The Same … But Different. Diamond Grinding vs. Micromilling

This article describes how diamond grinding of Portland cement concrete (PCC) pavements and micromilling of bituminous asphalt pavements are superficially similar in concept, but that’s just about the only thing they have in common. Both techniques impose rotary cutting to a pavement for the improvement of ride quality. But diamond grinding is applied to a concrete pavement as an as-built embellishment to improve rideability, while micromilling is an intermediate activity that fine-tunes the milled asphalt substrate prior to placement of an overlay, especially a thin lift (less than 2 inches) of asphalt, where smoothness of the milled surface is critical to a bonus-winning final driving surface. Diamond grinding of aging PCC pavements renews the pavement’s skid-resistance,and provides a smoother-riding pavement. The resulting smoother profile reduces dynamic loading on the pavement and thus extends its service life. On the other hand, micromilling, or fine-tooth milling – using conventional cold mills with fine-tooth drums and hardened teeth – can remove imperfections from an asphalt surface and prepare it for a super-smooth thin asphalt overlay in a manner superior to conventional cold milling. In some cases, it can even be used instead of grooving or grinding pavements. Following several years of research, promotion has begun for a new permutation of the diamond grinding process, the Next Generation Concrete Surface (NGCS). As promoted by the International Grooving and Grinding Association (IGGA), the NGCS is said to suppress noise from concrete pavements while enhancing friction and smoothness. The NGCS is being promoted following three years of research at the Minnesota Road Research Project (MnROAD), the world’s largest and most comprehensive outdoor pavement laboratory.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Photos;
  • Pagination: pp 19-20, 22-23, 25
  • Serial:

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01345419
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 21 2011 12:14PM