What is polished concrete?
Polish concrete is a conditioned concrete that undergone a series of polishing process by means of mechanical polishing and grinding machine designed for concrete polishing application by professionally expert operators. Application of polished concrete has certain remarkable advantages like increase of durability and strength as well as resistance to wide range of attacks including aesthetic view.
Polished concrete processes
A diamond concrete polishing process is a very lengthy process if done properly. It comprises more than ten steps. It begins with sixty grit diamond grinder polisher and finishing is done with diamonds of variable grits ranging from 800 to 3000 grits depending on exposure level and gross level requirement.
Throughout the process a densifier is used to harden the concrete surface, which allows the concrete to be polished. A number of densifiers can be used like lithium, potassium or sodium silicates.
This system is not considered to be real polished concrete as there is little physical refinement of the concrete slab. However, it does provide a similar look to polished concrete and may be appropriate in some areas. Typically this system is referred to as a “half polish” as generally the surface is only processed through 3 steps of grinding. The surface is densified and sealed.
New polished concrete floor
Process involved in polishing concrete: The concrete floor is cut with a variety of diamond abrasives of the concrete slab. Polishing can be done wet or dry. However, new OSHA regulations on crystalline silica and protecting skilled trades in the concrete, wet refinement systems or the use of industrial vacuums is encouraged.
A densifier can be applied once the concrete is opened up and, in a condition, to readily accept the chemical. There are many types of densifiers including, sodium, potassium, lithium, magnesium fluorosilicate and colloidal.
The densifier is allowed to dry and cure until proper hardness has been achieved, followed by one or more abrasive cuts, which will refine the floor to the desired level of reflectivity.
Pros and cons
Advantage and disadvantages of polished concrete are described below:
• High Durability
Polished concrete flooring is exceptionally strong and durable and hard wearing. It can overcome heavy foot traffic and equipment. It is completely damage proof and is almost impossible to chip or scratch.
• Easy Maintenance
Polished concrete flooring maintenance is easy. Just removal of dust by application of broom is sufficient. Weekly damp mopping for removal of stain, grazing mark, and water marks, and restore gloss is necessary.
• Longer Life-Span
A properly constructed, sealed and maintained polished concrete floor can last more than hundred years or more in roughest and jarring commercial environments.
Polished concrete floor is cheaper depending upon the extent of its complexity. Most installations are quite cost-effective. Particularly if you have an existing concrete floor that is already have ugly stains and you want to refurbish it.
• Wide range of Design Options
Now a days endless designs of amazing colour and texture effects are available with different price of materials. You can also can decorate the concrete surface by engraving and application of stencilled graphics.
• Sanitary applications
Properly finished and sealed concrete floor is resistant to all fluids including water. Coatings can provide waterproof barriers that seal the concrete and prevent contaminants from actually getting to the concrete. Some coatings can also provide anti-microbial protection.
• Slip-Resistant and safe
Concrete surfaces are generally slippery especially in moist environments. Such concrete surfaces can be sealed with a anti-slip epoxy coating application to prevent falls and injuries.
Un protected concrete floors can be sealed with a chemical-resistant epoxy coating to protect them against extreme chemicals attacks like alkaline or acid attack.
• Thermal Shock-Resistivity
Thermal shock-resistant coatings can be applied to concrete flooring to make it thermal shock resistant.
Extreme hardness can make it brittle. It don’t have cushioning that can be a demerit. This can be overcome by addition of anti-fatigue mats to areas where employees stand for a long time.
• Cold resistivity is poor
Do not retain heat very well. That means that in the winter the surface of the floor is chilled.To overcome this, you can embed radiant heating cables in concrete floors to reduce heat loss.
• Moisture penetration.
If not properly finished and sealed, concrete flooring will be very susceptible to penetration by moisture. If your concrete polish contractor is efficient floor finish will be excellent and you need not be worried.
From above statements and information you will be able to take necessary steps and precautions while carrying out your concrete polishing work.