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Limestone Cutting

10/21/2015 3:12 PM

Dear respected gurus- does anyone of you know if there is a method of using acid to cut limestones in a quarry?

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#1

Re: limestone cutting

10/21/2015 3:17 PM

It would be far less exacting than using mechanical means to size the blocks.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: limestone cutting

10/21/2015 3:41 PM

Not necessarily- there can be means that might do a precise job!

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#5
In reply to #2

Re: limestone cutting

10/21/2015 6:05 PM

Please feel free to disclose more.

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#6
In reply to #2

Re: limestone cutting

10/21/2015 6:10 PM

Now you're just showing off.

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#12
In reply to #2

Re: limestone cutting

10/21/2015 11:04 PM

If you state that "there can be means that might do a precise job!" what is it?

The only such method I know of is the "Amos Pour" procedure. This was developed by a man named Amos many years ago soon after the discovery of materials with pH's less than 7.0 . Amos poured some of this material, he used a liquid type, on some limestone. As it reacted with the limestone it formed a puddle with rough edges. Since he was a very simple guy he couldn't afford shoes and the rough edges of the limestone cut his feet. He has been searching a long time for a better method such as you are praising. Since after a Risk Analysis it was determined there were too many risks involved with the Amos Pour method it was made illegal to use.

Since that time all production has gone back to the Ammonium Nitrate/Fuel Oil or chain saw (a chain of cutting blades on a flexible chain) methods.

The ANFO method works the best when used on the 185th day of the year. 186 during leap years. The bigger and noisier the better!

Good Luck, Old Salt

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#3

Re: limestone cutting

10/21/2015 3:44 PM

Never heard of such a technique.

Based on what I know about printed circuit board copper etching, I'd say absolutely not.

The "cut" would resemble an inverted V.

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#4

Re: Limestone Cutting

10/21/2015 5:55 PM

How thick is the block you want to cut?

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#7
In reply to #4

Re: Limestone Cutting

10/21/2015 6:11 PM

1.5mm

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#9
In reply to #7

Re: Limestone Cutting

10/21/2015 6:12 PM

Your funny ;)

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: Limestone Cutting

10/21/2015 6:18 PM

Your You're

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#15
In reply to #10

Re: Limestone Cutting

10/22/2015 8:18 AM

No dernit, he actually meant your funny! Your funny what I have no idea, you anonymous banana eater!

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#25
In reply to #15

Re: Limestone Cutting

10/24/2015 3:10 AM

I guess what I meant to say James to AP is "Your's funny"

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#26
In reply to #25

Re: Limestone Cutting

10/24/2015 10:15 AM

You are not funny!

You are an idiot!

Find another forum to troll.

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#8

Re: Limestone Cutting

10/21/2015 6:11 PM

Is it environmentally safe? Egyptians were good at cutting stones, their low tech work just fine.

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#11

Re: Limestone Cutting

10/21/2015 9:47 PM

No.

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#13

Re: Limestone Cutting

10/21/2015 11:16 PM

As a summer student 40+ years ago I cut natural stone to pay for university.

The blocks were blasted from the quarry with many drilll holes. We then used a 6ft diameter Myers saw (a diamond tipped circular blade) with a 50hp AC motor driving the blade. It only took minutes to cut a slab 2 ft deep by 7 or 8 ft long. This technology is very well developed and gives very fine finish.

Acid I spilled on my sidewalk a couple years ago is still damaging the surface!

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#14

Re: Limestone Cutting

10/22/2015 3:43 AM

The problem with cutting blocks with acid is that the acid disperses into the porous limestone surrounding the cut and weakens it. The rock is then useless for carving or building with. If your objective is just to remove rock without regard to the quality of the block that you remove or the localized section you cut from, you would be able to make crude vertical cuts with acid. I doubt that you could make a horizontal cut with any accuracy as gravity would make the acid flow down into the rock beneath your cut. Acid cutting would also be very dangerous as the technique releases hydrogen creating an explosion risk.

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#16

Re: Limestone Cutting

10/22/2015 8:31 AM

The real question is why on earth would you or anyone else want to bother with this, when there are already established quarrying methods that are way more efficient than some "new" idea that is not well thought out.

Here are some free ideas from me: go forth and acquire wire of high tensile strength and hardness, and impregnate the wire with bonded abrasive (not sure about how you might go about impregnating a wire, but good luck). OR you could just do it like the Egyptians used to do it, and pour hard silica sand over the wire at the point where it starts to rub on the limestone (the wire is on a giant wheel loop, powered by donkey(s), or a Honda engine), thus creating abrasion of the limestone. Both vertical cuts and horizontal cuts could be made this way, but not horizontal cuts where an entire block weight rests above the cutting line (for obvious reasons).

Now if you want to replace the wire try using supercritical carbon dioxide nozzle, with sand being induced (of exceedingly fine grain ) at an optimal angle (not 90 degrees, and not zero degrees) such that a narrow kerf is eroded away, but I have no idea what happens when the cut get deep, apparently the kerf needs to be wide enough for your nozzle arrangement to reach to some several meters of depth if you want large blocks.

Your final option: Use seawater, heavily filtered to some really small particle size to remove whatever except the solutes, and then pump the seawater at enormous pressure through an ultrafine nozzle, with the ultra narrow jet, you will achieve enormous cutting rate with beautiful smooth edge on limestone.

There you go, free of charge, my gift to stone masons in your backward community.

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#17

Re: Limestone Cutting

10/22/2015 9:43 AM

Depending on the thickness, you could cut it with a water jet.

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#18

Re: Limestone Cutting

10/22/2015 9:46 AM

Using an acid in a limestone quarry would have the effect of rendering much of that quarry useless for limestone 'production,' as the acid would seep into the stone and weaken it.

Stick with the tried-and true methods: drill vertical holes from the top, use a Mother Of All Chainsaws to cut a 'relief slot' at the bottom of the section being quarried, then expand the drillholes until the limestone cleaves away from the wall, using whatever method you prefer. Historic methods have been iron spikes/wedges, water, and various forms of explosive, from black powder to, I believe it's spelled AMPHO, that's the stuff the Mythbusters love to use, but they need to get their buddy, the retired FBI agent, to get it for them and set up the blast for them.

In short, dont bother trying to reinvent the wheel when you're sitting on the curb in front of a Tire/Tyre Shop.

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#22
In reply to #18

Re: Limestone Cutting

10/22/2015 9:55 PM

It's ANFO, an acronym for Ammonium Nitrate Fuel Oil mixture.

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#23
In reply to #22

Re: Limestone Cutting

10/23/2015 9:39 AM

Thanks, Adam and Jamie never go into real detail over it, except to state that the amount they're using for a test is 'the equalvant of' X sticks of dynamite, or to state that they're using it because it's a 'slower burn' than the explosive in the first test.

I can understand and appreciate the lack of details, we don't want some Unibomber wannabe learning how to mix [blur] with /blur/ and come up with Thermite, or some muttonhead trying to duplicate an experiment for Jacknape, mixing <blur> with {blur}, that he got from the kitchen, and dying from the poison gas produced.

I think we all know what the blurs are, so there's no need to spell it out for the foolish.

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#27
In reply to #18

Re: Limestone Cutting

11/04/2015 10:40 AM

"use a Mother Of All Chainsaws to cut a 'relief slot' at the bottom of the section being quarried"

Tried that and got the teeshirt.

We were getting complaints about the noise and vibration of well blasts. We borrowed a coal cutter to undercut the face so less explosives would be needed. All went well for about 2Ft then we were dodging the teeth as they broke free from the chain.

We even tried mining limestone, that was a planned disaster. We didn't want it to work.

Depending on what the stone is for, chequer board blasting gives good fragmentation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qQhd8UiCic

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#19

Re: Limestone Cutting

10/22/2015 10:45 AM

Dissolve? Yes. Cut? No.

I am relatively certain the chemical reaction would be fascinating to say the least however, I would really hate for any human to be anywhere near any open-air acid cutting process.

The hazardous fumes and burn risk from such a process attempt would require some very expensive, uncomfortable, heavy, and hot personal protective equipment. (Full PVC acid suit with hood and an external fresh air source mounted outside the contaminant range.)

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#20

Re: Limestone Cutting

10/22/2015 12:25 PM

I used to drill water wells thru solid limestone...it is not so solid, cracks can run for hundreds of feet like fault lines, not to mention that limestone is used to treat acidic lakes and waste streams:

http://www.wastechengineering.com/papers/limestone.htm

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es60114a010

https://lime.org/documents/publications/free_downloads/Acid_Neutralization_with_Lime.pdf

So I think this is not a good idea....

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#21
In reply to #20

Re: Limestone Cutting

10/22/2015 3:05 PM

Yes - definitely not solid. For 11 years, I analyzed wells for potential reservoirs of hydrocarbons, or if a storage well, reservoirs for hydrocarbons. While sandstone and now shale formations are prevalent, there are a few limestone reservoirs. As the term implies, there is obviously porosity in limestone, and to be a reservoir, the porosity must interconnect. The reason so few limestone reservoirs exist is not poor interconnecting porosity, but the biological surroundings these rocks were developed in was not conducive to hydrocarbon formation.

Therefore, we can say that if you add acid to a limestone strata and it will travel through the rock formation and lead to irregular cuts.The water jet idea seems a better choice if standard techniques must be abandoned.

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#28
In reply to #20

Re: Limestone Cutting

11/04/2015 10:52 AM

"I used to drill water wells thru solid limestone...it is not so solid, cracks can run for hundreds of feet like fault lines"

Called a shack or shake holes here. The local pub nearly vanished down one.

They're dangerous in quarrying as you get blowouts when blasting. A rock the size of a small car went straight through a substation a ┬╝ mile away. The power went off for some reason.

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#29
In reply to #28

Re: Limestone Cutting

11/04/2015 11:05 AM

"Called a shack or shake holes here. The local pub nearly vanished down one."

Probably would have set a new town record for the most pints downed in one gulp. In all seriousness, I hope nobody was injured in that pub incident.

"A rock the size of a small car went straight through a substation a ┬╝ mile away. The power went off for some reason."

Isn't that one of the main reasons that quarries are typically located out in "B.F. Nowhere," if you'll pardon my French? Not only is there the noise and the 'lovely view' of a gaping hole in the ground, but it's dangerous to even be NEAR them.

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#31
In reply to #29

Re: Limestone Cutting

11/04/2015 2:49 PM

What gaping hole? It was only five square miles.

You can hardly see it!

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#32
In reply to #31

Re: Limestone Cutting

11/04/2015 3:12 PM

Oh, I guess British Quaries are different than American quaries.

American quaries tend to be so large you could shoot THREE episodes of Doctor Who in there at once and not have the production crews even realize they've got company down there.

You've seen the photos, where they have dump trucks bigger than HOUSES to ferry the rock out of the pit.

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#34
In reply to #32

Re: Limestone Cutting

11/05/2015 10:34 PM

I've driven the dumpers. Big boys toys

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#35
In reply to #34

Re: Limestone Cutting

11/06/2015 9:14 AM

Yeah, it's like a three-story hike up the staircase in front of the radiator to get to the cab.

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#30
In reply to #28

Re: Limestone Cutting

11/04/2015 11:49 AM

Nice! One really should be careful with highly energetic compounds, especially when not knowing if the drill hole went into a shake hole (or a snake hole).

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#24

Re: Limestone Cutting

10/23/2015 7:24 PM

I have seen this done as an experiment. It worked, but not well. A long multistrand steel cable was run between two pulleys, one driven. They roughed up the out side of the cable with very coarse grit. They ran the cable against the lime stone and soaked the groove created with citric acid. The theory was that the citric acid would speed up the cable doing the cutting. It did speed it up ,but it made the cut surface very rough and crumbly.

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#33

Re: Limestone Cutting

11/04/2015 3:36 PM

Back about 10 years ago, I heard of a laser that was developed by DOE collaboration with a University in New Mexico (School of Mines??) to be incorporated into a drill bit for oil drilling, it literally vaporizes rock out of the drill column, and produces the cleanest bore possible, since the walls of the bore were somewhat melted.

Why would you not simply try a high power CO2 (carbon dioxide) laser to cut your lines in the limestone? Since the carbonate in the rock should instantly absorb laser power, the incident stone would vaporize, allowing the sweep gas (your pick) to move the vapor away as it re-solidifies to rock dust. You can always filter the sweep gas and recover the chalk dust to annoy vexing teachers (put chalk dust on the floor near their white boards (since they don't use chalk any more), this should be most amusing.

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