Beautifully Polished Concrete Surface -
to a REAL Standard!
- A concrete polishing process that achieves the only industry developed standard, the ST115 American Standard for polished concrete!
- Providing both the Consumer & the Contractor confidence that the desired result is being acheived
- Measurable, Sustainable & Repeatable results in Polished Concrete finishes
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The Problem with polished concrete floors
Frustrated Architects, Engineers and building owners currently have had no way of measuring the variation and unpredictability of the finished appearance and durability of polished concrete floors.
Specifying the process to a certain grit or gloss number can produce different results from one floor to another, so floors that looked good and met the required gloss level in the beginning often turned out to wear more quickly and require more maintenance than they should. This lack of control and predictability has impacted on the credibility of the polished concrete floor industry.
Currently gloss meters are used to measures how light is scattered, but an angle, ambient lighting, or even a high-gloss coating will distort the reading for favourable results. A gloss meter can be fooled. So these readings do not reveal the true condition of the polished concrete surface or expected life of the floor.
Internationally the concrete floor polishing industry has been searching for a better way to evaluate the refinement of polished concrete in order to reassure Architects, Engineers and building owners that they are getting the floor they expect.
The American Concrete Sawing & Drilling Association (CSDA) along with ASME, ASTM and ACI, developed specifications titled “Measuring Concrete Micro Surface Texture.” The ST-115 standard details methods and sets parameters for measuring the microscopic average roughness (Ra) of a concrete surface throughout the process of refining the surface. The Ra is key to achieving the desired appearance, performance and sustainability of the finished polished floor. The surface texture is measured by running a Ra meter over the surface. The reading of the variations measured in micro-inches or microns can be expressed as a surface texture grade. These grades are not ratings of “good” or “bad”: they are objective, measurable levels that determine the level of refinement as "heavy texture,” “ground,” “honed” or “polished.”
The ST-115 standard allows the Architects, Engineers and building owners to specify a level of finish by specifying the desired Ra number that the contractor must reach. Grit or a gloss number is no longer relevant. If they want a matte finish they specify a “B-2 low polish” finish from the Surface Texture Finishes Chart in ST-115, and the contractor will know he has to hit a Ra of 32 micro-inches. If contractor is required to achieve specifications based on ST-115 there is no way around it, the finished floor must be at this number. This means regardless of who is doing the polishing or the condition of the concrete surface, the same floor finish is achieved every time.
• High Gloss is a by-product of a highly polished surface.
• Because each stage can be measured and assessed the surface is more consistent.
• A true high polished concrete surface is easier and more cost effective to maintain.
• High polished concrete resists wear for longer, therefore has much better life.
Advantages for contractors when measuring with a Ra meter:
• Takes the guesswork out of selecting tooling and eliminates the issue of operator variation.
• When using a Ra meter
you don’t miss spots.
• By taking readings at the beginning of the pass, the operator is able to set the walking speed. If the Ra number is higher than required, the pace is too fast. Once the optimum refinement number is achieved for a given tooling step, maintain that pace.
• Using a Ra meter
as described in ST-115 actually helps contractor’s complete jobs more efficiently because they can run the tooling just as much as they need to — no less and no more.
• Experienced operators are not necessary, “You hit the number and move on to the next step.”
• Because each step is measured, there is no issue with missing scratches in the earlier steps and having to go back steps to remove scratches