ABSTRACT

Performance measurements of large-diameter circular diamond saws were conducted on eight different carbonate rocks in marble factories located in some areas of Turkey and hourly slab productions were calculated. Rock samples were collected from these factories for laboratory tests. Triaxial compressive strength test were carried out on each rock type and a brittleness index determined from Mohr's envelope. Slab productions of circular diamond saws and the brittleness index evaluated using both linear and exponential regression analysis. The both regression analysis produced strong correlations between the slab production and the brittleness index. Concluding remark is that the sawability of carbonate rocks can be predicted from the brittleness index determined from Mohr's envelope. However, the validity of the derived equations must be checked for the other rock types.

INTRODUCTION

Large-diameter circular saws have been widely used in marble and stone processing plants. The prediction of rock sawability is important in the cost estimation and the planning of the plants. Rock sawability depends on machine characteristics, type and diameter of saw, depth of cut, rate of sawing and toolwear, and rock properties. Some researchers have investigated the relations between sawability and rock properties. Norling (1971) correlated sawability with petrographic properties and concluded that grain size Was more relevant to sawability than the quartz content. Burgess (1978) proposed a regression model for sawability, which was based on mineralogical com- POsition, hardness, grain size and abrasion resistance. Wright & Cassapi (1985) tried to correlate the pertographic analysis and physical properties with actual sawing results. The research indicated cutting forces to have the closest correlation. Hausberger (1989) concluded, by studying work by other authors, that the higher the proportion of minerals with well-defined Cleavage planes, the easier the stone is to cut. Unver (1996) developed predictive equations for the estimation of specific wear and cutting force in rock sawing. Clausen et al. (1996) carried out a study of the acoustic emission during single diamond scratching of granite and suggested that acoustic emission could classify the sawability of natural stone. They also concluded that the cutting process is affected by the properties and frequency of minerals, grain size and degree of interlocking. Ceylanoglu & Gorgulu (1997) correlated specific cutting energy and slab production with rock properties and found good correlations. Brook (2002) developed a new index test, called Brook hardness, which has been specifically developed for sliding diamond indenters. The consumed energy is predictable from this new index test. Konstanty (2002) presented a theoretical model of natural stone sawing by means of diamond-impregnated tools. In the model, the chip creation and removal process quantified with the intention of assisting both the toolmaker and the stonemason in optimising the tool composition and sawing process parameters, respectively. Wei et al. (2003) developed a new ranking method of granite sawability by means of fuzzy mathematics. With the fuzzy ranking system established and sawability classification, it is very convenient to evaluate the sawability and select suitable saw blade.

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