High speed burnishing is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to maintain a high gloss floor. However, many people have trouble understanding how burnishing works and developing a program for their facility, in addition to choosing the appropriate pad.
Burnishing is a physical abrasive process that makes a rough, non-reflective surface into a smooth, highly light-reflective surface. This is done using machinery that moves an abrasive pads at high rotational speeds.
To develop a burnishing program for your facility, you need to look at the floor finish used, the equipment available, and the correct pad to obtain the results you desire.
Floor finishes are usually designed for either regularly-scheduled high speed burnishing (4-7 times per week), or to be burnished sparingly. New polymer technology has also allowed for products that are more versatile, and can be used with virtually any maintenance program.
There are several different types of burnishers, each providing different benefits. Electric equipment is lightweight and economical, but pad pressure on the floor is limited. Battery equipment provides higher pad pressure, but must be charged and is very heavy. Propane equipment provides the highest amount of pad pressure, but fuel and odors can cause problems.
Pad selection should be based on the floor finish used and the equipment available. In general, softer finishes should be burnished more frequently and should be paired with lighter, less aggressive pads. Harder finishes do not need to be burnished as often and should be paired with more aggressive pads.
Pairing a soft finish with an aggressive pad can damage the floor, and pairing a hard finish with a lighter pad can be ineffective. This is why it is important to consider the floor finish and the burnisher being used, and then choose an appropriate pad.
Companies like Americo, 3M, and ETC offer wide varieties of natural and synthetic burnishing pads that can be matched to any facility’s maintenance program.
For a more in-depth look at burnishing, pads, and developing a program for your facility, check out Multi-Clean’s technical guide to Selecting the Right Burnishing Pad.