An Australian company has developed a solution to the rise of silicosis in those who cut and shape manufactured stone.
Instead of reducing airborne dust particles through water, or by extracting them from the air with a vacuum, the tool extracts the silica dust during the cutting process.
Named The Edge Powercutter, the tool has been produced by Guarda Systems.
“Current methods used to control silica dust rely either on the use of water to dampen the dust or vacuum to remove it,” said Guarda Systems managing director, Craig Penty.
“Guarda has developed a completely new technology that combines water and vacuum for significantly better dust control.”
According to Penty, The Edge Powercutter is 20 times better than other products on the market.
The product itself is a wet vacuum which is attached to the saw. By spraying water into the blade guard, the dust turns to slurry, instead of going into the air. This slurry is automatically forced into a vacuum barrel, and avoids getting into the operator’s lungs.
The tool is designed to suit not just those involved in manufactured stone, but concrete, brick, rock, and other types of masonry. The technology, Penty hopes, will enable the manufactured stone industry to continue.
“People are calling for the ban of artificial stone products because it can be shown that current dust control methods can’t always keep people safe,” he said.
“Now there is a new technology that has been shown to be a significant improvement over current methods.”
The Edge Powercutter will be launched in Australia, New Zealand, and the UK in the next weeks.