What Kind of Concrete are you Cutting?
Green Concrete or Asphalt
These are in the same category because they both have very abrasive qualities. To combat this abrasion and resist premature wear, the blade make-up, also known as the “bond” is designed to resist this wear. Oddly enough, once the concrete is considered “cured”, this abrasive quality is minimized. However, asphalt is always very abrasive at any age.
Cured Concrete – Any Concrete over 48 Hours Old
There are blades that are considered “Combo Blades” that work with any of these materials. These are for the contractor that switched often from one type to the other and they work great, particularly on high-speed saws. However, if a contractor knows in advance that he is cutting a specific type (green, asphalt, cured), his best choice is a blade for that specific condition.
Will You Need to Cut Dry?
Most blades made today use laser welding to connect the blade to the core. In most instances, this allows for the possibility to cut without water. However, whenever possible it is better to use water to keep the blade from overheating. Any blade that can cut “dry” can also be used with water. Moreover, with the environmental laws changing, dry cutting is becoming less common. With this said, if a contractor cuts dry, he needs to be certain to:
- Cut in small passes of no more than 1.5 to 2.5” depth per pass.
- Allow the blade to “breathe” so it does not become too hot and cause the core to warp. If this happens, the blade is lost. The occurrence is less likely with a hand-held or hi-speed saw, as their torque and horsepower are fairly low combined with the face that there is a laborer operating the saw and he has to take breaks from the action. Conversely, when a dry-only blade is used on a walk-behind saw, extra care and attention needs to be given as it would be much easier overheat the blade with this equipment due to the fact that there is more horsepower being used and less need for operator breaks.
Is the Concrete Heavily Reinforced with Steel?
Most concrete is reinforced with some form of steel. Even sidewalks have wire mesh to give it added strength. If a job is heavily reinforced with steel, the quality of the blade will need to be higher in order to achieve both speed and life. If your job requires cutting a city street, bridge, or the inside of an old building, it is likely to be at least somewhat reinforced and the blade needs to be at least a medium quality.
What Size Blade do you Need?
The answer to this question is determined by how deep you need to cut. It can be limited by how large your blade guard is. Visit the Diamond Products page (www.diamondproducts.com) to find cutting depths blades can provide as well as recommended cutting RPM’s for these blades.
Like most things, cheaper is usually not better and spending less up-front does not always equate to the cheapest total cost.
For Diamond Blades and more information on blades, contact us today at Arco!