Skip to main content

DEVELOPMENT OF A STEEL CABLE TO CUT HIGHLY REINFORCED CONCRETE WITH MINIMIZED WATER CONSUMPTION

Objective

The project is aimed at the development of a steel cable charged with diamond pearls with particular cutting qualities, considerable mechanical resistance and minimum consumption of water or other cooling mixtures. The cable should be particularly suitable for cutting highly reinforced concrete structures of nuclear installations. The main objective is the control of secondary waste generation (cooling and severed concrete) during the cutting operations. The cuts can be carried out at various distances from operator to structure and therefore offer considerable security and protection of work force. The cutting time and the derived radiation exposure to operators will be evaluated on a uncontaminated concrete structure.

The contractor will carry out cuts on concrete structures of a USSR nuclear plant; the obtained results will be compared with those obtained within the framework of this project.
The project is aimed at the development of a steel cable charged with diamond pearls with particular cutting qualities, considerable mechanical resistance and minimum consumption of water or other cooling mixtures. The cable should be particularly suitable for cutting highly reinforced concrete structures of nuclear installations. The main objective is the control of secondary waste generation (cooling and severed concrete) during the cutting operations.

Cutting tests were carried out so as to verify the various constituents (rubber and plastic for vulcanization and steel cable) making up the diamond wire. The cutting tests on the highly reinforced concrete structure (test mock up) started. The necessary quantity of water for cutting reinforced concrete is usually 2000/2500 litres per hour. During these tests, coolant consumption was reduced to 850 litres per hour by adding some emulsion (2 per cent) to the water. The cutting tests are going on and it seems that further reduction of coolant consumption will be achievable.

During cutting, using a diamond wire vulcanized with rubber and reduced coolant, the temperature increased and, as a result, rubber swelled up and the cable broke, whereas with a diamond wire vulcanized with plastic, no relevant problems have happened.

As far as the steel cable is concerned, no essential difference was found between the steel cable diameter 4.8 mm and the steel cable diameter 4.9 mm. Nevertheless, considering the high mechanical stress the steel cable must support, a 4.9 mm diameter cable will be used.
WORK PROGRAMME

1. Development of a high resistance diamond pearl

2. Development of suitable materials for the cable vulcanization

3. Preparation of the test mock-up and of a representative concrete block

4. Selection and improvement of a suitable steel cable

5. Assembling of cable components (light steel cable, diamond pearls, springs and spacers)

6. Cutting tests on noncontaminated concrete structures

7. Final evaluation, taking into account cable consumption, costs of the technique, cooling water consumption, secondary waste arisings, radiation exposure, and a comparison with the cutting work carried out in the USSR.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

Diamond Service Srl
Address
Strada Per Muradolo
29012 Caorso Piacenza
Italy