Concrete is one of the most common tools used in construction- in fact, over 70% of people around the world live in a structure that contains concrete. This makes sense when you consider that it's one of the strongest and most versatile building materials on the market.
In addition to being strong enough to withstand multiple weather conditions and lasting for many decades, concrete is easy for contractors like you to manipulate. Here, we're going to talk about how you can use and select a concrete grinding wheel that will ensure the highest possible productivity levels for your next project.
What Is a Concrete Grinding Wheel?
A concrete grinding wheel is an aspect of a grinding machine that fits within it for abrasive cutting operations. They are made from a coarse-particle aggregate such as ceramic, silicon carbide, aluminum oxide, or cubic boron nitride. However, the hardest and most common aggregate for these tools is diamond since it is capable of sanding down floors of any hardness.
Each grinding wheel has five key characteristics:
- Material hardness (depending on how abrasive the concrete being ground is)
- Grain size (The physical size of your abrasive grains ranging from 10 [coarsest] to 600 [finest])
- Wheel grade (How soft or hard the bond is that holds the material in place)
- Grain spacing (The density of the spacing between grains of abrasive material)
- Bond type (The method by which the wheel holds abrasives [e.g. rubber, metal, silicate, etc])
The option that you select should entirely depend on the applications that you use the wheel for.
How Are They Used?
Grinding wheels are inserted into the concrete grinder prior to use. Whether you're using a handheld grinder or one that you push while walking behind, you will need to install the wheel into the body of the machine. You then can turn it on and guide the machine over the surface that you're grinding down so that the abrasive particles level the surface out and eliminate blemishes.
The end result is a smooth concrete surface that has none of the naturally sharp or grainy parts that occur after it has dried. This is critical for a variety of applications including garage floors, factory and warehouse interiors, walls of concrete buildings, park benches, windowsills, and more.
How to Select the Correct Diamond Fitting for Your Concrete Grinder
Diamond fittings are by far the best abrasive fittings for concrete grinders. They're able to grind down any material no matter how hard it is so you don't need to worry about it breaking halfway through a contracting job. They also are likely to last longer because they are a 10 on the Mohs Hardness Scale (and thus don't become ineffective easily).
However, you can't just use any diamond fitting for your concrete grinder. There are a few factors that you need to consider.
The first is the size of the wheel you need. You must select something that fits seamlessly within the tool that you plan to use. Make sure to measure the diameter of your machine appropriately and select something of the necessary size- your user manual will likely have information on this as well.
You also must consider whether you want a single, double, or multi-row diamond grinding wheel. Double rim or multi rim grinders will perform twice as intensely and will therefore smooth uneven surfaces down perfectly. However, they're more expensive and may not be available in smaller sizes (such as those you would use for handheld grinders).
What Type of Grinding Wheel Do You Need?
Now that you know the basics of grinding wheels, it's time to look into the best concrete grinding wheel options. Read on to learn some of the most common types of wheels. We'll also cover the applications that each of them works best for so that you can make the most informed choice possible.
Straight Grinding Wheels
A straight grinding wheel is the most basic grinding tool on the market. They're used not only to polish small areas of concrete but also to sharpen household tools. These tools include chisels and blades, so if you're a smaller contractor looking for something that works for multiple applications, this may be your best bet. However, it isn't great for larger applications.
Grinding Cup Wheels
A concrete grinding cup wheel is the most common tool for polishing concrete (and stone). Depending on the grit used, it can also take on jobs like removing adhesive from concrete surfaces.
If you're looking for a versatile tool that gets the job done, you can purchase one of these tools anywhere up to 36 inches in diameter. Inserting these in a walk-behind or driveable grinder is completely possible because they are manufactured in such large sizes, but smaller ones are perfect for handheld grinders.
Grinding Dish Wheels
Dish wheels look similar to cup wheels, but they have a thinner surface edge. They also are more shallow. Because of this, they can fit into thinner areas and tight crevices that a cup wheel would not be able to squeeze into.
If you plan to use a cup grinding wheel, it's a good idea to get a dish wheel that you can change it out with as well. This will let you get into every nook and cranny of a space to ensure even and smooth flooring. This makes them perfect for residential jobs because it lets the people you're working for have an awesome concrete floor for any room.
Now that you know how to choose a concrete grinding wheel that works for your needs, it's time to begin your journey towards being a more efficient flooring contractor.
Send us a demo request to try any of our popular concrete grinding and polishing tools. All you need to do is select the series and application that you want to try out and our experts will get back to you with more information about your requested product. We look forward to helping you with your next project, so don't hesitate to reach out.