Contour Cutting Wire
Wire saws are similar in principle to band saws or reciprocating saws, but they use abrasion to cut rather than saw teeth. Depending on the application, diamond material may or may not be used as an abrasive. The wire can have one strand or many strands braided together (cable). A single-strand saw can be roughened to be abrasive, abrasive compounds can be bonded to the cable, or diamond-impregnated beads (and spacers) can be threaded on the cable. Wire saws are often cooled and lubricated by water or oil.
Foam manufacturers commonly use an abrasive wire saw, either manual or automatic, to cut foam to certain sizes or certain profiles (shapes). Foam saws are used in many industries, include housing (insulation, pipe insulation), furniture (couches, couch cushions, chair cushions), and entertainment (foam fingers, foam accessories). Abrasive-wire cutting is often done with a computer numerical control device that automatically cuts the pattern (or patterns) that are specified in a two-dimensional (2D) CAD/CAM drawing. The materials to be cut can range from polystyrene, polyethylene, and polyurethane, to high-density or rigid types of foam, such as cellular glass. Oscillating saws are used to cut foam rubber.