Frequently Asked Questions
Our team continues to be available thereafter the course to provide further insight through each and every step, even while on the job site. We extend our support so we're able to guide you through the most efficient ways to operate the machinery, tools & materials.
Before purchasing a diamond blade, it is important that you understand Aggregate Hardness. Aggregate hardness relates to the type of materials that concrete is made up of. The hardness of minerals found in aggregate relates to its resistance to abrasion.
Aggregate hardness varies based off geographic location.
How Diamond Blades Work
Diamond blades provide cutting through mutual erosion of the material (concrete, etc.) and the segment, or rim, of the diamond blade. Diamond crystals are embedded throughout a blades rim, suspended in a metal matrix. As the crystals either get crushed or fall out of the rim, the matrix wears down at an optimal rate to expose new diamonds to continue efficient cutting. If the matrix fails to wear down fast enough, the rim will glaze over and cutting will become much more difficult and slower. If the matrix wears down too quickly, crystals will be lost before their usefulness has expired. The blade may appear to cut very fast, but the life of the blade will be greatly shortened.
Basics Of Blades
A "Diamond Bearing Edge" is a continuous or segmented rim of a blade. The "Core" of a blade is the steel disc the segments are attached to. The "Slots" or "Gullets" are the spaces between the segments that cause a water flow to cool the blade. The diamond segments, or "Rims", are made up of a diamond and metal powder mix. Diamonds come in various grit sizes and quality grades. In the segments, a metal powder + diamond grit mixture is pressed to form a solid metal.
Soft blades cut hard materials, and hard blades cut soft materials. As a general rule, you need a blade with a softer matrix to cut hard, less abrasive materials such as cured concrete, brick, tile or stone. Conversely, you need a blade with a harder matrix to resist the excessive abrasion of softer materials such as green concrete, asphalt or block.
Blade Life vs Cutting Speed
There is an inverse relationship between cutting speed and blade life. If a saw operator makes a change, such as increasing cutting pressure to make a blade cut faster, blade life will tend to be shortened as a result. Likewise, if an operator wants to extend the blade's life, he can reduce cutting pressure and cut slower. Each job is different, and the labor cost also needs to be added to the equation to arrive at the most cost-efficient solution.
A number of factors affect the wear rate of rims and overall performance of diamond blades. These incliude:
- The hardness of the metal matrix
- The quality of the diamond crystals
- The density of the crystals within the matrix
- The hardness of the material being cut
- The abrasiveness of the material being cut
- The horsepower of the saw
- The RPM's of the blade
- Cutting depth
- Cutting pressure
Segments & Rims
Segment height is one way to determine a diamond blade's overall value. Typically, the taller the segment, the more diamond and the longer the blade life, but there are exceptions. Some blades have a higher diamond concentration or higher grade diamond in the matrix, and while their segment height may be the same as other blades, their overall value is greater because of the increased performance they provide. Segments may be solid or serrated. Solid segments tend to provide longer life. Serrated segments tend to cut freer, faster, and with less chipping. Continuous rim blades can either be solid or have some type of serration or pattern. Solid rims are best suited for cutting materials where reduced chipping is essential for cosmetic purposes. Tile blades usually feature solid continuous rims. Turbo/serrated continuous rim blades come in a variety of configurations and generally give fast, clean cuts on harder materials.
Diamonds are the hardest known natural materials on earth. They are placed into two categories, "Gem Grade Diamonds" and "Industrial Grade Diamonds". The diamonds used in our tools are the industrial grade diamonds. Industrial diamonds are valued for their hardness and heat conductivity. 80% of mined diamonds are unsuitable for use as gemstones and are known as "Boit", these diamonds are destined for industrial use. Synthetic diamonds have been used since their invention in the 1950's. Industrial grade diamonds are used in cutting, drilling, grinding, and polishing. Most commonly, the diamonds used in these technologies are not required to be large.
MBG Diamonds are diamonds with a special coating for soft metal bonds made for grinding applications.
MBS Diamonds are "Metal Bond Sawing" Diamonds. We have an uncoated product line made with advanced engineered crystals for sawing and drilling applications.
Grit are single crystal diamond particles. The more crystalline the grit has normally means higher strength, and lower metal content means better thermal properties, both important factors in abrasive applications. Grit is normally yellow in color stemming from nitrogen that is used in the HPHT process. It can also be made blue if boron is used. Our diamond are GE grade diamonds with a mesh mix of 40/50 and 50/60. (HPHT Diamond Grit)
The length of curing time after concrete is poured greatly affects the way a diamond blade will interact with it during cutting. Curing can be affected by weather (temperature, moisture, and time of year), and the composition (admixtures, aggregate, and sand).
Concrete is typically in its green state for 6 to 48 hours after it is poured. In this early state the sand has not completely bonded with the mortar and the concrete has not reached its full hardness. When cutting green concrete, the sand loosens more readily, flows more freely in the slurry, and produces much more abrasion on a diamond blade. Undercut protection is critical when cutting green concrete to prevent excessive wear on the blade core at the segment joints. Green concrete sawing is common when cutting control joints for highways, runways, driveways, industrial flooring and other construction applications.
Cured concrete has typically set at least 48 hours. The sand has completely bonded with the mortar and the concrete has reached its full hardness.
The common materials of masonry construction are stone such as marble, granite, and limestone, brick, concrete block, glass block, and tile.
Asphalt is soft and abrasive. It does not cure and does not come in the range of hardness that concrete does. Even though asphalt includes aggregate, the size is consistently small, and the type of aggregate has little bearing on the cutting quality. Shortly after it is rolled, asphalt is ready to be cut. The extremely abrasive nature of asphalt makes undercut protection on a diamond blade essential.
Steel Reinforcing In Concrete
The more rebar there is in the concrete, the harder the concrete will act. Rebar is a steel reinforcing bar, an important component in reinforced concrete and reinforced masonry structures. It is usually formed from mild steel and is given ridges for better frictional adhesion to the concrete.