The cost of 1 steel blade for granite gang-saw is about 8 $ (about 1 $ per kg). The cost of 1 kg of steel shot is about 0,5$. With 1 steel blade you cut about 15 sqm and for each sqm you need about 2,5 kg steel shot.
Therefore tool cost per sqm is the following:
( 8$ / 15sqm ) + ( 2,5kg / sqm x 0,5$ / kg ) = 1,78 $/sqm
On a stationary diamond wire saw you need about 20 m of wire. At a cost of about 100$/m the complete wire will cost you about 2000$. If we presume a wire yield of 10 sqm per linear meter of wire, the production of 20 m of wire will be:
20m x 10sqm = 200sqm.
Unit cost of production due to tools will therefore be
2000$ / 200 sqm = 10$ / sqm
The big costs of a granite gang-saw are for the machine itself (about 200.000$) and for the foundations (about 25.000$). Anyway, both machines have their own specific field of application.
The gang-saw is more suitable for mass production of thin slabs. In fact, normally there have to be used two (or four, or eight) machines in order to guarantee a continuous material output to the polishing line. As the machine needs about 2 1/2 days for cutting one loading, it is necessary that while one machine is working, the other machine can be unloaded.
Apart from block-squaring for fitting them into the gang-saws without loosing space, the application of a diamond wire saw is more for the production of few slabs, of more expensive material and different thickness. This would absolutely not be economical to do with a gang-saw.
Also cutting speed is quite different between the two systems: a gang-saw cuts at a speed of 5 cm/h, a diamond wire saw at about 100 cm/h.
Therefore, there is a frequent need of few slabs or thick slices in short time, you use a stationary wire saw, if you need lots of thin slabs continuously, you go for a gang-saw. So the two systems are complementing each other.
Finally, there are some further advantages of a wire saw:
* can be used on granite as well as on marble, travertine, etc.