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Resilient flooring is frequently the first choice among elastic flooring materials in heavily frequented buildings, due to its durability and the ease with which it can be cleaned and cared for. Inadequate floor cleaning and maintenance lead to blooming on and damage to the floor. An attempt is then made to preserve the resilient floor through intensive basic cleaning or polymer film coat renovation by stripping with aggressive cleaning pads.

In buildings where damage to the resilient flooring material is already advanced, the only remedy is often complete renovation through replacement of the complete flooring with heavy subsequent costs. Using special floor grinding machines and diamond tools, Schwamborn developed a new process for the cost-effective renovation of resilient and elastic flooring materials during business hours.

The Heart Center at the University Clinic of Cologne has excellent facilities for the interdisciplinary care of patients. Due to its extremely high level of medical excellence, it enjoys an internationally recognised reputation. With its premises flood with light, the new clinic building was occupied for the first time in 2007. The interior of the modern building was designed like a hotel, with superior-quality materials and a bright colour concept.

Despite the short period in which it had been used, the condition of the resilient flooring was no longer commensurate with the reputation and image of a renowned clinic. The original colour of the spacious floor areas had already become unrecognisable to observers after somewhat less than 3 years. Instead, the flooring had a blotchy and cloudy appearance. Even after the most intensive basic cleaning and regular maintenance, the flooring material always only had a clean and hygienic appearance for a short period.

Those with responsibility for the clinic were faced with a choice: to replace the flooring material, which would be extremely expensive and cause major disruptions to business in the clinic, or to find another option for refurbishing the rubber flooring.

Floor grinding machines and the advice of experts from Schwamborn set new standards. In their search for a solution which did not involve replacing the flooring material, those bearing responsibility for the clinic described the problems involved to Schwamborn Gerätebau GmbH, the grinding and cleaning experts based in Göppingen, Germany. The results of the subsequent tour of the clinic and treatment of sample surfaces soon brought clarity and reassurance to the situation.

The existing soiling had settled firmly into the retrofitted permanent coating of the flooring which had developed cracks. Schwamborn recommended complete professional grinding of the floor with special Superflex diamonds. Grinding of industrial flooring is a well-known process, but the refurbishment of a maintenance film with concrete grinding machinery and diamond tools was a new and very unusual method. However, it represented the only effective option, given the existing damage.

Schwamborn, with over 80 years of experience in surface preparation, the removal of coatings and the grinding of concrete and industrial flooring possesses a wealth of specialised know-how and is always a much sought-after partner where special floor refurbishment solutions or applications are involved.

Initial work involved the achievement of a basic finish through the removal of layers using the Schwamborn floor grinder DSM 530S and Superflex diamond pads. The grinding slurry was directly removed with a slurry vacuum to avoid it setting during grinding. The bright colour of the floor was already clearly visible again after this initial grinding operation. The roughened resilient floor was grinded again in a second step with a finer diamond to remove deeper scratches left from the first pass. In a third grinding pass the floor received a finer polish to prepare it for a new coating.

After wet scrubbing and drying, a new protection film was applied and polished with a burnisher. The results of this work contributed to the achievement of a bright, inviting and hygienic floor, meeting the requirements of the University Clinic of Cologne.

Schwamborn process for cost-effective renovation of rubber and elastic flooring materials