Concrete cutting and drilling can be confusing operations to understand. Wire sawing is a contemporary cutting technique that sometimes can appear to be too good to be true. But what is it? It’s often difficult to imagine that a wire can cut through such massive pieces of reinforced concrete and can be so easy to use. How much does it cost? Are there any cons to wire cutting? Why doesn’t everyone use it? Surely it can’t cut through anything? It even cuts underwater?! In this blog, we will discuss and answer all these questions and more.
What is Concrete Wire Sawing?
Concrete wire sawing is a cutting method where a wire, often laced with diamond beads for bolstered strength, is run through a hydraulic or electric powered pulley system at speed.
In this way, it is somewhat similar to conventional bandsaw type cutters, but instead of using a saw with many jagged, serrated teeth, a wire saw uses friction. The wire traveling at speed is what creates the state of the art cutting process and can cut through some extremely resilient materials at seemingly any level of thickness.
The wire is threaded through a previously core drilled hole and pulls through the concrete. Anything softer than diamonds, which is almost every material on the planet, can be cut by a diamond wire saw. This method of cutting is specially designed for removing large and reinforced concrete segments.
The wire used is typically made from a high tensile steel or strong synthetic rubber, connected by a mechanical joiner. The diamond beads are attached to the outside of this cable and it is coated with an elastomeric compound that helps protect the diamonds and the wire from corrosion. Wires can be made of one or more strands braided together to make a single cable.
What Can Wire Sawing Cut Through?
Wire sawing can cut through just about anything that is softer than diamond. Seeing that diamond is one of the hardest materials on the planet, that’s a lot. Wire sawing is typically used for the following materials:
- Reinforced concrete
What are Some of the Applications for Wire Sawing?
Wire sawing is used for a range of construction projects. It is a remarkable new technology that has been used in many experimental situations. It is the most ideal method for removing large heavily reinforced concrete. It is used for:
- Demolition sights
- Dismantling steel structures like mining sights and equipment
- Cutting this and reinforced concrete structures like bridges, dams, factory floors, jetties, columns and beams
- Angular cuts on vertical and horizontal structures
- Precision cuts on restricted, confined and sensitive areas
- Cut through heavy rebar and embedded steel
- Cutting circular openings
- Subsea cutting of pipelines, conductors and other underwater structures
What are the Benefits of Wire Sawing?
Wire sawing can cut through far more than conventional methods of cutting. This is because of its resilience and flexibility to cut on almost any angle in any position. Wire sawing seemingly can cut through any material and at times can seem like a miracle solution!
Wire sawing for concrete is mostly faster, vibrationless, fumeless and quieter than any other sawing method. This is a major advantage when cutting in sensitive locations like hospitals and schools.
Wire sawing also produces typically less waste and creates less dust in the air, which is important when cutting through expensive materials. Additionally, wire sawing requires less manpower, which means it is easier to operate. Wire sawing and cutting is a remarkable tool.
The Cons of Wire Sawing
Wire sawing is unfortunately more expensive than regular sawing techniques. This is probably no surprise because a high quality product laced with diamond beads with the ability to cut large concrete structures, is never going to be cheap.
However, wire sawing is made more expensive because the wires usually are not made to last, or at least, not expected to last. After about six cuts, the wires either break or are functionally worn out, with the diamond grit becoming useless.
The wires when they break then take a significant amount of time to replace as well, which means a cut that may have been predicted to take no time at all, now takes longer than expected. This can be a huge headache for project managers.
Moreover, wire cutters when they break can be dangerous, as a wire snapping under tension will whiplash. However, this can be combated with appropriate health and safety precautions.
How Much Does Wire Sawing Cost?
No doubt, the cost of wire sawing will vary on a massive scale depending on the project. Cutting down a single pillar compared to a piece of reinforced concrete submerged in water, or a massive piece of concrete that is high up in the air, will have significantly different costs. However, in general, a very rough estimate to how much wire sawing costs is approximately $800 per square metre.
Do You Need to Use Wire Sawing?
There are four questions you need to ask yourself before you consider a concrete cutting option; is it a high traffic, sensitive area? Is it a large piece of concrete? Is it reinforced concrete? Is it in a difficult position to cut/remove? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, there is a good chance wire sawing is the best option for you.
Who Will Do Your Wire Sawing?
If you have any doubts or questions about wire sawing in Perth and you have concrete that needs to be cut or you need to remove concrete stone, you should contact a professional. Diamond Cut Concrete have been providing concrete solutions in Perth for over 25 years. Over this time, we have learnt the best, most cost-effective ways to use our tools and satisfy our customers. Our team of trained operators use the latest technology to effectively cut, alter, drill and remove concrete, brick, steel and asphalt for a range of applications.