Concrete is a construction material composed of cement, cementitious materials, aggregate, water, and several chemical admixtures. Through hydration, concrete hardens and solidifies making it hard to cut through. Used more than any man-made material in the world, concrete is used to make pavements, buildings, foundations, roads, motorways, bridges, walls, and even pipes. Diamond blades are used to cut concrete but selecting the right diamond blade is step by step process. To help concrete saw users determine the right diamond blade for cutting cured concrete, here’s what you need to know:
1. The most important thing to know about concrete is that it hardens as it ages. A few-hour-old concrete is called “green concrete” which is generally soft and abrasive. Older or “cured” concrete is less abrasive but harder. Knowing the age of the concrete to be cut will ease the process of selecting the right diamond blade.
2. Knowing the aggregate used in the concrete is also helpful. Harder aggregate makes the concrete harder. While sandstone and limestone are generally softer, marble and dolomite are moderately hard. River rock and granite are harder while quartz and basalt rank as the hardest type of aggregate. Should you need help determining the type of material, consult the aggregate map of the United States. Aggregates are usually locally-produced, so this will give you an idea of how hard the concrete is in your area.
3. Research the specifications of the saw that will be used to cut the concrete. Find out the horse power, RPM output, blade size capacity, arbor size, and whether or not the saw is for dry or wet cutting – which means whether water is needed for operation or not. This kind of information is usually found in the operator’s manual, so be sure to read carefully and thoroughly.
4. Finally, as these factors will help you select the right type of diamond blade, keep in mind that the diamond blade should match the material to be cut. Check whether the diamond blades are for wet or dry cutting and if they are designed to handle the RPM and the horse power of the saw you will be using. Be sure to check that the diamond blade is the correct size and that the arbor hole size fits the saw.