Abstract

The feed rate of the natural building stone cutting processes is determined by the properties of the natural stone and the machine being used. The most significant factors that affect the feed rate during natural building stone cutting processes are the mineralogic and petrographic properties of the natural stone. The feed rate is determined by the operator, and is generally selected based on the operator’s own experience. Regardless of the type of stone being cut, the main goal of natural building stone cutting processes is to achieve an optimum feed rate, while also ensuring minimal power expenditure and tool wear. In this study, the cutting data for nine different natural building stone cutting processes classified under three different groups were investigated. The mineralogic and petrographic properties were determined for the natural stones being cut, and the effects of rock mineralogy on the optimum feed rate was evaluated based on the comparison of feed rates with these properties. In this context, the cutting processes of building stones consisting of marble, limestone, and travertine were evaluated. According to the study data, factors that played an important role in the selection of feed rate under industrial cutting conditions include the mineral structure of the rock, the mineral grain size, the porous structure of the rock, rock hardness, and the layer structure. Natural building stone cutting processes can generally be classified into three groups as low-speed, medium-speed, and high-speed cutting conditions. In each one of these groups, the cutting speeds are directly affected by the mineralogic and petrographic properties of the rock.

1. INTRODUCTION

The process of cutting dimensioned products from natural stone blocks requires the use of circular saw blades with very different diameters and characteristics. To ensure efficiency of production, it is important not only to select a saw blade that is suitable for the type of stone being cut, but also to operate the saw blade under suitable working parameters, in that the cutting of natural stone does not generally take place under ideal conditions [1]. One of the most important factors affecting the efficiency of natural stone cutting with circular saws is the feed rate. In addition to this, the life and performance of the saw are also affected by a number of different factors, the most important of these being the diamond and matrix properties (hardness of the metal bond formulation, grit size, diamond concentration and diamond type); the method used for manufacturing the segment; the applicable sawing conditions (cutting depth, cutting speed and feed rate); and the mineralogical and physico-mechanical properties of the stone being cut [2]. To ensure cutting under ideal conditions, it is necessary to carry out a detailed evaluation of all cutting conditions.

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