This paper describes the influence of high-power microwave irradiation on the forces needed to cut granite with a conical pick. Granite samples have been irradiated with 24 kW at 2450 MHz with an open ended waveguide. The effect of microwave treatment was assessed by linear cutting tests with a conical pick. Microwave irradiation lead to an extensive network of cracks. The linear cutting tests provide a comparison of treated and non-treated parts and show that peak as well as average forces needed for cutting this very hard and abrasive material are reduced significantly. The average cutting force is reduced from7.06 to 6.39 kN, equalling 10%, from the untreated to the irradiated part, respectively.
This paper was published in Berg- und Hüttenmännische Monatshefte 162(2), 2017