Choosing the right diamond tools
The choice of tools can make a big difference in the costs incurred and the results obtained during a concrete polishing project. Whether you are a professional or an individual you must understand some of the basics of diamond tooling to be successful in this industry.
The Bond or matrix refers to the material that contains or binds the diamond pieces to the metal segment.
There are several hardnesses of bonds that go from extra soft to extra hard (extra soft, soft, medium, hard and extra hard). For example, when working on the hardest concretes, it is necessary to use and extra soft bond, otherwise with a hard bond the tool will "glaze" or "burn" the floor instead of grinding properly. Conversely, for softer concrete, a hard bond will be chosen - this softer and more abrasive concrete will wear the tool, thus exposing abrasives at the appropriate rate.
Simply, to choose the "Bond" you have to know the hardness of the concrete.
SINGLE SEGMENT VS. DOUBLE SEGMENT VS. 5S VS. 10S
Choosing the type or model of metal segment to use is relative to the type of equipment you are running and your preferences. Among other things, you must consider the weight of the grinder. For example, with a heavier grinder, there will be a higher pressure on the tooling so opting for a tool with more segments will distribute the pressure and be less aggressive when grinding.
The "grits" determines the size of the diamond in your tools as well as the depth of the scratches in the concrete. The lower the grit, the deeper the scratche pattern.
The properties of the concrete as well as the desired finish will help you determine the starting grit. Ideally, we start with a grit that is aggressive enough to "break through" the concrete keeping in mind that starting with a higher will leave less scratches on the concrete. As an example, for an exposed aggregate finish, you could start with a 16-20 grit, for a salt and pepper finish 40-80 grit and for a cream polish 150 grit .
The different grits are used in sequence to remove scratches from the previous grit until the surface is smooth and scratch free.
PCD (Polycrystalline Diamond) tooling is used to cut through and remove surface coatings, such as paint, varnish, glue, epoxy, acrylic, VCT sealant, black glues, parking membranes, etc. Unlike the segments previously discussed, they are designed to cut rather than grind.
Hybrid tools were originally designed to refine the concrete after the use of metal segments and before resins. This can, in some cases, help ensure the transition from grinding steps to polishing steps. Today there are new extremely aggressive hybrid technologies that allow in some cases to replace the initial stages of grinding to metal or simply facilitate the first step of grinding an extremely hard floor without leaving too much scratches.
As with metal and hybrid tools, the resins are used to refine your surface but they are mainly used to polish the surface until the desired shine is achieved. Some resins are specifically designed for dry work and others for working wet so keep that in mind when making your choice.
In conclusion, always keep in ming that every concrete floor is unique and that tools need to be chosen accordingly.