In layman terms, concrete cutting is the process of creating openings in concrete surfaces, whether they are walls, floors or ceilings for the installation of utilities, creating doors and windows, or even for simplifying the process of dismantling a concrete structure, or removing any unwanted concrete from any site.
The cutting of concrete, drilling it, and sawing it are great challenges for engineers tasked with this chore, as concrete is a very hard material that keeps on getting stronger as it ages. It is a tough material to work with when it is in this advanced hardened state and requires special tools, that are constantly being developed.
Concrete has been around for construction for a very long time and in earlier days any need for creating openings was dealt with by the use of chisels and hammers, the wielding of which required great brute strength. The actual dismantling of large blocks of concrete and other hard construction material was often carried out by jackhammers that used compressed air. This again required a lot of brawn and created a lot of noise.
Present day construction personnel have the advantage of having access to a wide range of steel saws
These saws can carry out the concrete cutting in a more precise manner, with less of physical effort and disturbance to the concrete structure. A concrete saw is a tool of high quality that is used by the professionals in this business to cut or create openings in concrete and is also able to deal with any other hard material that is used in construction, like brick, stone or tile.
These tools can be handheld
These tools can be saws that you walk behind, or those that are mounted on tracks attached to vertical surfaces for cutting walls. The motive power for most of these tools is electric motors, though you can also find some saws that use gasoline engines for the purpose.
The cutting of concrete can create a lot of dust
Dry sawing is more commonly used only for outdoor projects like in roads and bridges. Blades used for dry sawing are made of blades that have diamonds impregnated on their cutting edges and are relatively immune to the heat that concrete cutting can produce.
These dry saws require very high power and are useful for dense concrete. A technique that is now more widely used for cutting concrete is wet sawing. This method of wet sawing is environmentally friendly as not only is the dust controlled, but the saw also remains cool and gives extended services that require lesser replacement of saw blades.
Wire sawing meets the needs in the construction industry for creating very accurate opening sizes and can be used for cutting steel or even reinforced concrete. They can cut in a wide variety of shapes and deal with almost any size of an opening that needs to be created. Wire saws are cables that have embedments of diamonds to give them a cutting edge. They give contractors engaged in this work, a lot of flexibility and can help to minimize wastage.
The use of wire saws produces very little vibration in concrete structures as conventional blades will do, and this reduces the chances of cracks developing in concrete. Ring saws are used in handheld concrete breakers and are useful for executing small sized projects for cutting of concrete. It is a smaller version of wire saws and can create openings in confined spaces, with a high degree of precision and accuracy.
The sawing of floors is the most commonly required operation in construction
This equipment uses circular saws with hardened edges or diamond coated teeth, mounted on equipment that an operator can walk behind so that the machine is guided on a correct path.
Most of these floor saws also use water cooling for the blade, with the water also being used for reducing dust nuisance. Floor sawing is used to cut into bridge decks, roads, pavements and floor slabs. Walls saws are mounted on tracks that help to guide the saws and can cut through walls to create openings for doors and windows, as well as to create space for utilities.
Cutting cores is another form of cutting concrete and is useful for creating openings in walls and slabs to allow pipes and ducts to pass through. Perfectly circular openings of the required diameter are created with the drilling bits being of the required size and having cutting edges at a right angle to the direction of rotation. Cores are also used at times for checking the strength of concrete.
The cutting of concrete using these modern and evolving techniques is more practical and efficient than the previously used traditional methods for removing concrete. They are less likely to cause any damage to concrete structures, as vibration is almost eliminated.