Besides providing aesthetic appeal, part of the draw of polished concrete is its environmental friendliness. "Polished concrete as well as grind and sealed concrete are being written into specs every day, and it is really opening some people's eyes to all the possibilities that these floor options can bring in almost any environment,' says Dave Padgett, vice president of CPS. "Also the opportunity for LEED points to be obtained through the use of these 'green' flooring options is a major plus. Architects everywhere are leading the way in providing sustainable options to clients that are investing in the future of our planet. Sustainable polished concrete is an excellent example of the forward thinking necessary to provide a safe and lasting future," he says.
The new CPS G-320 and G-250 planetary grinders, as well as the G-320XT and the G-250XT, will be unveiled at the WOC 2008 show in Las Vegas. These machines are engineered to be a mixture of power, durability, convenience and safety. They feature newly designed pulley boxes rated at over 50 hp and solid gear design planetary drive system as well as the new patent pending SlipClutch technology designed for safety of both the operator and the machine. The CPS systems also include new frame designs for easy break down and use.
Coatings and colors
Manufacturers of thin coating systems, including waterproofing and epoxies, are finally recognizing diamond grinders as the wave of the future in territory long held by shot blasting.
"The coatings industry, as far as manufacturers go, has been slow moving in accepting diamond grinding as a legitimate form of prep for thin coating systems," says Marcus Turek, North American sales manager for SASE Company. " There has been positive progress made recently by forward thinking coating manufacturers stemming from positive pull test results from diamond ground preparation on concrete floors."
The SASE Diamatic 780 Pro Diamond Grinder Professional Planetary Grinders are designed for every type of concrete, coating removal, prep work and concrete polishing. It features Floating Head Technology that allows the machine to follow the contour of the floor. Combining horsepower, torque and a solid, all-metal construction, SASE Diamatic utilizes both metal and resin bond diamonds that can be used either wet or dry for concrete grinding and polishing. For dust free grinding and polishing, SASE Company has a comprehensive selection of Dust Collection Systems.
"It is well established that proper surface preparation must be carried out prior to applying floor treatments, and epoxies are no exception," says Paul Robb, Blastrac product manager - grinding and polishing. "Without proper surface preparation, coatings can fail and detach from the surface, ultimately costing the contractor more time and money. Grinders are a preferred method for thin mil and translucent coatings because they can achieve a homogeneous profile and appearance."
SASE's new designs in grinders have helped its customers increase efficiency and thereby productivity. "They're becoming more dependable and that depends on design," says John Gormley, president of StoneCare of Texas. "Before these high efficiency grinders were developed, it was impossible to economically polish concrete. That's what made me look at it."
For homeowners, polished concrete floors provide an affordably elegant alternative to expensive floor treatments - a look designers and decorators are implementing creatively in projects ranging from traditional to contemporary styles. Recent advancements in diamond grinder technology has also created a user-friendly environment for color to be added to polished concrete floors using acid stains and dyes. Additional use of overlays and decorative line cutting can create an elaborate tile pattern or a marble effect.
Smaller grinders are ideal for use in homes. For example, Ward Pedley Jr., president of Concrete Construction Corp., recently used the CPS G240 when working on a client's living room floor. "It's a 40-year-old floor that I ground and polished and put down a 3 by 3 tile pattern," explains Pedley. "It seems like the decorative market is going to continue to grow. As opposed to replacing worn out concrete, you can now polish it."
Safety and maintenance
Advancements aren't limited to how well the machines grind and polish. These systems are now considerably safer and cleaner to operate.
"The previous electric powered equipment was an offshoot of terrazzo grinders," says Ben Timmerman, owner and vice president of Blason Industries. "That type of equipment required 480 volt three-phase, and it's intrinsically more dangerous. There's been a trend in the last three to four years that the equipment has become more user-friendly." Timmerman says of his company's Blastrac grinders, "The design of these machines is the most efficient diamond grinder that I've ever seen."