Prestressed concrete lintels are incredibly strong because they are made by casting the concrete around high tensile stretched wires that are anchored into the concrete.
The concrete is compressed by the stress in the wires. This makes it very strong so that it can overcome heavy loads, heavy stress, and lasts longer compared to regular concrete.
You basically have added protection around the concrete so that any stress or heavy load is taken on by the wires before it gets to the concrete.
The reasons for prestressed concrete lintels being so durable and practical are also the reasons why it is hard to cut.
However, they can be cut, preferably by concrete cutting professionals using the right tools and equipment.
Cutting or minor trimmings at the ends are okay and should not cause any problems but cutting near the centre can affect the lintel’s load capacity.
It is important to consult a structural engineer before any cutting is done. Before we go further, we have to consider the following:
- Are you cutting prestressed concrete lintels that are already installed and part of your building, say a wall or flooring?
- Are you cutting uninstalled prestressed concrete lintel pieces?
The answer to these questions means varying methods of cutting. However, whether the concrete lintels are installed or not, we highly recommend you hire professionals to do the work and not do it yourself.
Factors To Consider When Cutting Prestressed Concrete Lintels
- Type of concrete and reinforcing materials used
- The design of the lintel
- Intended purpose and other factors
What You Will Need:
- A high-speed concrete saw with a diamond cutting disc or blade
- A 9-inch grinder
- A cutting or work table
- Clamps and vices
- Rulers or measuring tools
- PPE like a face mask, goggles, gloves, etc.
A high-speed diamond cutting disc must only be operated by a professional who has proper training, experience in handling concrete saws and knows how to operate the equipment, and is fully aware of the health and safety requirements.
It is highly recommended to consult a structural engineer on how to cut, where to cut, and other important details to keep the structural integrity of concrete lintel.
How To Cut:
Step1 – Scour the Line Where You Will Cut
Use the 9-inch grinder to scour the line where you will make the cut. You will need to clean the metal so you can make a clear mark before you can cut the concrete lintel.
Step 2 -Measure and Mark
Based on the advice of your engineer, measure and make clear marks so you can make accurate cuts.
Step 3 – Make the Cut
Position the blade and start cutting. Make sure you have your goggles and other personal protection equipment on. Keep wiring organised and keep all other clutter to a minimum.
When cutting concrete, wet cutting is always recommended. It is safer for the diamond blade and for the person operating it.
Wet cutting keeps dust to a minimum and stops it from becoming airborne and getting inhaled. Concrete dust particles have crystalline silica that can cause permanent and irreversible damage to the lungs.
Cutting concrete is tricky enough, cutting a prestressed concrete lintel is even more complicated.
Why risk doing more damage than good by doing it yourself when you can get professionals to do it in a quick and cost-effective way?
MEGA SAW is Melbourne’s concrete cutting and drilling specialist. We deal with all kinds of concrete using top-of-the-line concrete saws and industry-standard equipment and tools.
We have over 20 years of experience and has been the leading expert ever since. Let us help you do the dirty work and we will get it done in lightning speed, quality guaranteed!
We have over 10 fully equipped vans ready to service both major and minor projects.
If you are looking for a specialist concrete cutting company who uses only the best practices to get the job done right, then please call us at Megasaw on 1300 920 419 or contact us through our website.