Substrate Technology
+1 (815) 941-4800
+1 (815) 941-4600 (fax)
1384 Bungalow Rd.
Morris, Illinois, U.S.A.

What is a scarifier and when is it a good choice for surface prep?

Scarifiers, also known as surface planers or milling machines, cut or scar the surface of concrete with the use of cutting tools that rotate around a drum.

Scarifiers remove concrete faster and more aggressively than grinders due to the pummeling action of the cutting wheels that rotate at very high speeds. The cutters chip away at the concrete leaving rough surface profiles for various purposes. Cutting depths are adjustable on most machines, with some models achieving up to 1/4 inch of material removal in just one pass.

The cutting wheels or flails are mounted on shafts on a removable drum. The number of cutter shafts per drum varies by model, but generally machines with more shafts can hold more cutters per loading for increased scarifying action and faster production rates.

Cutters are made of tungsten carbide or hardened steel and come in a myriad of styles to suit different applications. Choosing various diameters, widths, number of cutting teeth, and tip styles (i.e. flat, sharp, or angled) can produce widely varied results depending on the floor material and final profile desired.

Applications of scarifiers include light or heavy milling, removing coatings (such as floor tile mastics, rubbery adhesives, or epoxy), grooving walkways and sidewalks to make them slip resistant, and leveling misaligned concrete joints and uneven surfaces.

When is a scarifier a good choice for surface prep?

A scarifier is a very good choice when:

1) A CSP of 4-5 is required.
As described above, the way a scarifier “cuts” a floor is by drum action using Tungsten Carbide cutters or flails. These flails are like little hammers that continually hit the floor and break away small chips of the concrete. The result is a very rough profile that some coatings require for a complete bond.


2) Removal of more than a 1/4” of concrete is required.
Because the flails are made to break away chips of concrete, by vertically impacting the floor, rough or uneven surfaces are quickly and safely impacted down. Places of slab inequality are usually at construction joints or cracks and a scarifier is suited perfectly to attack any high spot and reduce it to the adjacent low spot.

Watch the Aggressive Action of the Airtec RT-2500 10-inch Scarifier

© Substrate Technology, Inc.

For any clarification of the above or to discuss your unique situation, please do not hesitate to contact STI or any of its authorized dealers for more help and advice. We are all here to supply you solutions that save you time and make you money.