Grinding and polishing play an essential role in surface preparation today. It has become so crucial that the tendency to obtain quality surfaces traces back to the method carrying out grinding and polishing activities. Even with the popularity of these activities, it is not strange to find end-users making tremendous mistakes while grinding and polishing. These mistakes affect not only the appearance of the surface but also the quality of diamond tools. This article focuses on 6 of the most common grinding and polishing mistakes you are prone to make, and how to avoid them. They are listed and explained below:
Figure 1 Grinding Concrete Floor
Table of Contents
1.Improper Selection of bond for concrete you are working with
Diamonds work uniquely during cutting and set in a unique matrix. The concrete dust produced in the grinding procedure interacts with this matrix and wears it down. Hence, the matrix exposes more diamonds as you grind.
Now that you understand how metal bond diamond tooling works, It is important to select the right tooling for your job. Usually, you will notice small amounts of fine dust when grinding hard concrete. However, when grinding soft concrete, large specks of dust is always noticed. As a rule of thumb, it is best to use hard bond diamonds for soft concrete and soft bond diamonds for hard concrete.
One of the most common mistakes that operators make is selecting the wrong bond for different concrete hardness. When you do this, two things will happen:
1)You will notice a tremendous amount of heat and glazing. Overall, when you try to run the machine, the diamonds will not cut.
2)If you are fortunate enough to have their diamonds cut, then you will experience a bigger problem. Initially, the diamonds will cut very fast and quite well, but it will not last. It will wear out very quickly.
Both outcomes are not desirable because they waste time and money. Besides, the physical appearance of the workpiece will be terrible.
2.Running the grinder too fast
It is not strange to find operators under immense pressure because they need to complete a grinding operation quickly. Consequently, they tend to run the grinder at extremely fast speeds with the hopes of achieving a faster production rate.
Running the grinder at extreme speed will cause overheating, thereby glazing over your diamond tools. This occurrence is particularly common when working on hard concrete. In the long run, it reduces the cutting efficiency of the diamond tools. Many brands of grinders or polishers run at a maximum drum speed of 1200 rpm with the dial set at full power. A rule of thumb is to run your grinder at a drum speed of 600 rpm.
Figure 2 Worker running the grinding machine at moderate speed
3.Purchasing inferior quality diamonds at a lower price
Most operators or end-users prefer to purchase diamond tools at a very low price. This act is a very big mistake to make for diamond tools. You may argue that price does not necessarily determine quality; however, this is a misconception when it comes to diamond tools.
When you purchase inferior tools at a lower price, they tend to wear faster, perform poorly, and even scratch floors. In the end, you will have to replace this tool with a new one, and your overall cost will be higher. A piece of good advice is that you should always purchase diamond tools from trusted suppliers.
Figure 3 Excellent finish after polishing marble floor
4.Failure to inspect the floor
The metal bond diamond is very effective in grinding and polishing a variety of materials such as steel and brass, as long as the material is not “above grade.” This condition means you must not raise the material above the floor surface. And to ensure that you satisfy this condition, you must carry out a proper inspection of the floor.
If indeed there exists anything above the floor surface, you should either grind, cut off, or smack it to knock it below grade. Once you have done this, you may proceed to grind this material along with the concrete.
As straightforward as this task is, many experts and technicians fail to inspect the floor before grinding. The consequence of this can be catastrophic. Usually, it knocks your diamond segment off, which can damage your machine.
5.Failure to understand the process required for the desired outcome
Before deciding on what your starting diamond will be, you must ask yourself some questions. Firstly, you must know what type of finish you are trying to achieve. For instance, you may be trying to achieve a heavy aggregate exposure, cream polish, or salt & pepper finish. If you plan on doing a cream polish, then you must resist the urge to start with a metal bond diamond. The reason for this is because they tend to remove the cream forever.
You must also decide if you will have to remove some things on the floor before polishing. For instance, you might have to remove epoxy coatings before polishing. If you decide to remove epoxy flooring before polishing, then you must resist the urge to use aggressive diamonds. The reason for this is because aggressive diamonds will make deep scratches, which will be extremely difficult to remove.
It is not strange to find operators unsure of the diamond to start with during polishing. As a rule of thumb, you should start with a less aggressive diamond. In doing so, you are on the side of caution because you can always change to a more aggressive diamond.
Figure 4 Grinding concrete surface
6.Neglecting stubborn scratches
A common mistake made by a lot of people while polishing floors is the failure to keep an eye on the finish. It is not strange to find scratches appearing on surfaces while working; what matters the most is how fast you respond to these scratches.
As a rule of thumb, you must remove scratches immediately you notice them. If you think the problem will cure itself, then you have just made a big mistake. It will only continue to manifest as you polish the floor. You must not switch to a more aggressive diamond when you start to see scratches.
Figure 5 Workers seen polishing concrete floor
You are doing yourself a great deal when you avoid these six common mistakes, especially when you purchase equipment from trusted suppliers. NCCuttingtools is a place to get diamond tooling, grinding wheels, and other essential equipment for your grinding and polishing operations. They also have experienced personnel to guide through your challenges. You should also check this video for insight on how to grind and polish concrete.