When it comes to cutting concrete, there can be a lot of hazards that occur in the process. Some of these hazards may involve loud noises or improper equipment handling; however, one hazard that is extremely dangerous is the production of dust.
Dust in concrete cutting can be harmful to human health for a number of reasons. Because of this, there are important precautionary measures one must take in order to protect themselves from dust when cutting concrete.
But how is dust harmful, and what are some ways to control it? If you want to learn more about this, please keep on reading below.
Dust And Concrete Cutting
Cutting concrete produces huge amounts of dust. Crystalline silica is commonly found in concrete; as such, once it is cut, the dust can produce very small particles of silica.
However, when the dust becomes airborne, it can easily lodge itself into our lungs, most especially since dust containing silica is so fine. If you have prolonged exposure to concrete dust, this can lead to irreversible lung damage or illness such as emphysema and chronic silicosis. This can not only affect the quality of life but even lead to death.
Therefore, the importance of controlling dust when cutting concrete is undeniable. Because of this, there are various methods by which dust can be controlled.
3 Ways To Control Dust When Cutting Concrete
In general, there are three ways that dust can be controlled when cutting concrete. These methods differ based on the techniques and equipment that are used such as the following:
1). Wet Cutting And Water Suppression
Wet cutting is a dust control method that adds water into the mix in order to reduce the amount of dust that is produced. In fact, it can reduce the dust generated by up to 85% in comparison to cutting dry concrete.
While water is used to control dust, it can also be used to reduce the temperature of the diamond blade used to cut the concrete. This helps keep the blade cool, further expanding its lifespan. A cooler blade in wet cutting can also allow you to make precise cuts especially since you won’t have to wait for it to cool when dry cutting.
Typically, water is directly hosed onto the rotating cutting blade while it is functioning. Continuous water flow is also directly pumped onto the cutting area while the saw is in use.
From here, water mist is sprayed in the air to allow concrete dust to settle more quickly. Water jets are used to suppress dust emission. This takes form as pressurised tanks that contain a minimum of 8 litres of water to produce a ratio of ½ litre of water per minute rate, further controlling dust emissions.
Because you will be dealing with continuous water flow, ensure that you make use of the right equipment that can cope with water containment and the collection of concrete slurry.
2). Dust Extraction
Dust extraction makes use of systems such as high powered vacuums that have specialist air filters. These are fitted to a tool that can extract dust in the stages of cutting, sawing, or drilling.
Using the proper dust extraction equipment is critical, especially since they are specifically designed to capture all dust. Make sure to give careful attention to the dust collection bags and filters. Empty them, clean them, and change them regularly to avoid clogs or overfilling.
3). Respiratory Protective Equipment
Respirators help give additional protection from airborne particles produced during concrete cutting. They are often used together with another dust control method (whether it be water suppression or extraction). Using the right respirator is important and must adhere to safety requirements.
Concrete cutting can be a dangerous job. While there are various hazards associated with it, the production of dust is one that can cause irreparable health damage.
As such, employing dust control methods and safety measures is critical when cutting concrete. While water suppression and dust extraction can be classified as dust control methods, using protective equipment such as respirators should also be used in conjunction with these methods.
If you need concrete sawing performed safely and reliably, be it commercial or residential, please call us at MEGASAW. We have over 20 years of experience providing quality concrete cutting services all over Melbourne. Our experience is your guarantee!
Please call us today on 1300 920 419 or contact us through our website.