DEKTON is a durable material. It is scratch resistant, it resists staining, and it holds up against heat. The material's strength and hardness demands that powerful tools, machines and general equipment be used during the fabrication and installation process. By using these high powered tools and machines, stone professionals introduce possible situations where the DEKTON material can incur damage or marring. In this article, we will take a look at some tips and tricks for working with DEKTON using fabrication machinery and tooling. These tips will help professional Dekton fabricators preserve the appearance of the slabs while working on it with equipment.
Handling Dekton Slabs
One area that requires particular attention when it comes to working with DEKTON is the material handling. As you transport and position the DEKTON for work, there are some basic practices to keep in mind. By using specific techniques and DEKTON handling tips, you will protect the slab from marring that can have an impact on the rpesentation when the surface is installed.
While handling, moving, and positioning your DEKTON surfaces, keep in mind the following:
Cover the Tops of Safety Support
Protect A-Frames Using Strips of Wood or Plastic
Use Clips for A Maximum of Two Slabs
Avoid Chipping the Slab By Using Protected Clips
When Transporting More Than Two Slabs, Use Approved Slings
Handling the DEKTON surfaces are just one aspect of the process. There other parts of the fabrication and install process which require additional care. Let's consider another one.
Cutting and Edging Equipment
In addition to handling the DEKTON sheets with care, there are some important tips and techniques to utilize while actually cutting and shaping the material during the install and/or fabrication process. Why is this the case?
Just as handling the slabs requires the use of very powerful machines, cutting and shaping the material also makes use of high powered equipment. Since this is the case, it is important to keep some points in mind while operating on DEKTON slabs with the following machinery:
Edge Polishing Machines
When cutting the DEKTON slab, it is recommended that the cutting is done on a machine that has a bed made of cement or sandstone. In addition to cutting on a bed made of the recommended material, smaller pieces should be fixed when cutting. By fixing smaller pieces to the bed while cutting them, the fabricator will prevent the piece from moving during the cutting process.
Preparing to Cut DEKTON Slabs
Before beginning the cutting process, the following steps should be taken to ensure the best results.
Of course, the cutting bed should be clean while in use. So be sure and clean the surface of the cutting bed before beginning any work on the DEKTON material. Cleaning will remove any debris that may be left over on the surface from previous work that was done the cutting bed.
Before cutting and shaping begins, be sure to remove the protective plastic coating from the surface of the slab. Next, attach the label with the batch number to the order documentation. This step will preserve the warranty and assure the trace-ability of the particular slab used during the fabrication and installation process.
Bridge Saw Usage Tips for DEKTON
Of course, personal protective equipment must be used during the work performed. This will ensure that the stone professional is protected as much as possible suring fabrication.
It is recommended that the water stream directly flows onto the blade rather than onto the slab. This will provide the best results as you are cutting the slab with a bridge saw. In addition to proper water flow, the proper lowering speed of the blade is vital as well. The recommended lowering speed of the blade is 0.1 meter per minute (3.93 inches per minute or .328 feet per minute).
Using the proper blade parameters will provide the best results while working with DEKTON. The following are the recommendations provided by Cosentino DEKTON:
In addition to using the proper blade size and speed. DEKTON recommends the use of a frequency converter (inverter) to change the rpm and the lowering speed of the blade.
Table of Saw Straight Cut Parameters
The straight cut parameters for DEKTON are provided in the following table:
STRAIGHT CUT PARAMETERS
Tips for Cutting DEKTON
To ensure the slab will benefit from a leveled support, be sure to check and clean the back of the slab. Debris or other items on the back of the slab could cause it be unlevel when placed on the support surface.
To release the internal stress of the slab, be sure to trim at least 1.5cm (.6in) off each length of the slab. During the cut, reduce the feed rate to 30% while the cutting head is less than 200mm (7.87 inches) from either edge of the slab. While the cutting head is more than 200mm (7.87 inches) form either end of the sheet, the feed rate can be increased to 100%.
Here are some key points to keep in mind when cutting DEKTON material:
Do not fix ceramic hobs with silicone
Use 35mm (1 3/8") diamond drill bits
Avoid cross cuts and always drill
Minimum radius of 5mm (.2") on the corners.
Table of Parameters for Cutting at 45°
For cutting DEKTON at a 45° angle, the following parameters are recommended:
Edge Polishing Information
Just as there are recommendations for cutting DEKTON materials, there are best practices for edge-polishing as well. In this section of the article and in the video above, you can find the recommendations for performing edge-polishing on DEKTON surfaces. Here is a quick list of tips to help you set up your edge-polishing area:
Polished Finish Feed Speed: 0.6 m/min From 1.8 to 2.2 bar
Mitre Joint Feed Speed: 0.2 m/min
When in the edge-polisher, protecting the right side of the slab is recommended.
To avoid breaking the slab on the rollers, cut the mitre edge before doing the cutout.
To avoid chipping the edge to be mitered, DEKTON recommends using waste pieces before and after the edge you are mitering. Additionally, better results are achieved by leaving a 1mm edge than are realized when leaving a 0mm edge.
By following the aforementioned recommendations, DEKTON fabricators will ensure the best results consistently when working with the material.
Best Practices for Processing DEKTON
Just as there are recommendations to follow when cutting and edge-polishing DEKTON surfaces, processing slabs also have recommended best practices. When these recommendations are closely followed by stone professionals, the processing phase of working with the material goes smooth and the results are good.
To begin with, always use water-cooled tools when processing DEKTON. This keeps the material and the tools from getting too hot. Overheated tools yield inferior results. Along the same lines, other equipment that is used to work with DEKTON has specific requirements. Let's look at some of those now.
First, Work tables must be in good condition if they are to be used for working with DEKTON. Also, the use of A-Frames is not recommended. Rather than using A-Frames, it is recommended that fabricators use tables so that the material has a sufficient amount of support. In fact, DEKTON slabs must be well supported with a substantial base to yield the best results.
When performing manual cutouts, cut the longer edges of the cutout first and then cut the shorter ones. When using tools designed for DEKTON, always follow the recommendations of the tool manufacturer.
When it comes to abrasives, the recommendation is to use 50 grains or higher. Additionally, slots at both miter edges are required for ensuring a strong bond. These slots improve the application of the adhesive.
Working With Adhesives
When processing DEKTON, always use
adhesives approved for DEKTON. Mastidek adhesives have been designed specifically for DEKTON. Also, Mastidek provides matching colors for the DEKTON slabs. When using approved mastics such as Mastidek, be sure to let it dry in accordance with the instructions available on this site and in the information from Tenax4You.com.
Of course, it is important that you remove any excess adhesive from the surface of the material and bevel the joints using the appropriate equipment. Finally, solvent or acetone can be used to clean up any remaining adhesive waste that may be left on the surface.
Reinforcing DEKTON can be done using the proper materials. It is important that the material used to reinforce DEKTON be a substance that offers similar heat tolerance (or thermal performance). Some materials that can be used fro reinforcing DEKTON include:
Silestone is not recommended for supporting DEKTON since the Silestone will expand and contract at a rate different from the DEKTON. Expansion and contraction is important to the integrity of the finished product.
Recommended Practices for Using Waterjets On DEKTON
When working with DEKTON using waterjet equipment, it is important that you follow some basic guidelines so that you will obtain the most beneficial results. Some practical tips for using waterjet equipment include:
10-Second Entry Piercing
600 gr/min Abrasive
Place Bed Slats As Closely As Possible
Bed Slats Must Be In Perfect Condition
3mm Separation Between Nozzle and Slab
The recommended settings for waterjet on DEKTON are: Always start drilling at 700 bar
and then continue cutting at a high pressure at 3500 bar. Use a 10-second entry piercing and operate the machine with the parameters recommended by the machine manufacturer.
Waterjet Straight Cut Parameters for DEKTON
STRAIGHT CUT PARAMETERS
CNC Recommendations for DEKTON
When operating on DEKTON with CNC machines, some of the important things to keep in mind include the following:
Be sure that suction cups are in good working condition.
Make sure you use rectangular suction cups under the cutout.
Rectangular suction cups are recommended.
In addition to using the proper suction cups and keeping them in good working order, when you being the cutting, always start at the furthest point from the edge of the slab. Use a lowering speed of 10mm/min as well.
Use the milling cutter according to the manufacturers recommendations. The video at the top of this page uses the following settings in its example; 500 rpm, 200 mm/min feed. Similarly the example shown demonstrating counter-sinking also follows the manufacturer's recommendations. The video shows the milling cutter operating at 60 mm/min and 700 rpm in one cut.
In addition to operating the machine using the correct settings, it is also important to maintain a sharp tool. Therefore DEKTON recommends sharpening the tool after 4 drills using sandstone or another appropriate material.
Guidelines for DEKTON Installation
Although the preparing, cutting, and processing DEKTON are all important steps in the fabrication of the material. DEKTON installation is a key part of the process as well. Performing the install in such a way that the integrity of the work put into the surface up to the install is vital. After all, the care taken up to this point has produced a quality piece and the installer is the final part of the process. Let's look at some important things to keep in mind when installing DEKTON surfaces.
Be sure that the support for the surface is level. Check the leveling to ensure that the surface will have contiguous, sufficient support. Use tremendous care when handling and placing the surface onto the support. During the install, take care to protect the joints of the surface. And as mentioned before, be sure to use the proper mastics that are recommended by DEKTON.
In this article, we have taken you through the process of fabricating DEKTON surfaces. Along the way, we have mentioned the best practices to follow during that process and talked about some of the machine settings that might be used during the process of fabrication and installing DEKTON surfaces. If you stick closely to these guidelines and use the recommended setting on the proper tools, using the recommended adhesives and material handling equipment, you are sure to get the most consistent, quality results.