plasma chemical vapor deposition is, according to a NIST statement, "one of the most promising" of several competing technologies for laying down quality diamond coatings on surfaces. In CVD, gases are introduced in various combinations into a closed chamber. They solidify on a heated surface to form films with a variety of desired compositions and properties. Gases that contain carbon are used to make diamond films, but common graphite will form instead unless a plasma of atomic hydrogen gas is fed into the chamber in quantities sufficient to stop graphite formation. A steady supply of heat is needed to ionize H2 molecules into the H atoms required.
 Besides the increase in power, program plans call for scaling up the CVD process's maximum coating area from roughly 80 to about 6,500 square centimeters. Included also are plans to create an industrial users group.
 -0- 2/4/93
 /CONTACT: Robert J. Benke of Westinghouse Electric, 412-642-3321/
 (WX)


CO: Westinghouse Electric Corporation; SGS Tool Company; U.S. National
 Institute of Standards and Technology ST: Pennsylvania, Ohio IN: CHM SU: JVN


CD -- PG002 -- 2907 02/04/93 10:59 EST
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Date:Feb 4, 1993
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