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Wire Sawing

Wire sawing is a technique that originated in quarries to extract stone. It has proven to be an ideal choice for removal of thick sections of concrete. A multi-strand cable with diamond segments is threaded through a series of pulleys and is continuously pulled through the concrete. Since virtually no concrete structure or cross-section is too large to cut, wire saws are used where other cutting methods are impractical. The only restriction is the lifting and removal specifications of the job. Wire sawing is ideal for removing large sections of heavily reinforced concrete, such as piers, towers and bridge sections, and cutting concrete in areas where work space is restricted.

A wire saw consists of a multi-strand cable with diamond segments that are threaded through a series of pulleys attached to a drive wheel that is powered by a hydraulic power unit. The combination of the spinning wire and constant pulling force cuts a path through the concrete and steel reinforcement. A typical wire diameter is 3/8 inch (10 mm). Wire saws can cut in any orientation, vertical or horizontal. Because the length of wire can be made to virtually any length, the cutting depth is unlimited.

A nuclear power plant renovation in South Haven, Michigan was performed with the use of a wire saw. Four large blocks of concrete with a steel liner were cut in order to change steam generators. The blocks of concrete were 3-1/2 foot (1.1 m) thick with 2 inch (51 mm) diameter rebar and lined with 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick steel plate. The largest block measured 28 foot by 27 foot (8.5 x 8.2 m). The sawing was accomplished in nine days using two four-man crews. The capability of the wire saw, in combination with the expertise of the professional CSDA cutting contractor, allowed this project to be completed in time and under budget.

(description of wire sawing provided by: Concrete Sawing & Drilling Association)


Concrete Cutting & Coring, Inc. 22 Danville Road Plaistow, NH 03865

phone: 603-382-1799 toll free: 1-800-792-5572 fax: 603-382-2411

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