Effect of mineralogical and petrographical properties of marble on cutting by diamond wire

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 98, No. 1085, 2005
Y. Özçelik
The engineering properties of rocks are directly affected by their mineralogical and petrographical properties. In spite of the presence of a limited number of studies investigating the relations between mineralogical and petrographical properties of rocks and their cuttability and diggability, there are a vast number of investigations on the relations between these features and drillability. Many important statistical relationships have been put forward throughout time; however, in these studies, only some of the mineralogical and petrographical characteristics, such as grain shape, packing density, degree of interlocking of particles, and grain orientation, were considered. Moreover, some researchers have attempted to investigate the effect of engineering properties of rocks on the wearing of diamond beads and cutting rate in the diamond wire cutting method. So far, there has not been any study on the effect of the mineralogical and petrographical properties of rocks on the wearing of diamond beads that lead the cutting operation.
This study concentrates on the effects of mineralogical and petrographical properties of rocks on the wearing of diamond beads and cutting rate (see Figure). A total of 13 samples from hard rock (andesite), limestone, and real marble were selected. The only, and first diamond wire cutting operation in andesites and the applications of diamond wire cutting in real marble and limestone have been performed at quarries at seven sites in different regions of Turkey. Cutting rates and wearing on diamond beads have been recorded, and the physical and mechanical properties, and mineralogical and petrographical properties of rocks have been determined. The results obtained have been evaluated by using statistical analysis. Initially, bivariant correlation analysis was performed in order to determine the relationships among the parameters in the analysis. Following that, the effect that each parameter had on the wear rate and cutting rate were investigated graphically for andesite and carbonate rocks separately. This allowed for the fitting of a trend line to a set of experimental data. Based on this analysis, among the many functions tested,the power curve relation was fitted to experimental data with higher correlations than the other relations.
The following conclusions can be made from this study:

As the percentages of matrix, quartz, and calcite increase, the wear rate measured on the diamond beads increases, however, the cutting rate decreases.
As the particle size of plagioclase decreases, the wear rate increases, however, the cutting rate decreases.
A significant relationship between the particle size of biotite and wear rate and cutting rate was not found.

The relationships between the mineralogical characteristics of the carbonate rock and wear rates occurred on the diamond beads and cutting rate, and it was found that as the crystal particle size of calcite and quartz decreases, the wear rate increases while the cutting rate decreases.
This paper presents the partial results of a comprehensive, ongoing project on factors relating to diamond wire cutting technology in general. This research program highlights several areas for further investigation, for example, operating parameters such as machine position on either vertical and horizontal cutting; number of beads per metre; cutting angle between wire and horizontal level; amount of cutting area with respect to angle variation; wire speed; and amount of water used. All may impact wear rate and cutting rate.
The ultimate object of this research program is to develop a cuttability classification system for diamond wire cutting operations that will enable the effective production of blocks in marble quarries.
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