Awarded Jan. 8, 2013
Attorney: Constantine "Gus" Marantidis
The present invention related to polycrystalline ultra hard material cutting elements, and more particularly to a method of forming a polycrystalline ultra hard material cutting element with a thicker ultra hard layer than cutting elements formed by prior art methods. In an exemplary embodiment, such a method includes pre-sintering the ultra hard material powder to form an ultra hard material layer that is partially or fully densified prior to HPHT sintering, so that the ultra hard layer is pre-shrunk. This pre-sintering in an exemplary embodiment is achieved by means of a spark plasma process, or in another exemplary embodiment by a microwave sintering process.