Concrete is among the toughest building materials used in the modern construction industry. This explains why blades used for cutting through concrete surfaces have diamonds infused into their structure.
The abrasive nature of diamonds and the rotating action of the blade itself work to facilitate the making of clean cuts on concrete surfaces. This article discusses two factors that a DIY-minded homeowner should have in mind when looking to invest in a diamond saw blade for DIY concrete cutting.
Physical Characteristics Of The Concrete Aggregate
Physical characteristics of a concrete aggregate have a direct impact on the best choice of diamond saw blade. The physical characteristics referred to include, but they're not limited to the following:
- Aggregate size: This affects the performance of a diamond saw blade. Smaller-sized concrete aggregates are easier to cut through. However, they're known to wear down diamond saw blades faster than their larger-sized counterparts.
- Sand used: Sand is an integral component of any concrete aggregate. The type of sand present in a concrete mixture determines how abrasive the concrete will be. Sharp sand (sand from river banks or that which has been crushed) is known to be the most abrasive while round sand (that obtained from the river) is known for its minimal aggressiveness. Thus, making cuts through a concrete mixture in which the sand is sharp requires the use of a hard-bonded diamond saw blade. Soft-bonded blades are used for aggregates that contain round sand.
The timing chosen for making cuts on a concrete surface also has an impact on the best choice of diamond saw blade. DIY-minded homeowners can choose to cut through a concrete surface in the few hours after the concrete has been installed. This is advantageous in the sense that it reduces the likelihood of random and often unsightly cracks on the concrete surface upon curing.
Alternatively, a newly installed concrete surface can be cut after the curing process has begun (usually 24 hours after installation).
Freshly laid concrete is known to be more abrasive than concrete that is already cured. This abrasiveness stems from the fact that the sand (abrasive component) in a fresh concrete mixture is yet to bond to the mortar. The sand therefore retains its abrasiveness.
Thus, hard-bonded diamond saw blades are the best choice for cutting through freshly laid concrete. Soft-bonded blades are ideal for making cuts through cured/hardened concrete.
Be sure to get the right diamond saw blade for the right concrete-cutting application.