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Diamond Dicing is both an art & science. Requiring the proper understanding of how to use speeds and feed rates, coolants, flanges, & material mounting methods to maximize cutting efficiency, blade blade and cut quality. While this understanding is best gained through experience, even new dicing operators users can quickly become proficient by learning and applying some basic principles of diamond dicing. We are here to help you get the most out of your dicing operation. BELOW IS A GUIDE OF MOST COMMON DICING PROBLEMS & SOLUTIONS ON HOW TO RESOLVE THEM. If you have a problem than is not addressed by this guide, have a question, need further guidance or assistance please contact us by email, phone, or fax. For urgent support, you can contact us at: Phone: (661) 257-2288. Our experienced engineers will provide valuable suggestions on how to improve your dicing operation. We encourage you to provide as much information as possible on your application problem occurred, and periodically update us on your progress.  We also highly encourage you to check the SUPPORT  part of our web site. This will answer most questions you may have.


Material Hardness + Density + Cutting Depth + Material Shape/Geometry + RPM's + Feed Rate + Coolant Used + Cutting Equipment Type/Condition + Flange Size/Exposure + Material Holding Method + Operator Experience 


Dicing Blade Life & Overall Performance will vary with material hardness, density, thickness, & cutting depth. Few other factors that play a role in dicing blade life & performance include: RPM's (cutting speed), Feed Rate, Geometry (shape) of Material, Coolant being Used, Coolant feed rate and Direction. Cutting Equipment, Material Clamping Method & experience of operator. While there is now way of accurately predicting Life of your dicing blade. It can be optimized by following Principals of Proper Dicing Blade Usage. There may also be some experimenting, as well as trial & error involved in the part of the saw operator. Highly experienced dicing technicians and engineers may find some variations in dicing blade life, cut quality or overall performance even when working on same material & application. While this phenomena is not too common, it does occur. The dicing environment around us is constantly changing. A slight change or variation in any variable can have significant impact on your dicing results. Material being cut can vary in composition, hardness or density even when coming from same manufacturer or source. Slight change in coolant feed rate, coolant direction, RPM's, even the way the material is held in place can make the difference. Frequently the cause of the problem may not be obvious and may take as much as several failed attempts to surface.

When encountering problems or variation in cut quality, blade life, or overall performance, Few stop to think about or carefully examine their dicing process. Many users immediately suspect quality of the dicing blade and are quick in labeling the blade "Defective" or "Poor Quality". This is very rarely the case. Usually in over 90% of these cases the diamond dicing itself was not at fault. Most Respectable & Experienced Diamond Dicing Manufactures have rigid quality control and inspection processes set in place. Controlling everything from raw material input, output, to final inspection. As well as field test blades randomly. What a number of dicing saw operators don't realize the technical aspects & delicate nature of dicing processWhat is important to understand is that almost all dicing saw operators, regardless of experience or technical background will make some type of an unintended operator error while at some point in their career. With this in mind, UKAM Industrial Superhard Tools has assembled a list of most common dicing operator errors made by users in most industries & applications. Looking through this guide will help you  RESOLVE MOST COMMON DIFFICULTIES  you may have in using your dicing blades, as well as  AVOID MOST COMMON PROBLEMS  in the first place.




Excessive chipping and material blow outs


There are many variables in the dicing process than can cause chipping. Excessive chipping is frequently caused by:

  • Too coarse diamond size dicing blade

  • Incorrect feed rates

  • Insufficient coolant supply

  • Improper material mounting

  • vibration

Additional cause of excessive chipping on one side of the cut, left or right. Is coolant flow on one side only. The side showing chipping has insufficient coolant flow. Another possible cause for chipping may be the spindle axis/table feed axis are not exactly 90 degrees. In addition to one sided chipping the dicing blade life will be low.


  • Reduce feed rate

  • Install dual nozzle system – this will create almost parallel dual high velocity beam to blast away dicing derbris.

  • Consider calibrating your dicing saw

Excessive backside chipping


  • Substrate or wafer was incorrectly mounted on tape

  • Excessive air bubble between tape and material

  • Blade is cutting too deep into the mounting media

  • Incorrect diamond size was selected

  • Feed rate is too high

  • Blade is worn and requires replacing

  • Water injectors are mis aligned

  • Blade exposure is too great

  • Insufficient vacuum

  • Vacuum chuck requires resurfacing

  • Incorrect mounting media was selected

  • Blade was not properly dressed

  • Blade is loaded with mounting media

  • Surface tension of the coolant is too high

  • Water coolant nozzles are not position properly

  • Saw vision system/optics are not aligned with spindle

  • Incorrect spindle RPM’s

Incorrect Feed rates

most production organizations in microelectronic and semiconductor industry need to cut as may packages or wafers as possible. The dicing saw operator is frequently under pressure to meet production quotas. In order to meet these increasing demands, many increase spindle feed rate at expense of cut quality and chipping. When considering increasing feed rates. You should also consider the added costs of purchasing extra wafers or producing additional packages, sawing extra packages/wafers, using more dicing blades and paying dicing saw operator to maintain the process. Frequently most originations find it more productive and profitable to actually slow the process to achieve higher cut quality, consistency, and reduce costs.

Blade is cutting too deep into the mounting media


  • Premature failure
  • Increased die sizes
  • Excessive chipping
  • Combination of all three



Cutting too deep into the mounting media will cause the blade to “load”. Cutting too deep into the media will cause premature blade failure. Also the blade will agglomerate with the media and cause chipping. This effect will multiply as the blade cannot release the media. Although the mounting media may be only 2 to 3 mils thick, the mounting media may actually load one third to half of the exposed blade.


Mounting media can lad up the dicing blade for the following:

  1. smaller diamond mesh dicing blades are more susceptible to loading

  2. depth of cut may be too deep. Cut depth into the mounting media should not exceed 1 mil.

  3. 3.  coolant injectors nozzles ma be misaligned resulting in excessive blade temperature.

  4. Spindle RPM may be too high, spindle RPM’s for most materials should generally not exceed 30,000


To minimize the depth in which the blade is subjected to the mounting media. It is suggested to cut no more than twenty five micros or about one mil into the media. Dressing the blade may remove the media. However, dressing the blade and removing the media will usually thin the blade, cause the die size to increase slightly.



Symptom: Excessive chipping on side of the street


  • Water coolant nozzles are not positioned properly

  • Saw spindle is mis aligned

  • Material/wafer is not parallel to the spindle axis

  • The flanges need cleaning

  • Flanges require lapping 

  • Use of hubless blades




Frequently most common chipping that occurs on top side is a continuous line of small cracks similar in size with slightly larger chipping along the edge.


  • Excessive blade exposure

  • Insufficient blade exposure

  • Incorrect diamond mesh size

  • Blade is worn out

  • Excessive feed rate

  • Insufficient supply of coolant in cutting zone

  • Incorrect mounting

  • Incorrect spindle speed (RPM’s)

  • Spindle is misaligned

  • Blade requires dressing

  • Material is not parallel too spindle

  • Flanges need lapping

  • Flanges need cleaning

  • Viewing optics are misaligned with saw spindle



Symptom: consistently spaced top side or back side chipping


  • improper blade dressing

  • insufficient or improper blade dressing

  • insufficient blade exposure




  • Incorrect feed rate

  • Cutting too deep into mounting media

  • Water nozzles Not positioned correctly

  • Improper blade specification

  • Improper dressing

  • Improper spindle RPM’s

  • Excessive blade exposure

  • Insufficient blade exposure



  • Incorrect blade specification/diamond size

  • incorrect RPM's

  • incorrect feed rate

  • incorrect material mounting


Selecting Right Dicing Blade

Dicing Operation Recommendations

Optimizing Dicing Blade Performance

Trouble Shooting Dicing Problems

Getting the most from your Diamond Tools

Application Recommendations & Case Studies



What you should know before your buy your next dicing blade?

UKAM Industrial Superhard Tools   Division of LEL Diamond Tools International, Inc.

28231 Avenue Crocker, Unit 80  Valencia, CA 91355  Phone: (661) 257-2288  Fax: (661) 257-3833

e-mail: lel@ukam.com

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