Typically constructed from aluminum, steel or stainless steel, metal grates are popular for outdoor ramps and stairs, can be used to cover storm drains and sewers and in factory floors where it is necessary to keep the floor free of debris and liquids, or where a non-slip surface is required.
Metal grates offer a grate or grid which provides the strength of a solid piece of metal with the advantage of allowing light, liquid, air and small debris to pass through it, preventing unwanted and potentially dangerous accumulation on the surface of a walkway or floor etc.
Metal grates can also serve as a protective wall around machinery or heaters in order to increase equipment use safety. While fiberglass and plastic are also often used in the construction of grating, metals offer extreme strength and load bearing qualities that are necessary in applications for many industries.
Metallic materials offer malleability, ductility, strength and thermal and electrical conductivity which may be required by applications in industries including food and chemical processing, architecture, waste water treatment, paper milling and marine or oil rigs.
Stainless steel grates offer the added benefit of corrosion resistance and are a popular choice for applications which include exposure to corrosive substances.
The two main types of fabrication used for metal grates are expanded metal and bar grating. Expanded metal grating is produced from a solid metal plate that has been perforated and stretched, generally into a diamond shape, although this can change according to the requirements of an application.
Expanded metal has a greater strength-to-weight ratio than solid metal and allows liquid, air, and light through while still remaining solid enough to serve as a floor or barricade. The expanding process results in a structurally strong product that will not unravel or come apart at the joints.
Furthermore, expansion as a metal fabricating process results in minimal material waste as almost all of the metal plate is used. Bar grating, in comparison, is a type of grating made with thick metal or fiberglass bars that have been welded, swaged, pressure-locked, or riveted together.
They are commonly used for strong support purposes. The most common spacing configuration of bar grating is rectangular, although it may be reinforced with diagonal bars, forming triangle-shaped spaces that face one another in a diamond configuration.