Utilization of synthetic diamonds for cutting purposes in explosive atmospheres
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Modifications in the process industry are quite common. For many of these modifications cutting of existing equipment and structure will be a central activity. The abrasive diamond wire cutting technology is adopted from the stone cutting industry, and has proven to cut cross-sections of steel quite efficient. However, as for any machining process, there will be heat generated from friction and a spark emission. Since most of the process plants are regarded as a hazardous zone, in terms of potentially explosive atmospheres, there will always be a risk increase when performing work which produces potential ignition sources. The ATEX Directive was founded for allowing free trade of explosion proof equipment within the European Union. Thus the requirements found within the ATEX Directive are established to reduce the risk of ignition for the relevant equipment which fulfills the requirements stated therein. In this thesis the theory of diamond wire is established by adopting central elements from conventional abrasive technology. This theory is then used as a basis for a thermal model, usable for numerical simulations. The model is partially validated against measured temperatures. However, when adding coolants the model would over-estimate the temperatures. The results obtained showed that diamond wire cutting most likely would be safe, in terms of hot surfaces, if adequate cooling is applied. When regarding sparks no conclusions could be obtained of either ignition potential or temperature.
Master's thesis in Structural engineering