Cutting through concrete that is reinforced with steel is a difficult task.
Steel is often used to provide stability for structural concrete, and it does a good job of this.
However, it also means that if you need to cut the concrete you are likely to run into problems.
Traditional blades will hit the steel and get chewed up or become blunt.
To cut through reinforced steel concrete, you will need to use the right tools and diamond blades are the best choice.
Diamond blades are designed specifically for cutting very hard materials, and steel most definitely fits the bill in this regard.
If you do decide to cut reinforced concrete using a diamond blade, you need to make sure that you use a fresh blade.
This is because cutting into anything with a diamond blade will slowly wear the diamonds off it.
Think of diamond blades like sandpaper, but made with diamonds instead of abrasive sand.
Cutting Rebar is a Job for The Pros
Some concrete is made with ‘rebar’, or iron rods that are set into the structure before the concrete is poured. This is common for foundations, for example.
The idea is that the rebar will help to hold the concrete in place, stopping it from shifting or cracking. Concrete with rebar is incredibly strong, by design.
This can be quite a problem if you decide that you would like to trim it or adjust it, especially if you need to make additions to a property with a concrete slab.
While it is possible to cut through concrete with rebar using diamond blades and a concrete wet cutter, it is a job that is usually best left to the pros.
This is partly because if you are cutting into walls or foundations you need to be wary of disturbing pipes, electrical cables or other utilities that may be masked on scans by the presence of the rebar.
If you are confident that you can cut the concrete safely, then you can rent or purchase a wet cutter and some blades:
- Measure the location of the cut carefully. Remember that it is difficult to make precise cuts at exact angles with a concrete cutter, so give some leeway with the measurements you do.
- Mark off the measurements using a highly visible marker that will not wash away when using a wet cutter. Photograph the measurements for reference.
- Choose a cutter that will handle the job easily. If you’re cutting a road, a walk-behind cutter is a good choice. Hydraulic hand cutters are a good option for a wall.
- Always wear safety gear when cutting concrete. Inhaling dust or getting it into your eyes could be very harmful, so a mask (a proper respirator, not just a dust mask) and eye goggles are a must, as is a pair of steel-toed boots, and leather gloves.
- Use a fresh blade, and let the cutter warm up so the blade is moving at the correct speed.
If you are using the right type of cutter and blade you should find that the concrete just ‘melts away’ and that the steel is not an issue either.
The blade should run through it without you even noticing that you have met new resistance.
You can make the job easier by keeping a stream of water directed at the blade to cool the blade down. This does double duty.
However, it helps to reduce the amount of dust that is kicked up by the blade, and it also helps to keep the blade cool and fully functioning.
If the blade overheats, it will have a shorter useful life span.
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 www.megasaw.com.au/contact-us/