Concrete polishing is a cutting process that involves removing a thin layer at the surface of hardened concrete using closely spaced diamond blades.
Concrete polishing /grinding is one of many methods of surface preparation cleaning and removing trip hazards, levelling, repair is essential to the strength, durability, aesthetics and reliability of your manufacturing facility floor safety aspect.
Polished concrete is concrete that has been processed through a series of mechanically grinding steps similar to the production of terrazzo.
This process also includes the use of a penetrant chemical known as a densifier, concrete densifier/hardener penetrates into the concrete and creates a chemical reaction to help in the process of Concord polishing and harden, dust proof the surface.
During concrete floor polishing the surface is processed through a series of steps (in general a minimum of 6 grinding steps of processing is considered polished concrete) utilizing progressively finer grinding tools.
The grinding tools are progressive grits of industrial diamonds in a bonded material such as metal/hybrid/resin often referred to as diamond polishing pads.
Polished Concrete is a “Green” flooring system and LEED approved.
Concrete is not considered polished before 400 grit, and it is normally finished to either the 800, 1500, or 3000 grit level.
Dyes designed for concrete floor polishing are often applied to add color to polished concrete as well as other options such as scoring, creating radial lines, grids, bands, borders, and other designs.
Its high coefficient of friction can make it non-slippery. Polished concrete reduces dust mite and allergen problems, and does not support mold growth. Anecdotal evidence suggests highly reflective polished concrete reduces lighting needs and can improve natural lighting. Polished concrete flooring is hard wearing and will not chip or dent like softer surfaces suchas timber and tiles. Polished concrete is easily maintained with the use of clean water or a neutral balance PH cleaner. There are also many cleaners designed for the proper maintenance of polished concrete available. There is never a need for wax to be added as it will only dull the finish. A concrete floor that has been hardened and polished will have an extremely long life expectancy compared to other flooring. For example, Epoxy has a short life span of 1 to 5 years and easily peels,some tile floors may only last 10–20 years, but a polished concrete floor that has been properly maintained may give 100+ years of service.
Diamond polished concrete process
Diamond polished concrete floor is very time-consuming if done correctly, this is due to the fact that there are at least 6 to 12 steps of actual grinding involved. The general rule is to start the initial grinding with a coarse 30/60-grit diamond and finish with an 800, 1500- or 3000-grit diamond, depending on the exposure level of aggregate and gloss level required. These diamonds are impregnated inside a metal- or resin-bonded segment. Typically the diamonds’ grit size will double once the first grind has been carried out. The use of 30-grit size diamonds, then use 60/80-grit diamonds followed by the 120-grit metal bond segments. The polishing process begins with a 50-grit diamond resin pad instead of a metal segment. When using the resin pads the steps may be 100, then 200, 400, 800, 1500 and finally 3000 grit. Throughout the process a densifier is used to harden the concrete surface, which allows the concrete to be polished. A number of densifiers can be used; these consist of a lithium, potassium or sodium silicates. In some cases A grouting chemical is also used to fill in any holes, cracks or imperfections that were exposed from the initial coarse grinding step. The concrete can be also finished with a natural-look Polish-Guard; this “Guard” penetrates 2–5 mm inside the pores of the concrete preventing any deep staining from oils and spills. But, is also breathable and not a sealer (as a sealer actually seals the concrete 100% and does not allow vapour transmission).