Concrete floor preparation tools have unique properties that make them very different from your standard floor grinding tools.  Before getting into the mechanics, let’s clarify the definition of floor preparation for the purpose of this exercise.  Concrete floor preparation is the process of fully exposing a concrete floor by removing all topical coatings in order to prepare the surface for grinding. Some in the industry may argue that heavy or intensive grinding steps would qualify as floor preparation, but we believe it is critical to make an important distinction: scraping versus grinding.

1. Scraping, not grinding

One of the most obvious unique characteristics of prep tools is that they are scraping tools, not grinding tools. Most concrete floor prep tools, such as cup wheels and floor plates, have PCDs or segments designed to scrape off coatings and surface treatments. These segments don’t grind.  Their purpose is to remove the coating by cutting the surface, loosening the coating, and scraping it away.  This characteristic alone makes the distinction between a prep tool and a grinding tool.

2. Segments designed for impact

Prep tool segments are specifically designed and positioned for impact.  Polycrystalline Diamonds are made from industrial diamond grit set in a tungsten carbide matrix.  While diamonds are the hardest substance on earth, the mix of the tungsten carbide, increases the impact resistance of the diamond particles.  Therefore, PCDs are ideal for prep and coating removal.

3. Segments designed for extreme wear

Certain types of segments depending on size, and positioning on the plate and matrix can as well be used for prep.  These segments will scrape the surface of the coating.  Additionally, the segments are placed on an angle to increase aggressiveness.  For example the Arrow cup wheel, the Mini Arrow cup wheel, and the Train floor plate, you’ll notice that these segments are deliberately robust and designed to ensure tool life when tackling hardened glues or epoxy coatings.

4. Heavy bodies for increased torque

In addition to aggressive PCDs and robust segments, concrete floor preparation tool bodies can as well be modified to be more sturdy than standard grinding tool plates.  When a PCD segment scrapes through a thick membrane coating on the floor, there is increased pressure and additional torque on the steel body or frame of the tool.  This is particularly true for tools that remove thick coatings such as the PCD cup wheel.  The heavier body ensures the safety and integrity of the tool while it’s working. Others cup wheels with large half-moon PCDs have additional support behind the segment to ensure that they can withstand the pressure on the face of the tool. This tool has segment protection so that the PCD does not gauge the floor as to not create more work for the grinding steps.

5. Cost comparison

Prep tools are engineered to withstand the pressure of the tool scraping the coated surface. These tools have specially designed and formulated segments and if needed stronger bodies to tackle the task.

Prep tools will prove to be extremely cost-efficient due to speed of performance and labor savings although possibly more costly than a grinding tool. A specific tool for concrete floor preparation will make quick work of an often tough and daunting task.  A properly paired Prep tool can save a significant amount of time and frustration.