SURFACE PREPARATION CONTRACTING GOES TWO WAYSPublished 24/11, 2018 at 12:32
The world’s concrete floor grinding and polishing industry is steaming away with the development of new machinery and tools. PDi’s annual feature takes a look at the latest developments for concrete floor grinding and polishing.
Surface preparation technology goes in two directions, aiming at satisfying the requirements of two clear groups of contractors. Firstly, there are those that are mainly focused on floor preparation, often combined with demolition and concrete cutting tasks, which tend to use heavier duty equipment and machinery. The second group mainly works with the concrete floor as a final flooring product, undertaking both grinding and polishing. What we are now seeing however is a trend where more and more contractors that previously only worked on the floor prep side, are now also offering polishing services. Another trend is that it is becoming more common is that contractors are now renting out their equipment, even the newer more advanced systems.
New machinery and tools for floor grinding and polishing are being launched frequently, with many developments coming from China and other East Asian countries. Even though concrete floor grinding and polishing is still increasing, with many new developments occurring, there are still some areas or countries, Japan for example, that have yet to fully embrace either the technology or the opportunities presented therein.
In the following pages PDi takes a look at the very latest developments in the field, and how they are designed to serve the increasingly diverse and complex requirements of contractors and their customers.
Adamas has released a new floor chaser VFX-125. The machine is specially designed for cutting slots (minimum radius approximately 60mm) in non-reinforced concrete floors in order to install plastic pipes for heating systems. Amongst its features is a highly precise cutting depth-control method, and integrated dust extraction system, whilst also being equipped with swivel wheels for manoeuvrability. The VFX-125 has an extendable steering or push bar on the right side of the machine to push in line with the saw blade, and comes complete with an adjustable guide bar for parallel cuts.
Ashine Diamond tools
Committed to the supply of top grade diamond tools for grinding and polishing industries since 1993, Ashine Diamond Tools Co. Ltd is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Ashine has now developed a full range of metal bond grinding products for coating removal and concrete grinding, with one of the greatest strengths of the metal bond being the variety of bond choices for di erent concrete types. The metal formula used enables consistent performance and high efficiency on different concrete surface when grinding. Another new product Ashine brought out in 2018 is a diamond pad system for maintenance and restoration. This new concept has seen the adopting of diamond polishing technology into the cleaning industries. The use of Ashine pads is environmentally friendly, chemical free, efficient and creates a long lasting shine.
Au Tour de Béton
Au Tour du Béton’s range of tools allows users to grind or bush hammer with a simple variable speed grinder. The latest accessory is a highly resistant Ø180 dust shroud that can be connected to a vacuum cleaner in order to limit dust during grinding. The company has also added to its own range of grinders, with two new machines having been introduced: the BU270M bush hammering machine and the TH500M double head machine for both grinding and bush hammering. The BU270M has a 2.2kW motor and operates on 220V. The bush hammer plate is easily fitted under the machine, which can then be adjusted in height by means of a hand wheel located at the back. The hours run meter, located under the handlebar, enables the user to know when to have the machine serviced and perform routine maintenance. Once the plate is installed, removable weights can be added on the head for higher head pressure. The shroud has an outlet for connecting to a vacuum cleaner, and a bordering system enabling bush hammering as close to walls as is possible.
The TH500M has two heads (2x250mm) providing a working width of 500mm. Equipped with a variator, the rpm goes from 200 to 1200 for the single phase version, and from 200 to 1440 for the three phase version. The double head of the TH500 can be equipped with four branch cup grinding wheels, or three branch bush hammer plates. A lifting lever makes it possible to adjust the height of the machine depending on the plates installed. The current range of grinding machines is also in constant evolution, with as a direct response to customer feedback, products being continually improved. The SH320T, SH270M and SH270MLC are now equipped with new steel shrouds that can be easily cleaned and decontaminated if necessary (when dealing with asbestos for example). The company also has plans for new developments in 2019. These include a fully remote controlled machine, the GR1000T, which will enable both grinding and bush hammering for a working width of 1000mm (3x270 mm). The GR1000T will have, as with the rest of the range, an integrated stainless shroud and a vacuum cleaner outlet.
For consumables, Au Tour du Béton now supplies both cup grinding wheels and diamond/PCD wings for aggressive grinding, and finishing tools such as diamond pads. The company’s latest development is a bush hammering plate equipped with 300 tips bush hammers for a sanding finish. The model is available for both hand plate and planetary systems.
Aztec Products is a US manufacturer based in Montgomeryville, Pennsylvania, and now develops and manufactures, amongst other things, propane buffers, propane floor strippers and concrete floor grinders and so forth. Aztec also manufactures propane floor burnishers, which are made to maximise efficiency and minimise waste. The propane powered burnishers are more productive, less expensive and an environmentally cleaner choice than battery burners, being extremely fast and, contrary to popular belief, very ‘green’. In fact, the company states that the new generation of propane burnishers are the greenest burnishing machines on the market based on machine expense, labour expense and emission certifications. Another advantage with propane machines, according to Aztec, is that they have a machine life of at least six years, and cost very little to maintain when compared to battery driven machines that need new batteries. Other advantages are that the propane driven machines also collects hazardous particles and prevent them from entering the respiratory organs of the operator or others in the vicinity of the machine operation. All propane machines from Aztec have green and safety certifications.
Blastrac has launched a number of new machines since the last feature in PDi, include the Blastrac BMG-2200, or the ‘Bull’, which is a large scale ride on floor grinding machine, designed for large horizontal surfaces. With two drive wheels fitted to the front, and a swivel castor located at the back, the machine is highly manoeuvrable both on and off jobsites. Also new is the BMG-780PRO, which has three powerful grinding heads which delivers effective coverage and distribution of grinding pressure on each individual head. This means each grinding head can be operated individually. The machine comes as standard with variable grinding speed rotation direction, as well as an independent suspension system. Another development is the BMG-2200 that also has variable grinding pressure, which makes it eminently suitable for a variety of jobsites. It is designed with an integrated powerful dust collecting system with HEPA 14 filters, which makes the BMG-2200 virtually dust free according to OSHA regulations.
The BB-700E MKII is Blastrac’s new burnisher designed for polished concrete installations and maintenance. It is equipped with an ergonomically comfortable handle in order to reduce operator fatigue, making it the ideal machine for large jobs such as airports, malls, hotels and schools. The BB-700E MKII has two dust exhausts on each side of the oating shroud connected together with a Y-piece connector for better suction. In this way it is dust free in operation. It is also possible to add an optional weight kit for more grinding pressure.
Two new single disc grinders have been launched. The Blastrac BGS-250SC MKII is a single disc concrete grinder specifically designed for small to medium horizontal surface preparation applications. It is as standard equipped with a speed control system in order to be able to carry out any type of operation (grinding, bush hammering, polishing), and very easy and comfortable to use with low vibrations. It is ideal for surface preparation, surface levelling, bush hammering, and preparation before coating and the removal of coating defects or adhesives. The BGS-250SC MKII single disc grinder is also dust free when connected to the appropriate Blastrac dust collection system.
The Blastrac BG-250TWIN is a single disc concrete grinder that works at two different speeds, having been designed for fast and easy switching between normal grinding and using bush hammer tools. The special twin electromotor has two settings: low and high speed. The high speed setting gives the normal rpm's for grinding, whereas the low speed setting provides the optimum rpm for bush hammer tools. This feature eliminates the need for changing the pulleys every time there is a requirement to switch between normal grinding and bush hammer tool operation.
Blastrac’s new triple disc grinder, the BMG-735RS MKII, is a remote controlled floor grinder with 3x240mm discs, being designed for nishing large horizontal surfaces. As with all Blastrac grinders, the BMG-735RS MKII has a solid metal construction to create the ideal weight, with the triple head grinder being dust free when connected to the appropriate dust collection system. In addition to its full range of triple head grinders, the company has developed diamond products, which give the opportunity to process any floor and deal with specific applications. The many features of the grinder range include a floating shroud with integrated floor nozzle, smart easy to use keypad with all relevant information, ergonomically adjustable steer, easy accessible hose connection, and wider and bigger wheels.
HTC has recently added an entirely new grinder, the Duratiq 5 to its award winning Duratiq line of grinders. The Duratiq 5 has a grinding width of 515mm and is available in two models: one with a motor rated at 2.2kW and the other at 4.0kW. Both models possess an entirely new design, with the focus being on ease of handling and power, with these being key factors in this popular machine segment, as well possessing other features that are unique for a model of its size. The Duratiq 5 comes complete with a digital control panel that provides full control of capacity and functions, a new grinding head, hermetically sealed and dustproofed, with high reliability, whilst effective and energy efficient motors provide higher levels of grinding performance. Its modular chassis and grinding head possess quick couplers for easy transport and optimal handling, and its mist cooler system is said to increase productivity by up to 78%. With its compact dimensions, the machine is suitable for both small and medium sized surfaces, and is able to use more than 120 compatible tools which HTC manufactures, making the Duratiq 5 highly versatile. It can handle everything from grinding concrete and other rough surfaces to polishing natural stone and sanding wooden floors.
Hypergrinder from Italy
A fairly new player in the segment is the Italian company, Hypergrinder, which has developed a grinder with an exclusive double rotation system, DCT, or ‘Dual Cut Tech’. The DCT system enables the operator to choose to use a ‘smooth’ setting only using the rotation of the tools (DCT ‘on’ mode), or with the ‘classic’ complete rotation (DCT ‘off’ mode). Due to this innovative function, it is possible to lock the rotation of the main plate and allow only the rotation of the tools, which is said to deliver more aggressive and effective grinding. The ‘on’ setting is ideal for glue and resin removal work, surface preparation and floor levelling, whereas the ‘off’ setting is designed for general polishing, marble polishing, natural stone and concrete. The Hypergrinder is constructed with a single shell chassis, and is highly robust and compact. A 180° over-turning system provides extra weight which increases grinding pressure. The weights when moved back facilitate the tilting operation for tool changes, which is an optional feature. The machine has a 46l water tank, and powerful front and rear LED spotlights which are also optional. The machine comes with a two year / 600h warranty.
German manufacturer Janser has launched what is claimed to be the lightest ride on floor scraper on the market – the Junior Ride-On. A Forward slope design allows for impressive levels of performance in a compact package. Ultra-heavy duty construction, which is normally only found on machines two to three times the size / weight of the new model has been used, and possesses a slide plate which is manually positioned to the desired height while the operator is seated on the machine. Its ‘ultra-safe’ side entrance capability, means that ‘crawling over the front’ of the machine is not required, and is said to be the ideal machine for the removal of floors covered by ceramics, carpet, PVC, parquet, wood, epoxy or similar materials.
The company has also launched an even smaller removal device, the Master Mobi II. This possesses a powerful motor combined with a revised hydraulic direct drive system that ensures high output, with extremely low noise levels. The self-propelled (forward and reverse) machine’s performance is due to the use of a high torque German designed electric motor. It has an adjustable guide handle in six positions that allows ergonomic operation depending on body size, or the preferred working position. Weights can be easily removed for transportation, reducing the net weight of the machine, which is approximately 75kg with a total operating weight of 105kg.
Janser has also added a large ride on stripper called the ADB High-Speed Ride-On. The key benefit of this machine is that it is said to be the most powerful battery powered ride on stripper on the market today. Despite its size, it has a very quiet operation without exhaust gases and no blade vibrations. The machine possesses a robustly constructed chassis and controls for a long operational life. A high quality hydraulic system means that it is easy to handle, with a very precise operation, and is said to be almost maintenance free. A charger is securely installed in the machine, with a battery management system with automatic ‘switch-off’ to protect against total discharge of the batteries. A hydraulic front angle plate and detector plate are included as standard.
National Flooring Equipment
Surface preparation equipment specialist, National Flooring Equipment, has developed a range of innovative floor strippers including the 4230-EUR ride on stripper. The 4230-EUR is available with either a manual blade adjustment, or dual lift feature. Being electric rather than propane powered, it releases no harmful emissions, and as it does not rely on a battery, it is not limited on the number of continuous hours it can operate for. “The 4230-EUR is the smallest and most lightweight of our ride on strippers,” explained Dave Bigham, director of global training initiatives at National Flooring Equipment. “For this reason, it particularly appeals to the European market, which typically has smaller job sites and more size constraints on those sites.”
Klindex has developed new and exclusive remote automatic control technology for grinding and polishing machines. With this system, called AT (Auto Pilot), Klindex machines are able to grind on their own over the entire area, moving forward, turning and coming back, crossing the grinding tracks, leaving no untreated areas. Without any interruption, it is also possible to modify all the variables of the machine with a comfortable, handy and intuitive remote control. The system fitted on the Klindex 850 features an automatic planetary lifting system operated through the remote control. This simplifies transportation and gives great driving power, as well as providing an automatic swinging function and automatic reverse. The autopilot also provides automatic grinding of the whole working surface and extra precision during the edge grinding, combined with high levels of manoeuvrability.
German manufacturer Schwamborn Gerätebau GmbH has released the new DSM 250S for finishing and polishing concrete and design floors. This has been developed to not only grind up to the edge during ground preparation, but also during the finishing and polishing of concrete and design floors. Amongst its features are a swivelling grinding head, and an easily adjustable extractor hood that automatically adapts to the wall contour during edge grinding. In addition, the DSM 250S is fitted with a water tank for wet grinding, and a continuously adjustable rotation speed, which allows edge grinding up to the completely finished design floor. A petrol powered version is also available for the removal of road and parking space markings, as well as smaller grinding work in outside areas without access to a local power connection.
The company has also developed and launched a new range of vacuum cleaners and pre-separators. “Ergonomics and safety to ensure onsite protection of the health of the operators, and other people become more and more important, “explains Schwamborn chief executive Eckart Schwamborn. “For this reason we revised the complete system of floor grinders, vacuum cleaners and pre-separators.” All machines are now equipped with HEPA filters and the more powerful vacuum cleaners, such as the STS 260A, are fitted with automatic filter cleaners for trouble free use without interruption.
Superabrasive has continued to expand its Lavina propane equipment line adding several new propane machines this year, including an all-new 510mm propane grinder, L20G-X, a propane walk behind edger, L13G-X, and two new propane dust extractors, V25G-X and V20G-X. All new machines are said to come with new features for improved productivity, performance and safety on the jobsite. The L20G-X grinder’s new features include a completely redesigned frame with dust proof grinding head, low friction chain gear planetary drives, and integrated weights to provide enhanced manoeuvrability along with easy tool changes. A closed loop fuel management system, Lavina ‘Fuel Minder’, and variable speed engines on all propane models, provide improved efficiency.
Lavina ‘Fuel Minder’ itself is a high performance digital system for closed loop fuel control, which is responsive to changes in engine load, and provides an optimum air to fuel ratio regardless of operating conditions. It features a fuel lock off capability, emissions safety warnings with shutdown, and LCD screen with user interface. Lavina engine kits are EPA and CARB Blue Sky recognised, providing significantly lower than standard emissions.
The L20G-X dust suppression fine misting system with four high pressure spray nozzles, produces 10 micron (or smaller) sized water droplets, which effectively suppresses and removes breathable fugitive dust particles from .1 to 1000 microns. This approach avoids the moisture problems of common spray type systems used in combination with dust extractors. Dust collection is also improved, with the hose connection now being closer to the dust source, and utilises a stainless steel camlock attachment. All Lavina machines now come standard with the new Lavina floating skirt with a flexible brush. A new propane edger, L13G-X, possesses a 335mm grinding head, and is powered by a Kawasaki FJ180V engine. Machine features include tilt adjustment to dial in perfect head pitch, a multi-point levelling system, and improved tilting of head to 45o. Furthermore it has a new adjustable handle bar, new splash shield, and rollers to prevent wall damage.
Superabrasive also introduced new small and mid-size propane dust extractors, enabling contractors to be completely independent from the electrical specs on the job site. The new Lavina V25G-X is a powerful and efficient vacuum with automatic filter cleaning and integrated pre-separator. It has a conical main filter, and a HEPA H13 filter, rated at 99.99% at 0.3 microns, a Longopac bagging system for easier and safer dust disposal, non-marking rubber tyres with brakes, and comes equipped with two separate anti-static hoses (one for the grinder and another one for the wand), as well as a floor tool kit. The V20G-X model is a smaller unit, suitable for small grinders and edgers, and has manual filter cleaning.
Worx+ from Bayswater, Australia, has a great deal of experience in the industry, developing a hard won reputation in the manufacturing and distribution of equipment and tolls for concrete floor grinding. The company has recently added two new products. First is the Aqua Zero, which is for grinding wet. It possesses long life resin pads, which are rubber and Velcro backed to increase flexibility and provide smooth operation, with a highly consistent scratch pattern. These are ideal for floor honing and polishing, and wet cutting power trowelled / burnished concrete where zero aggregate exposure is required before densification. Worx+ other new development is the Totally Cut Sikk which has been designed to accelerate the grinding process, as a cut through surface contaminates faster, with the new product being a grinding compound for total metal bond grinding impact on hard to very hard concrete. The compound ensures that diamond tool sharpness is maintained, delivering a consistent grinding performance, greater material removal, enhanced scratch pattern consistency and increased aggressiveness of the tool at hand.
DRS Flooring solutions by Dr Schulze
Better known for its cutting and drilling solutions, German company Dr Schulze GmbH has now investigated and researched the flooring market in order to offer its customers a selection of highly versatile and productive equipment. In entering the flooring market, the company has a vision not to be just another supplier of machinery and tools, but also offer its customers a complete flooring solution from a single source under the name of DRS-FLOOR.
Following on from in-depth market research and product development, well-known drilling solutions manufacturer Dr Schulz has announced its entry into the flooring market, through the unveiling of DRS-FLOOR. This offering, as well as specialist equipment, consists of supplying full customer service 7 days a week to deal with all technical and business related questions about any type of flooring project. Specially trained DRS-FLOOR engineers are now ready to provide advice and assistance to customers on getting the very best out of their flooring projects.
The engineers will also be able to assist customers get the very best out of the new Dr Schulze range of equipment and peripherals. The new products consists of a full range of chemicals (densifiers, sealers, curings, pore fillers) for the transformation of normal concrete to a high performance industrial or commercial floor. There is also a complete range of innovative materials for the repairing of cracks, joints and other surface defects, and heavy duty machinery for all types of floor processing (shot blasting, scarifying, milling, grinding, polishing and cleaning). In addition, Dr Schulze has developed ranges of diamond tools (PCD, metal bond, resin bond, hybrid bond, bre based etc.) for virtually any application, together with a wide range of dust collectors and separators.
New grinding machinery
One of Dr Schulze's key developments is a brand new grinding machine, DBS-300 Vario, which has been designed for efficient grinding in wall corners, and in smaller areas with limited access. This has been developed specifically to assist in flooring projects where larger grinders would not be able to access efficiently, leading to increases in time and cost. In response to these problems, the team from Dr Schulze has designed a new single disc grinding machine with inclinable grinding head (to left/right), flexible mounted tool cover with two rollers, which ensure exact and smooth sliding along the wall, and LED light for comfortable operation.
The main feature of the machine which will appeal to flooring companies and staff is its 0 to 1200 p/min adjustable rpm. This facilitates PCD milling, metal bond grinding and resin bond polishing tools. The DBS-300 Vario is also equipped with 4 kW 230V engine, frequency convertor and electric adjustment of the machine's height. This adjustment allows the grinding angle to be changed enabling the position of the machine to be set so that the grinding head pushes against the wall by itself, enabling precise and non-tiring operation.
Cracks and joints
For the efficient processing of joints and cracks, Dr Schulze has developed the DSC-200 multi-purpose chaser. This provides a high degree of flexibility of use, and is able to be fitted with a wide range of accessories, meaning that the machine is ideal for a variety of construction floor work. This includes chasing, chamfering, cleaning of cracks, cutting of new joints, reconstructing of old joints (chamfering, cleaning, removing of old filler), cutting and grooving of floor slabs.
Vitally all work can be undertaken ‘completely dry’, with minimal dust emissions, due to opposite direction cutting tool rotation, as well as the machine’s effective dust collection system. Available with various types of main drive (electric 230V or 400V and gasoline driven by Honda GX390 engine) the DCS-200 can be used indoor as well as outdoor for road construction work.
Finally, Dr Schulze has developed an efficient, powerful and easy to operate triple headed planetary machine DBS-820-3H, and four headed planetary DBS-820-4H, both available in manual or in remote controlled versions. These multi-head grinders do not use a conventional belt, but rather a completely sealed oil filled full gear transmission, which is unique to the market. In fact none of Dr Schulze’s grinders’ utilise a conventional belt drive, which requires high levels of maintenance and the replacement of the belt. Dr Schulze’s solution provides low levels of maintenance, which mainly consists of an annual oil change, with the high performance gear boxes requiring little or other attention.