Concrete – one of the most versatile products ever created & utilized heavily as both a primary floor surface and also as the main substrate for the application of flooring compounds.
In all cases, the quality of the finished surface is directly related to the quality of the concrete preparation techniques used. In the case of newly laid concrete, a mechanically weak surface layer with high water content forms during the drying out period (known as laitance) which must be removed prior to polishing the concrete or applying a surface coating. For existing concrete, any failed coating or contaminants (e.g. greases, oils, and other solids) should also be removed prior to the application of a new coating.
MK Coatings has the skills and a vast pool of knowledge in concrete surface preparation and can tackle almost any project for our clients.
Concrete Shot Blasting
Shot blasting is the preferred method of preparing large area floor surfaces and those where the finish of the floor surface must be cleaned and textured to establish the best adhesive properties; blasting also has the advantage of re-texturing any existing profile.
The actual process of blast cleaning involves tiny steel balls (shot) being thrown at the surface to be cleaned via a high velocity rotating blast wheel. By varying the speed of the blasting machine, the rate of flow of shot & the size of the shot, differing surface textures can be achieved. This process conditions the floor surface, leaving a profile that allows coatings to gain both physical and chemical adhesion.
All of our shot blasting machines utilise dust free technology, where both spent abrasive and contaminants are vacuumed up into a recovery unit; a totally enclosed process which is environmentally friendly, efficient and also very cost effective.
Concrete Planing / Scarifying
Planer / Scarifier machines use steel or carbide tipped cutters connected to a high speed rotating drum to fracture the old, contaminated floor thus abrading the concrete surface. This abrasion leads to a rougher surface than shot blasting, but through the use of varying cutters the smoothness of finish can be controlled.
However, there are many instances where a scarified finish is prefered to that of shot blasting. For instance, removal of rubber deposits from airport runways via scarification leaves a cleaned surface with anti-skid properties. Further for thick, tough, durable surface coatings, a scarified finish provides a greater surface area for surface adhesion. Scarifying is also preferred over shot blasting when removing rubbery or sticky surfaces.
Planing / Scarifying is also the preferred method when the surface that needs to be removed is quite thick.
Similarly to our Autoblast Shot Blasting machines, our planer / scarifiers can be utilised with vacuums to remove contaminants & debris in a totally enclosed, environmentally friendly process.
Concrete grinding is a surface preparation technique that is sometimes overlooked, many contractors concentrating on grinding as a polishing process. Whilst polishing is an important process, grinding as a surface preparation technique has a wide and versatile application.
MK Coatings use many types of grinding machines – from small to the large Triple Head Planetary Floor Grinder depending upon the task in hand. As well as grinding the surface, the equipment range can be quickly fitted with various tools for removing, for example, waterproof membranes, elastomeric coatings and heavily built up adhesives. Diamond grinding plates are easily fitted for the light preparation of surfaces for thin coating applications and are available for both hard and soft surfaces. Specialist tools can be used for the rapid removal of adhesive, coatings and failed latex from a hard substrate.
Concrete grinders are also the ideal choice for repairing imperfections in concrete floors, slabs and walkways; gently evening out any imperfections to leave a smooth finish.
Grinding concrete surfaces may be a slower process than shot blasting or scarifying techniques, but is the only option when either a polished finish or a micro-fine substrate is required for a surface coating.