Grates are a framework of metal or fiber reinforced plastic bars, sheets and meshes which create a porous grid. Also known as drain strainers, filters and screens, these particular grates are used in a variety of industrial, commercial and residential applications.
Shower facilities, waste management, water treatment, steam and boiler, car parks, tree grates, sewer manhole covers, city streets, refrigeration, factories, warehouses and even home plumbing systems utilize metal grates to inexpensively improve the efficiency of drains which may otherwise be easily clogged. While a drain works to capture and remove fluids, the grate itself works to remove debris from that fluid, capturing it so it may later be discarded.
Some drain grates are permanent fixtures set in concrete or durable surfaces while others are set in place at the inlet of an irrigation or processing system. Grates may also be used at the exhaust of a drain in order to prevent blockage there or environmental contamination. Trench, channel, gully and automatic condensate drain grates list just a few of the many options for floor gratings that can be tailored to specific drainage applications.
As drain grates must withstand the passage of diverse materials ranging from toxic waste to far less corrosive tap water, there are a variety of materials that may be used in the manufacturing of drain grates and other drain components. Metals such as cast iron, stainless steel, ductile iron, aluminum and bronze may be used as well as alternative materials such as ceramics, fiberglass, polyvinyl chloride and acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene.
Expansion and punch pressing are common methods for producing slotted and perforated meshes as is welding, which can also be used to produce bar grating. Common drain grate formations include longitudinal bar grating, transverse bar grating, bearing bars, cross bars and square, rectangular, or circular mesh. The size, shape and density of the holes or gaps in a given grate will determine not only what may pass through it, but at what rate.
These purpose driven devices can also be aesthetic with the holes or bars being set into a pattern. In addition to appearance and perforation qualities, the connection size should be considered as it must completely cover the inlet in order to be effective at stopping the passage of debris.
Specialty and hardware stores offer a wide variety of metal grates and fiberglass and plastic grating and can often offer advice on the specific drain grate best suited to a given application.