5 Variables That Affect Concrete Grinding Outcomes
Concrete grinding refers to one of the processes through which concrete surfaces are modified so that they are smoother or reflective. This article discusses some of the variables that concrete contractors manipulate in order to produce the desired outcomes. Use this information to identify what your technical limitations are in case you want to perform this project on your own.
The Equipment Selected
Careful attention is devoted to the equipment that will be used during the grinding process so that only desired effects are created. For example, a heavy machine will exert a lot of pressure on the abrasive being used. This can cause more material to be removed from the surface that is being ground. Machine weight should therefore be balanced with other grinding parameters, such as the speed of movement, so that adverse effects are avoided.
Speed of Movement
As already mentioned, concrete grinding is done using equipment, such as motorised grinders. Contractors can influence how the surface will appear by varying the speed at which the grinding equipment moves over the concrete surface. For example, a high sheen can be achieved by moving the grinder slowly over the concrete so that the surface shows fewer marks of the abrasive material.
Densifiers are products that are applied in order to make the concrete surface harder during the progressive stages of the grinding process. The results of the grinding process can be manipulated by the careful selection of the specific densifier to use. The timing of the densifier's application can also impact the results of the grinding process. For example, some densifiers may be ideal for applications where a matte finish is desired while others are suitable for producing a highly reflective surface.
As already mentioned, grinding is performed by using different grades of abrasives. The process's results are therefore subject to several factors related to the abrasives selected and how they are used. For example, the sequence of the abrasives used determines how shiny or smooth the concrete surface will be at the end of the process. Similarly, the point at which the contractor changes from one abrasive to another can affect the outcomes.
The concrete is usually cleaned before switching to a finer abrasive. The extent to which the cleaning is performed impacts the results of the grinding process. For example, thorough cleaning removes the residues generated by the previous abrasive. This allows the new abrasive to have maximum effect on the surface one is grinding.
Concrete grinding can also be affected by other factors that are often outside the control of the person performing the grinding project. These include how flat the surface is and at what pressure the concrete was poured. A site analysis needs to be conducted so that the grinding process can be tweaked in order to try and limit the negative effects of those extraneous factors. Leave the entire process to a professional who can make the right judgement calls in such situations.