In appearance, an artificial stone is sometimes difficult to distinguish from natural. And in strength and resistance to external atmospheric influences, in some cases it can even surpass it.
Types of decorative stone: agglomerate, acrylic stone, granite, artificial concrete stone.
It is very important that the weight of such a stone and its cost is significantly lower than that of natural.
These qualities largely determine its popularity in the external and internal decoration of houses and apartments. It is also used when laying garden paths, equipping bathrooms, manufacturing countertops and window sills. Therefore, many home-builders are interested in how to cut such a stone, if it is necessary to change its size or shape, how and how to drill holes, for example, for water pipes.
Artificial stone made by different technologies has different hardness. It depends on which components were used as filler and cementitious material. All such varieties of stone can be divided into:
- acrylic stone;
- porcelain tile;
- artificial stone on a concrete basis.
The scheme of the device punch.
Agglomerates, which include large quartz, granite, marble or limestone chips, and sometimes whole pieces of stone bonded with polyester resins, can be stronger than natural samples. The composition of the acrylic stone includes a fine-grained filler (up to 70%) and acrylic resin. This distinguishes it from agglomerates, makes it plastic when heated. It can be scratched or scorched.
Products made of porcelain stoneware are superior in hardness to ceramics and glass, since their main component is highly compressed kaolin clay.
Stones made on the basis of sand and cement or Portland cement are similar in their properties to ordinary concrete. In some cases, manufacturers replace white cement with gypsum. Such artificial stones are less hard, easy to process, cheaper, but relatively easy to break under the influence of moisture and low temperatures.
How and how to make a hole
To process a material such as artificial stone, you can use the same tools as when working with concrete products. The tool used in drilling the hardest materials can be successfully used for drilling all its varieties. This is usually done by one of the following items:
An angle grinder is used for drilling with the help of special diamond crowns, the design of which allows them to be used by twisting on a shaft for mounting a disk. The crown is installed at right angles to the body of the angle grinder.
Drills or crowns are selected taking into account the size of the required hole and the hardness of the material used. As a rule, they have a carbide tip with a solder from Pobedite, diamond spraying or soldering of diamond segments.
Clamps are used to secure the material. Apply dry and drilling with water to cool the cutting edge of the tool and the stone itself. In addition, water cleans the drill of sludge, the edge of the drilled hole remains more even. Dust during wet drilling is much less.
In order to drill with water at home, make a plasticine bath around the place of drilling or put a rubber ring to which water is added. When using the template, water can be poured directly into it by sealing the cracks with ordinary adhesive tape. Sometimes water is simply added a little from a plastic bottle.
Video: How to Cut Artificial Stone at Home
An artificial stone can sometimes have a polished surface on which marking lines are hardly visible. In this case, paper construction adhesive tape glued to its surface will help. Lines are clearly visible on it, even if drawn with a pencil.
How to defeat porcelain tiles
For drilling porcelain stoneware, as it is very hard, use a drill with a special nozzle.
Drilling porcelain tiles is not easy, it is one of the most difficult materials to process. To get even edges of the hole, always start from the front. At the exit, the drill can chip, and in this case it will remain invisible. If the plate you are going to drill is not yet fixed to the floor or wall, place an even board or piece of fiberboard under it.
If the diameter of the proposed hole is more than 6-8 mm, you must first drill it with a tool with a smaller diameter. To work with porcelain stoneware, it is better to use a puncher or a sufficiently powerful drill.
The drilling speed is small or medium, it depends on the diameter of the drill. The larger the diameter, the lower the speed. The drummer is better not to use, there is a risk of cracking the plate. In some cases, especially with a large thickness of the material, a drummer is used at low speeds if there are no voids under the plate, but each does so at his own peril and risk. When drilling, it is necessary to use water for cooling.
Best results are achieved using a diamond tool. In practice, different drills are used: carbide tips on the tiles, a feather with a diamond tip, tubes with diamond coating, diamond crowns.
Good results are obtained with thin-walled monolithic diamond-metal tubes of Chinese manufacture, in addition, they are inexpensive, about a dollar 1 pc.
The drill will wear less if drilled perpendicular to the plane of the material. To do this, the drill or punch can be mounted on a vertical stand. The resource of the drill in this case is almost doubled.
It can be very difficult to start drilling with a crown on a smooth surface, it always tries to move to the side, scratching the surface. Therefore, to obtain a qualitative result, you can pre-make a template for holes of different diameters. The template is firmly clamped with clamps and prevents the crown from shifting from the drilling point. You can also add water here for cooling.
You can start drilling at an angle to the plane if the template is not used: then the crown cuts into the stone on one side, and then aligns. But this method is better to use on softer materials.
Similarly, you can drill holes in a stone made of concrete and agglomerates.
Features of working with acrylic and gypsum
All the methods mentioned above are suitable for working with any artificial stone. However, acrylic stone has a more plastic structure and allows the use of tools of not so high hardness. Drilling acrylic stone is more likely to work with solid wood or aluminum.
Therefore, it can be drilled using conventional drill bits for metal, even a feather drill bit for wood or a Forstner cutter will do. Large holes are drilled using a crown or a tubular drill. You can drill dry.
An artificial stone cast using gypsum as a binder also does not require the use of a tool of increased hardness. Sometimes, to work with it, they use an ordinary hacksaw for metal, or even for wood, an assembly knife, an abrasive mesh or sandpaper. You can drill it with a simple drill for metal, if there are few holes. But for cleanliness of work it is better to use drills or crowns with carbide taps.
Drilling can be carried out by means of a cordless screwdriver, picking up drills of the required diameter.
It is easy to process a hole using a manual wood milling machine, changing the shape of the hole or its size.
How to give the plate the desired size and shape
At enterprises, artificial stone is cut on stone-cutting machines with a supply of coolant to the place of cut, and laser or waterjet cutting is also performed. The last two methods allow you to give the stone the most amazing, even curved shape.
At home, the choice is not so great. This problem can be solved with the help of a hand circular or submersible circular saw, selecting a disk that matches the material to be sawn. An electric tile cutter will also cope well with this.
Electric tile cutters are equipped with a small bathtub with coolant located under his desk. According to the principle of action, such tile cutters are of two types. In one case, the disk is mounted motionless, and its desktop moves with a stone mounted on it. In another, the disk along with the drive moves along the guides above the cutting plane.
All these devices work with diamond blades of various configurations, solid and segmented.
If the relief and thickness of the stone tiles allow, it can also be cut on a manual tile cutter.
But the most universal tool for cutting stone is considered an angle grinder with a diamond disk. It is advisable to choose a large diameter disk. Different discs are available for different materials.
For cutting cuts in stone, they sometimes use a jigsaw, a diamond string. There are also special stone blades for ordinary hacksaw.