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Technical Article

Diamond polished concrete process

Polished concrete is concrete that has been treated with a chemical densifier and ground with progressively finer grinding tools. The grinding tools are usually progressive grits of diamond grinding cup wheels and diamond polishing pads. Typically, concrete is not considered polished before 400 grit, and it is normally finished to either the 800, 1500, or 3000 grit level. Stains and dyes are often applied to enhance polished concrete as well as other options such as scoring, creating radial lines, grids, bands, borders, and other designs.

Diamond polished concrete process

A diamond polished concrete floor is very time-consuming if done correctly, this is due to the fact that there are at least 10 to 15 steps involved. The general rule is to start the initial grinding with a coarse 16 or 30 grit diamond and finish with a 1500 or 3000 grit diamond, depending on the gloss level required. These diamonds are impregnated inside a metal- or resin-bonded segment. Typically the diamonds' grit size will double once the first grind has been carried out. The use of 16 or 30 grit size diamonds, then use 60/80-grit diamonds followed by the 120-grit metal bond segments. The polishing process begins with a 50-grit diamond resin pad instead of a metal segment. When using the resin pads the steps may be 100, then 200, 400, 800, 1500 and finally 3000 grit. 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; these consist of a lithium, potassium sodium silicates. A grouting chemical is also used throughout the process to fill in any holes, cracks or imperfections that were exposed from the initial coarse grinding step. The concrete is then sealed with a natural-look impregnating sealer; this sealer penetrates 2–5 mm inside the pores of the concrete preventing any deep staining from oils and spills.