What is Concrete Diamond Polishing

AUTHOR : SUPER CONCRETE TOOLS Date : 10/11/2014 8:01:07 AM
 Diamond Polished Concrete is very similar to sanding wood. Heavy-duty polishing machines equipped
with progressively finer grits of diamond-impregnated disks (akin to sandpaper) are used to gradually
grind down surfaces to the desired degree of sheen on the concrete.
The process begins with the use of coarse metal bonded diamond disks. These segments are coarse
enough to remove minor pits, blemishes, stains, or light coatings from the floor in preparation for final
smoothing. Depending on the condition of the concrete, this initial rough grinding is generally a three to
four-step process.
The next steps involve fine grinding of the concrete surface using diamond abrasives embedded in a
plastic or resin matrix. Crews use ever-finer grits of polishing disks (a process called lapping) until the
floor has the desired sheen. For an extremely high-gloss finish, a final grit of 1500 or 3000 may be used.
Experienced polishing crews know when to switch to the next-finer grit by observing the floor surface
and its reaction to the polishing. The diamond polishing process will typically take 8-10 passes
depending on desired sheen and condition of the concrete.
Also, much like wood, each piece of concrete takes on its own characteristics and no two floors are ever
alike. It is very important to have an experienced concrete polishing professional evaluate your floor
before you begin polishing. There are many factors that must be taken into consideration before the
process begins such as the aggregate level, concrete hardness, accessibility, flatness, existing stains or
scratches, age of the concrete, use of the floor, and owner’s expectations.
Here are some key words to familiarize yourself with if you are interested in a Diamond Polished
Concrete floor.
Dry Grinding
Grinding and/or Polishing without the use of any water. This is the preferred method but it creates lots
of dust so you must have a vacuum hooked up to your machine if you are grinding dry.
Wet Grinding
Sometimes when you want to grind more aggressively you will use a process called wet grinding. This
means the floor is wet while your machine is running. This process does not create as much dust but
more of a slurry that must be cleaned and contained.
Metal Bonded Diamonds
These disks have larger diamonds to allow for more aggressive grinding. They are held together by
metal and will not allow the diamonds to break free as easily.
Resin Bonded Diamonds
Resin Bonded Diamonds are used for the actual polishing process and the diamonds on the disks are
held together by resign and can be released much easier than metals so it creates more friction. You
need friction to polish the floor.
Grit Level
Grit Levels are like the Sand Paper Grit Levels. You start out low and go as high as you want your floor
sheen to go.
Metal Bonded - 40, 80, 120
Resign Bonded 100, 150, 200, 400, 800, 1500, 3000 grit
Exposed Aggregate
Some owners like to see an exposed aggregate in the concrete. The installer must grind the floor deeper
to show the aggregate then start polishing. It is very important in this process to meet with your
concrete finisher before the slab is poured to ensure the aggregate is floated to the to allow for a
uniform look on the floor.