How does Diamond Tooling Work?

Diamond tooling uses diamond segments to scour the concrete and grind the surface. This action can be used to remove not only concrete, but also laitance, old coatings, glues and high spots.

Diamond Tooling has many variables that affects the rate and ability to remove the surface of concrete and coatings. These include:

  • Diamond Speed – This is the one thing needed to make any diamond tooling actually work; it is governed by the machine that the Diamond Tooling is fitted to. Firstly speed is metres per minute; secondly weight per disc.
  • RPM is not the critical number you need to look at. It is the number of metres per minute that the diamond segments are dragged over the surface, which is a combination of the following
    • The RPM by the diameter of the disc
    • The cumulative speed of the tooling and main head;
    • The head pressure (or weight on the diamonds).
  • The weight on each segment – weight is needed to do the job and this is dependent on the available horsepower. Many machines are mechanically inefficient, so the power left over to do the job is not much more than half of the motor power.
  • Diamond Segments are powered to move over the surface and grind. The critical thing is the Diamond speed (metres per minute). The planetary discs on a multi-disc machine (3 or more discs) can be powered so they are actively driven, or be passive (floating). Passive machines rely on the main head they are attached to to give the speed of diamond over the surface. A machine with non-powered (passive) discs usually has a high main disc speed. RPM of the planetary discs does not necessarily mean high production if the final diamond speed over the surface is slow or there is not much weight on the diamonds.
  • Matrix composition – Changing the alloy the matrix is made from will vary the wear resistance and the range of concrete hardness that the matrix will perform over, and will change the rate the diamond chips are ‘exposed’. How much the diamond is exposed, or sticking out of the matrix governs how effectively the segment will abrade the surface. Premium matrix alloy will work over a broader range of substrates than budget segments.
  • Diamond Chip size – Changing this changes the depth of the scratches it makes on the surface and therefore the rate of removal. Creating larger, grittier, abrasive dust will help to keep diamond matrix open.
  • Effect of the dust extraction, or vacuum: When we suck away all the dust from the grinding process this changes the way the segment erodes away and in turn the amount of segment poking out of the segment. By not sucking all the dust from under the machine when on hard concrete this will allow the dust to erode the matrix and the diamond will protrude out of the matrix and scratch the concrete properly creating an faster grind. In turn sucking away all the dust produced can slow the wear of your diamonds on soft concrete.

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