How to cut a countertop : Quartz Worktop

How to cut a countertop, a quartz worktop, from a full size quartz slab using a CNC? On this post I’m going to add additional information to a post I did a while ago.
Cutting a quartz worktop on a Numeric Control machine without breaking the quartz slab has its secrets. It’ll be quite a waste if anything goes wrong while working on your expensive quartz slab, you might just end up with a giant loss. This post will contain important information which you should read carefully, it may save you money.
The engineered quartz slab is a man made stone, which basically is formed with quartz grit and polyester resin. The chemical reaction of the hardening process may cause tensions in the slab, which may crack the slab while cutting it.
There are a few simple tips I can give you, although every brand and colour is very specific regarding this type of problems. Anyway cracking may occur if you do not do the first few cuts correctly, the breakage risk decreases significantly after the first few cuts.

  •  As I mentioned in a prior post, the cut-outs are one of the most risky parts of the engineered quartz countertops cutting procedure do not do square corners. The corners are considered stress points, engineered quartz tends to release tensions, to overcome this problem, drilling a 5mm or bigger hole in each corner, before cutting the cut out with a diamond disk, will reduce all risks of cracking.
  • Cutting diagonally should be done with a blunt disk, a used disk, will be less aggressive during cutting as the diamonds will more effective for cutting at this point.
  • The cut should start from the outside of the slab inwards, don’t try to plunge cut.
  • The cut should go all the way through right off the slab, truly cutting the slab.
  • Make sure the diamond disk is in good condition, the diamonds should be cutting effectively and perfectly, if not use cement block or other type of stone to help improve the disks cutting ability
  • Cutting diagonally often may affect the diamond disks ability to cut perfectly, as it works uneven, if this happens you can improve your disks cutting ability the same way I mentioned before

And one more thing the CAM software used in Numeric Control machines may not have been properly built considering the specific information regarding engineered quartz. Although some have already been adapted for these types of cutting, make sure your CAM software is capable of dealing with engineered quartz, if not contact your local dealer and see if an upgrade is available.

Basically I hope you avoid problems like the one in the photo below.


Technical said...

One more consideration regarding the formulation and forming process that may considerably contribute to the breakage of slabs during cutting , as an European manufacturer experienced directly during the slabs trimming.
Without entering in very specific technical issues, we keep simply and consider only the following three points even more could be mentioned:
A resin with high Barcol hardness will result in more fragile slabs.
Pigments may have great influence in the curing of the slabs. Some pigments are inhibitor of the catalysis but other are acting as accelerator. A too fast curing must be avoided.
An imperfect mixing or distribution of the mixture in the mould may result in lack of homogeneity of the slabs thus may create unwanted tension in the materials.

Tomson said...

Thanks for the important addition, another great contribution.

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Anonymous said...

This is something I searched for many days. My thirst has been quenched now after reading your article.

quartz machining

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