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Diamond Wire Cutter Research Project


Former Eadon placement student, Isobel Catt, is carrying out research into our Diamond Wire Cutter as part of her final year university project.

Isobel joined Eadon for a one-year placement last year as part of her MEng Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Sheffield. She worked alongside Eadon engineers to help develop the Diamond Wire Cutter which was used by Sellafield to remotely cut an object which was obstructing access to a bay entrance to one of the ponds – preventing decommissioning activities from taking place.

“When they developed the Diamond Wire Cutter all of the testing was done cutting through samples of equivalent geometry and material to the obstruction,” Isobel explains.  “My project is very much a steppingstone into potentially taking this into a much larger commercial project so it can be used in the future for cutting different materials. I’m going to be in a lab with a test rig which is a more developed version of the original test rig. I’ll be running lots of tests on different geometries and different materials. The information I want to collect is, ‘What are my cutting parameters?’ and ‘How long did the wire last for?’

“Most of the project will be experimental data collection and evaluating the test rig. This is likely to just be the first stage. There will be more developments in the test rig – but this will hopefully give an initial feel for how this may work in the future.”

Isobel will also be researching technical papers into the mechanics of the diamond wire cutter and will carry out a detailed literature review as part of her final report.

In time, it’s expected that, with enough information about geometry, dimensions and type of material, the system will be able to be adapted so it can be used for further decommissioning applications.

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