It is the surface that counts

Published 14/11 at 14:42

A year has gone by in the global surface preparation industry and things are different in many corners of the world that certainly don’t help our businesses to grow. However, business must continue and there are still many surfaces out there that needs preparation and renovation, with manufacturers rapidly developing new equipment and tools.

In this annual feature you will find the latest news in terms of surface preparation equipment comprising of solutions for all sorts of surface preparation, containing a number of different types of products and tools. In most cases, different types of dust extraction equipment play a major role in keeping the surface and air clean from dust. In this feature you find quite a great deal of information about how to eliminate hazardous dust.


Polishing perfection with ‘Black Rock’ from Americo

A company we have never featured before in this special feature is US manufacturer Americo, based in Acworth, Georgia. Americo develops and manufactures, among other things, different types of tools for polishing concrete surfaces. Its series of different types of cleaning, polishing and maintenance pads are sold under the brand name Black Rock, a cleaning and polishing system that restores, cleans, and polishes concrete, natural stone, and a wide variety of other floor types. Through a range of abrasive levels, the four pad system allows for a customisable floor care process based on the starting condition of the floor and the desired gloss level. Through its Integrated ‘Matrix Technology’, microscopic abrasive particles embedded in the base web deliver mechanical cleaning action without the need for harmful chemical agents, achieving a clean, high gloss floor. 

There are a variety of pads for polishing and daily maintenance available, each of which represents a step for achieving polishing results. The system is produced using ‘Proprietary Integrated Matrix Technology’. According to Americo, the system is 25% more effective than other solutions available. It is versatile and used for restoring, polishing, and maintaining a wide variety of floor types. Again, according to Americo, this system is up to 15% more durable than competitors with expected pad life of +/-500K SF in daily maintenance. The products are all made in the USA. 

Americo also offers ‘Black Rock Purple High Gloss Polishing Pads’. According to the manufacturer the product is superb for daily cleaning and maintenance. It burnishes floors to a high gloss appearance and is ideal for coated floors in high traffic areas. It is effective with only water for chemical free shine and can be used with rotary machines up to 3,000rpm.


Diamond Products introduces new CV150S slurry vacuum 

Diamond Products, a subsidiary of Tyrolit, has unveiled its new CV150S, a slurry vacuum designed specifically for the construction industry. The CV150S aims to set a new standard in efficiency, reliability, and performance for slurry management. As the construction industry continues to evolve and demand higher productivity and sustainability, the need for effective slurry management solutions has become increasingly vital. Traditional methods of slurry removal often result in inefficiencies, increased downtime, and environmental concerns. The CV150S is engineered to address these challenges head on, providing construction professionals with an easy to use solution that enhances productivity while reducing environmental impact.


Key features of the CV150S

The CV150 is said to possess a robust and durable design and built to withstand the demanding conditions of construction sites, benefitting from a rugged construction and high quality materials. Its robust design provides durability, reducing maintenance costs and increasing overall lifespan. There are two options of wands: plastic or metal. It is also said to be powerful with its 150 CFM electric motor capable of handling the toughest job site cleanups. It also has a large capacity capable of holding many litres of slurry. 

The CV150S slurry vacuum is part of the ‘Core Vac’ line of drilling products and is one of many dust and slurry containment options that Diamond Products offers.


General Equipment’s ‘M-Series’ surface grinder line designed for ‘Magnetach’ tooling system

Another US manufacturer releasing new developments is the General Equipment Company with its M-Series surface grinders, which feature a convenient, versatile magnetic tooling system, being designed for use by both contractors and homeowners alike. These low speed surface grinders are compatible with a wide range of industry standard magnetic type attachments, including those in the company’s Magnetach tooling system, or attachments utilising the ‘Lavina’/’EDCO’ magnetic mount tooling.

The M-Series line includes five different single and dual head grinders: the single head, electric driven SG12EM; the dual head, electric driven SG24EM; the dual head, electric driven SG24E3HP50M; the dual head, electric driven SG24E3HP60M; and the dual head, gas powered SG24GHM. They offer the same performance and durability of General’s long established line of ‘Legacy’ grinders but use magnetic retention for quickly and easily switching attachments instead of the traditional wedge system.

Compatible attachments within General’s Magnetach Tooling System include a ‘PCD’ coating removal system, tungsten carbide coatings removal system and diamond segment diamond grinding system. The attachments are designed to make the grinders ideal for a wide variety of surface preparation projects, including grinding concrete (green to fully cured) and removing various thin film coatings, epoxies, thin to medium glues, mastics, urethanes, concrete levellers and paint.


The new SG7 ‘SurfacePro’ edge grinder offers a compact solution for a variety of jobs

New from General Equipment is also the SG7 SurfacePro. This is believed by the company to be an ideal edge grinder for everyone from ‘do it yourselfers’ to commercial contractors. Intended for smaller areas, it can accommodate a wide variety of surface preparation applications, such as levelling concrete and asphalt with productivity and versatility. The heavy gauge steel frame is ergonomically designed to allow the operator to work in a fully upright position. This greatly reduces the potential for lower back pain, strained knees or other occupational related health issues, all while increasing productivity over handheld grinders. 

The compact size of the SG7 provides advantages over other edge grinders. With a detachable handle and weighing only 17.7kg without a blade, it is easy to lift and transport, fitting in almost any size vehicle. It also provides the rigidity to remove materials with accuracy and control. Other standard features include ‘Anti-Vibe’ caster wheels and a 38.1mm diameter dust connection port and hose to handle applications with dust control requirements. The SG7 also comes with a flexible dust shroud that incorporates a flip up edge for improved viewing of the grinder cup edge when operating near features such as walls. The edge grinder comes supplied with a 178mm diameter diamond grinding cup wheel.


Floor grinders from EDCO solve first layer applications

The US manufacturer has released its new ‘Magna-Trap’ heavy duty 230V electric floor grinder / polisher. According to the manufacturer, it revolutionises flooring projects, tackling first layer applications, levels concrete, and removes industrial strength coverings effortlessly. Its robust dual disc design grinds many cubic metres per hour with Magna-Trap ‘Dyma-Dots’ said to ensure a speedy completion of the job.


The complete solutions in surface preparation delivered from Husqvarna

Husqvarna Construction has further strengthened its surface preparation offering by introducing shot blasters, steel blasters and related dust collectors under the Husqvarna brand. This is the last step in the integration of the Blastrac offering. “Adding the important shot blasting application under the Husqvarna brand to our existing surface preparation solutions – such as floor grinding, scarifying and scraping – represents an important milestone in our goal to support our customers with any surface preparation challenge they may face,” said Stijn Verherstraeten, senior vice president Concrete Surfaces & Floors at Husqvarna Construction.

Shot blasting as a method enables effective cleaning and retexturing of concrete and asphalt. The method can be used for the removal of coatings, paint, epoxy and the removal of markings and rubber from highways. Skid resistance improvement on sidewalks, roads and runways are also application areas for these versatile shot blasters. The addition of steel blasting solutions considerably enhances the existing Husqvarna surface preparation portfolio. The steel blasting applications go broader than just construction, designed to deliver cost effective and efficient solutions for paint removal and steel surface remediation on windmills, ship decks and petrochemical storage vessels. “We’re committed to support our customers all the way – before, during and after their projects. We have dedicated teams for surface preparation in our key markets and are continuously investing in internal and customer training programmes to enhance competence in removing, preparing and refining floors,” said Stijn Verherstraeten. The complete range of newly added machines under the Husqvarna brand includes shotblasters, steel blasters and dust collectors for blasting machines.


Shot blaster troubleshooting with National Flooring Equipment

Shot blasters are designed to clean and profile a concrete surface in a single step, making them a popular choice with contractors during floor preparation. “While versatile, these machines can seem like a three year old throwing a tantrum if the users are unsure of how to handle them,” says Dave Bigham, director of global training a surface preparation company National Flooring Equipment. Here, Bigham offers some solutions to common problems contractors run into when using shot blasters. 

“Shot blasters propel small round steel media, like small metal BBs, at the floor’s surface, hitting the floor before rebounding upwards. They are ideal for removing existing coatings while simultaneously preparing the surface for a new coating, such as an epoxy. These machines are built for effective preparation, but in my experience, there are a handful of issues that contractors commonly run into onsite that can be avoided with preparation.”


Onsite issues

“The most common problem contractors experience when using a shot blaster onsite is equipment ‘dropping shot’ or ‘puking’.  This happens when shot rebounds erratically and remains lying on the surface instead of being drawn back up into the hopper, creating a barrier to removing the coating. This often occurs on soft surfaces like glue, or uneven surfaces, like very rough or tined concrete, so contractors should consider using other tools on these coverings, like scrapers or grinders. Shot blasters also work best when travelling forwards and in a straight line. Attempting to drive a self-propelled machine through curves, or reverse, could result in dropped shot. Instead, contractors can use an up and down pattern, always moving away from the vacuum to protect the power cable, leaving the turning points until the end.

“Regular maintenance of machine parts, like the blast wheel, is also essential to maintain proper function. Unlike some machinery, contractors can conduct shot blaster maintenance onsite because complete disassembly is not usually required. Although they can initially seem complicated, contractors can tension belts and change blast wheels and liners on the job, minimising downtime.”


Shot blasters don’t suck 

“A shot blaster needs sufficient dust collection to operate correctly and the bigger the tool’s footprint, the higher spec of the required dust collector. If a dust collector is too small for the job, has dirty filters, or needs maintenance, it will be difficult to vacuum the space. Any dust left on the surface requires additional labour to clean up, or it could cycle through the machine and cause wear and tear by abrading the interior surfaces. Furthermore, any dust recirculating through the blaster can require the machine to work harder, and this increased power load can cause a site’s circuit breakers to trip, disrupting work elsewhere. Dust collector maintenance and using separate power supplies with separate breakers for the shot blaster and the dust collector can help prevent tripping.”


Feel the power

“Naturally, bigger shot blasters require more power, and the size of the job will dictate the most appropriate shot blaster. For example, small, 110V blasters can cover around 400m2/h, while large machines running on 480V three phase power can cover 30,000m2/h. Contractors should choose the machine most suited to the job and ensure the correct power supply is available before starting work. A machine being fed insufficient power will either work improperly or not at all. For instance, a self-propelled machine might move, but the blast wheel probably won’t start firing shot. Contractors should also consider what power cord they use. A longer cord might make it easier to navigate the site but it may also slow down the machine; using the supplied cord could improve machine efficiency. Just like with toddlers, while they may seem complicated and finickity at first, taking the time to understand what makes a shot blaster tick can make a contractor’s life much easier,” concludes Dave Bigham.


The new Schwamborn DSM 250S for finishing and polishing of concrete and design floors

German manufacturer Schwamborn has many new products in this feature. They include the Schwamborn DSM 250S for finishing and polishing of concrete and design floors, the use of which makes it possible to grind up to the edge during ground preparation, and also during the finishing and polishing of concrete and design floors. The new DSM 250S has all the advantages of the DSM 250 for grinding up to the edge, including the swivelling grinding head and the freely adjustable extractor hood that automatically adapts to the wall contour during edge grinding. In addition, the DSM 250S has been 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 edge.


Schwamborn adds floor stripper to its product range

The German company now also offers special machines for the removal of carpeting, sports floors, tiles and parquet. ‘With us you make floors good...’ is the tagline of Schwamborn. Said to be the market leader in Germany for concrete grinding and cleaning machines, it is now rounding off its product portfolio with floor strippers. “We always aim to offer the best possible solution for every type of floor finish,” says Eckart Schwamborn, CEO at Schwamborn. “With the new floor strippers, we are closing a gap and getting closer and closer to our goal.” In addition to a wide variety of concrete grinding machines, concrete milling machines, single disc machines, and what is said to be the world's first wall and ceiling grinder - which has won several innovation awards - Schwamborn now also offers professional machines for decorating during renovation work. The Schwamborn floor strippers are floor treatment machines for removing floor coverings and their adhesives with cutters, cutter shafts, blades or scraper blades.


Systematic product range

The ‘Schwamborn system’ describes Schwamborn’s systematic, solution oriented configuration of the machine and the tools for floor processing. This concept of consistent focus on customer benefits, which has been successful in the challenges of subfloor preparation, renovation, design as well as in the care and cleaning of floors, has now also been applied to the new product line. “Machines are usually selected on the basis of the size of the surface to be treated and the force required. Then it comes down to equipping them with the most suitable tools specifically designed for the task at hand,” says Schwamborn product manager Tobias Raab. “This ensures the best possible efficiency in terms of robustness, area performance, processing speed and thoroughness.”

The product range thus extends from compact, robust machines for small and medium sized areas, such as the FBS 105 or FBS 190 models, which are designed to be powerful with hydraulic technology, to ride on machines. For example, the ride on floor stripper FBS 1200 is said to be able to remove a worn sports floor in a gym in no time at all. This is because the optimised motor technology ensures long running times for this battery powered model.

The selection of suitable tools also means that almost any problem can be accommodated. Cutter shafts are used for resin bonded gravel, tiles and ceramics. A range of different cutters and scraper blades are available for removing linoleum, sports surfaces, carpeting and adhesives. These are available in various geometries, dimensions and degrees of sharpness to suit the respective application, saving the operator a lot of effort, time and material costs.


Shockingly powerful – FloorZilla hybrid cleaning pads

Thanks to the innovative ‘VreactiV’ technology, FloorZilla cleaning pads are said to remove even heavy soiling without the use of chemicals and be extremely gentle on the valuable floor covering. The FloorZilla cleaning pads' high cleaning performance and simultaneously gentle floor treatment is made possible by VreactiV technology and its use of freely movable cleaning grains. These help to significantly reduce annoying process repetitions and cleaning intervals without damaging the floor covering. The result is said to be better, faster and longer lasting cleaning and sealing effects on a wide variety of floor coverings. With the use of FloorZilla cleaning pads, floor cleaning becomes floor finishing at the same time and the operator performs environmentally friendly and economical maintenance cleaning or deep cleaning that cleans in one step, and at the same time makes the floor covering sustainably less susceptible to soiling. FloorZilla cleaning pads are designed for stone floors, PVC, linoleum and many other floor coverings treated with floor cleaning machines. 

VreactiV is the name of the technology behind the innovative FloorZilla cleaning pads, which enable improved cleaning performance with lower water consumption, without chemicals and with longer durability. This innovation is now available for the cleaning machines from the German manufacturer Schwamborn.


Efficient and sustainable

“We are very pleased that we, as the original equipment manufacturer, can offer these revolutionary cleaning pads for our machines,” explains Eckart Schwamborn, CEO of Schwamborn. “Tests have convinced us that these pads are more thorough, durable and sustainable than conventional cleaning pads”. Schwamborn was particularly convinced by the lower water consumption and the suitability for dry cleaning. “Even with completely water free polishing, the results convinced us,” he adds. 

Made entirely from recycled material, the pads consist of three layers: a fleece that ensures a secure hold on oscillating and rotating single disc machines; a PUR foam that also acts as a water reservoir and the five VreactiV surfaces. The innovation results in the firm bonding of millions of tiny silicon carbide grains on an elastic surface. This creates a 3D mobility that significantly increases the cleaning performance due to the high number of grains acting on the floor. In addition, the contact pressure is said to be approx. 300% higher than that of conventional pads, which nevertheless enables gentle cleaning of natural stone, rubber, terrazzo, PVC and industrial floors. “The VreactiV surfaces adapt so perfectly to the ground due to the movable SiC grains meaning that there is significantly less wear and thus increased service life,” explains Tobias Raab, product manager at Schwamborn. “FloorZilla pads are therefore the perfect complement to our traditionally powerful cleaning machines and not least for our new oscillating OES 430.”

 The pads are available in four variants: green and yellow are suitable for maintenance cleaning of resilient and harder floors, while red and black are designed for removing heavier soiling and for basic cleaning of stone floors. The green and yellow pads are suitable for dry polishing. Wet application is possible with all pads and are therefore powerful against dirt and gentle on floors.


New products from Superabrasive and expansion of the factory

Superabrasive’s ‘Lavina’ line has recently expanded with the introduction of new models for the S7 generation of grinders. The first 783mm S7 models were unveiled at the World of Concrete in January 2023, and now several 673mm machines have been added to the lineup. These include two propane grinders (one with a Kawasaki engine and one with a Kohler), as well as two electric grinders. All of the new models feature the S7 frame design with upgraded weights and handle, as well as a completely sealed and dust proof grinding head with a redesigned chain driven planetary drive, stronger timing belt, and upgraded shafts and pulleys. These new features provide a better operator experience with less vibrations, easier tool changes, and longer service intervals. 

Over the last decade, Superabrasive has made some significant improvements to its factory, expanding it from 18,500m2 to 30,840m2 and investing in new equipment and technology. A brand new facility spanning 7,246m2 was built this year, and will be used for production of power trowels.


Tyrolit focuses on best results in floor grinding and floor prep

Tyrolit says it is setting new standards in floor grinding and floor prep with its in house range of tools and machines for this field of application. To illustrate this, in mid-October 2023, the old winepress room in Bächlingen (Lanenburg), Germany was the scene of a comprehensive floor renovation, in which a large part of the Tyrolit floor grinding range was used. The winepress room dates back to 1766 and is frequently used for various community events as well as for celebrations and weddings. The municipality requested a low maintenance floor for the building, and so the existing floor was reconditioned in a total of seven grinding processes with diamond tools in different grit sizes. After three rough grinding steps, existing cracks were filled and, subsequently the floor was fine grinded and polished in another four steps. As a final step, the floor was impregnated to optimally withstand future loads and to ensure easy cleaning. The old floor consisted of different surfaces and materials, was very uneven and had cracks in some places, which basically turned out to be the biggest challenge of the project. Nevertheless, the Tyrolit team was able to complete the work within the planned time frame without any problems. 


A comprehensive range for floor grinding and floor prep

The Tyrolit assortment for floor grinding and floor prep is comprehensive, ranging from floor grinders, extraction systems and floor strippers to shot blasters and milling machines, the company offers various machine solutions. The range is complemented by a wide selection of perfectly matched diamond tools, including metal bond grinding shoes for floors with different degrees of hardness, as well as resin and ceramic bond grinding and polishing tools. Chemicals for repairing and finishing floors, various sealers and fillers round off the assortment.


Floor grinders with grinding widths of up to 780mm

Tyrolit floor grinding machines are currently available for grinding widths of between 280mm to 780mm. The powerful floor grinders FGE515 and FGE780 both feature an innovative gear concept for maximum productivity. While the FGE515 impresses with its compact design and dismountable machine parts, the FGE780 is a self-propelled, professional machine with a water tank and a dust extraction system that can, nevertheless, be operated easily and intuitively via remote control. Both floor grinders were used for the renovation in Bächlingen. Along the walls, the floor was additionally grinded with the compact FGE280 floor grinder, as well as by hand with angle grinders and corresponding diamond tools from Tyrolit.


Paulo Bergstrand back in business for Tyrolit 

The industry probably remembers Paulo Bergstrand, formerly owner, sales manager and president of Swedish floor grinding manufacturer Scanmaskin. Bergstrand left Scanmaskin some years ago to work in another sector of construction equipment. But now he is back in the surface preparation industry again. Earlier this year he was hired by Austrian manufacturer Tyrolit and was appointed sales director. Floor Grinding and Surface Preparation, Europe and Middle East. Berstrand is based in Gothenburg, Sweden. Welcome back Paulo!


Von Arx into the dust extraction business

In a standalone article directly after this feature, you can read about Swiss manufacturer Von Arx’s journey during the last year, with an interview of the company’s owner Fredrik Åkermark, formerly of Pullman Ermator and Husqvarna.


Worx+ from Australia, a pioneer in concrete floor grinding and polishing

Worx+’s longstanding history and expertise in the concrete grinding and polishing industry play an integral part in improving daily operations for contractors in the field. If you’re familiar with the King Concepts brand, you know their development and creation of Dual-Drive planetary grinders, ‘Redi-Lock’ and ‘Hiperfloor (to name but two) which were acquired by Husqvarna and are still regarded by many contractors globally as the industry standard for productivity. Since the acquisition, the former owners moved on to create Worx+. Now 10 years old, Worx+ has been in the concrete grinding and polishing industry developing constant innovation in a strong lineup of equipment, tooling, machinery, servicing and dust management. Worx+’s absolute commitment to providing total solutions to its customers ensures all solutions contribute to real differences for contractors and their daily operations. Worx+’s latest products and innovations related to surface preparation include the following.


Machinery from Worx+

The power, performance and output of grinding machines play an obvious and crucial role in the outcome of surface preparation operations. Worx+ says the company gives contractors the ability to optimise machinery performance and output with the Worx+ ‘Big Block’ upgrade. This upgrade includes a 15kW motor upgrade, software tune-up, and mechanical components to ramp up performance and pump out more metres. The Worx+ servicing team has seen countless Husqvarna and HTC machines come through for a Big Block motor upgrade. Dust management systems help with worksite and personnel safety and containment of dust, but some forget that high quality dust management equipment can make a significant difference in operational efficiencies and production capacity. Worx+ states that it provides a superior and robust dust extraction product line up that does just that. The Airworx 55T dust extractor has been re-modelled to a more compact design for easy transportation with no loss in power output and a 15% increase in filtration capacity compared to its predecessor. 

Another highlight in the Worx+ dust extractor line up is the Airworx SCS. A single chamber separator with a unique bypass valve system that allows for continuous airflow through the separator to the vacuum unit, enabling dust bag changes without the need to turn off the vacuum system. Improving efficiency and boosting operator productivity by up to 25%. 

Dust management doesn’t stop there for Worx+. They’ve also released their own range of air cleaners or air scrubbers — industrial-grade air purification systems to regulate worksite environmental air quality. 


Diamond tooling from Worx+

Tooling selection is key when it comes to delivering effective surface preparation. The Worx+ team developed the ‘ROX’ metal bond diamond range to offer fast and easy grinding for increased productivity rates. It’s said to set advanced, high-performance benchmarks in diamond tooling output and longevity with a variety of diamond shapes and its unique integrated ‘Continuous Grinding Technology’ (CGT). The ROX range is designed to deliver high output for heavy-duty surface preparation and stock removal all the way through to high-end polishing.

For more specialised surface prep diamonds, Worx+ offers the ‘Zig Zag’ diamond tool range, designed to be high-performance tools for high-speed surface preparation applications and for aggression on harder concrete. Their unique design allows operators to apply pressure with greater stability than traditional thin segments. Multiple leading edges increase speed and decrease the heat of segments more effectively than conventional tools thereby increasing performance output. 


Floor treatment

Many would be familiar with liquid grout, densifiers, and sealers in the world of concrete grinding and polishing, but perhaps not with grinding accelerators. Welcome, Totally ‘Cut Sikk’. A floor treatment specifically developed to help accelerate grinding applications, particularly in the surface preparation stages — an industry-first from Worx+. It is said by the Australian company to be the grinding accelerator of choice for fantastic metal bond grinding impact and the fast-tracking of surface preparation. Formulated to accelerate grinding, cut through surface contaminates faster, and maximise grinding performance, it is available in ‘Totally Cut Sikk Regular’ (TCSR) which is best used for grinding applications free from thick surface contaminants. The other model, ‘Totally Cut Sikk Aggro’ (TCSA), is designed to maximise metal bond grinding performance for the removal of thicker surface contaminants (e.g., carpet & vinyl glue/adhesive, flexible ceramic tile adhesive etc.).

Surface preparation is just the tip of the iceberg for Worx+. The company offers a full lineup of tooling, machinery, floor treatment, and servicing to provide total solutions for concrete grinding and polishing contractors.


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