However, amid these numerous options, choosing the best equipment for you or your company becomes easier when you understand the essential features of different concrete grinders and what to look out for when making the buying.
You must also be aware that the equipment used for commercial concrete flooring might not necessarily work for industrial purposes.
Below are some of the factors to consider before choosing the best equipment.
- The purpose: The equipment used for floor grinding depends on whether it’s meant for commercial or industrial use. Sometimes, it’s a combination of the two. Knowing where the equipment will be used helps minimize cost and avoid unnecessary stress. For example, the cost of equipment meant for commercial use will be more expensive than equipment meant for residential use.
- Service offer: You must also consider the service you’re offering. This will guide you in choosing the right equipment. For example, if you’re doing heavy surface preparation, you need a machine with adequate horsepower and weight. If you’re doing light or medium prep work, you should work with a lighter machine with the right abrasives.
- The job size: If the jobs are less than 2,000 square feet, a 22- to 25- inches machine works fast. However, larger equipment will be required if the job is larger than 2,000 square feet. You can also decide to use equipment with multiple pieces of the same size.
- Environment: If you are working in a small environment with little or no space, then consider getting a small machine, but if otherwise, you can go for 32-inches equipment.
Small machines give room for flexibility, but it requires more manpower to operate, while larger machines give reduced flexibility due to the size, but higher and better productivity, with less manpower.
These days, most professionals and enthusiasts use the DIY concrete floor grinding machines. This is because of the advancement in polishing techniques and equipment. If rightly done, concrete floor surfaces can be grounded to a high-gloss finish. This offers the advantages of being economical and durable.
Choosing the best equipment for you or your company might be overwhelming, considering the number of choices you have when it comes to equipment and diamond tooling. This is why these buying tips have been compiled.
- Concrete polishing equipment might be quite expensive, and I am sure you don’t want to waste money on something that won’t work for you in the long run. To avoid this, you must be willing to learn and ask questions when confused. There’s no limit to how many questions you can ask when buying grinding machines! Never assume a thing.
You must understand the terminologies used in the polishing world. For example, there’s a difference between planetary and nonplanetary grinders. To save yourself from being confused, you must be conversant with the basic industry language.
Still, on Planetary, there’s a difference between “passive planetary” and “active planetary.” Passive planetary does not require a secondary belt; the drum uses a single belt, while active planetary uses two separate belts, one drives the drum, and the other drives the grinding heads.
For nonplanetary grinder, the grinding heads are gear-driven, but the drum does not rotate. Although this grinding machine is suitable when removing bulky concrete, care must be taken to avoid striping or visible lines. To prevent this cornrow effect, you must swing the machine sideways.
- When buying your equipment, you should also consider your power options. For example, propane-driven machines save production because they are cordless, and there will be no electrical cords disturbance throughout the production period; you won’t have to depend on electric power too, but the downside is that you need a propane dust extractor. Propane machine also has less power compared to a 480-volt-three-phase machine.
You must also be careful of sweet talks from manufacturers. They try to persuade you into buying what they term “entire system,” but the truth is, most of the time, there’s no one package (“one size fits all”) that completes an entire system.
To help you save time and energy, a list of equipment and supply needs has been compiled.
- Handheld polisher, also called walk-behind edging tool: This has a diameter of 7 inches or less. It’s suitable for tight corners or edges where a large floor polisher can’t move freely.
- A Set of diamond-segmented abrasives: You need to get different grit levels with values between 16 to 3000. Using a higher number gives you a finer abrasive level.
Basically, there are two types of abrasives; finer diamond segments, ranging from 100 to 3000 grit, and coarse diamond segments ranging from 16 to 300 grit. The former is used for honing and final polishing, while the latter is used for surface preparation and initial grinding. The condition of the surface and hardness of the material being polished determines the type of polishing abrasives to be used.
- Floor polisher: This equipment is essential for the success of any polishing project. You need a machine that has a planetary drive system. It should be about 17 to 36 inches in diameter and should be fitted with about four smaller satellite heads to hold the diamond abrasives. Floor polishers weigh between 250 to 1,250 pounds. The heavier the machine, the greater the friction produced, which gives you a far better polish. In case you’re using the dry polish method, ensure your machine has a built-in vacuum port to collect the dust.
- Dust-collection equipment: After grinding the concrete surface, you need to collect the dust generated, which is why this equipment is necessary. It’s best to get a machine that can collect 99% of the generated dust. Dust extractors come in various sizes. Ensure you choose the one that is suitable for the work.
- Penetrating chemical hardener: A liquid chemical hardener is important to protect the surface from water and stain. It is also used to densify and solidify the concrete surface after the initial coarse grinding. The harder the concrete, the better the polish. The product can be applied to an entirely new or existing floor. Although they have different names in the market, they are generally made of lithium-, sodium-, or potassium-based silicates.
- Repair filler: When working on an existing floor, there’s a need to patch cracks developed during the surface preparation stage.
For easy movement of the polishing heads over the floor, it’s best to buy epoxy or other semi-rigid crack filler. Also, ensure to level the surface of the filler.
- Decorative enhancements: Although getting this is optional, it is necessary to beautify the polished concrete. It uses different coloring products and special treatments.
Polishing concrete floors can be so easy when you use the right equipment in the right way; the challenge comes when you have multiple choices to choose from.
With the help of this article, you can now get your concrete grinder and polishing equipment more easily.
This will, in turn, increase your production level and help you make more profit.
Seek the right knowledge to avoid wasting your time and investment on equipment that doesn’t work.
This article offers help in choosing the best equipment for the right purposes.