Specialised tools have been developed not only to create the desired effect, but to help lay and screed the concrete within the time available.
The main two specialist tools for patterning imprinting are:
ROLLER BUG/ROLLER TAMPER
In order for the surface of the concrete to be properly prepared, the aggregate and stone has to be below the surface, large stoney aggregate concrete mixes can be prepared using the roller bug.
This is taken over the surface handle attachments to cover the entire area. The action of the roller bug brings the fines to the surface without bringing up the water, this gives the best surface to print into, it also re-activates the surface whilst the underlying aggregate is setting.
All the concrete surface has to be “closed”, meaning that there is no aggregate showing through the surface, so once the
roller bug has been used, run the bull float over the surface to flatten the roller bug tracks and also take out any bumps.
Using both the roller bug and the magnesium bull float or magnesium hand float, the surface of the concrete is now ready for the colour application.
***There are many more specialist tools used in the imprinting industry, these will be looked at in further detail in a future blog.***