What is Diamond Plate?
Diamond plate – also known as tread plate or checkered plate – is a metal plate with a raised diamond pattern. Diamond plate comes in a variety of metals, including hot rolled steel, stainless steel and aluminum.
Where is Diamond Plate Used?
Diamond plate is used in a variety of industrial and job-site applications, from truck tool boxes to the warehouse loading docks. Normally, walking across a metal surface could result in slips and falls, but you’ve probably walked across diamond plate countless times without even noticing it. That is because of the raised diamond pattern on which acts as a tread to reduce the risk of slips.
How Is Diamond Plate Made?
Despite the complex diamond pattern, the process for making diamond plate is relatively simple. When making standard plate or sheet, the material is brought through a series of large rollers until the desired thickness is achieved. However, there is one major difference when making diamond plate. On the final set of rollers, one of the rollers has a pattern which embosses the diamond shape onto the plate.
If you look at most diamond plate, you will notice that only one side of it features the diamond pattern. This is due to the fact that only one roller in the set has the diamond shaped pattern on it, so one side of the metal is exposed to it while the other is left smooth.
For aluminum, this process “stamps” the pattern onto the plate, whereas with steel, hot rolling is generally used. This involves heating a slab of steel above its recrystallization temperature and then bringing it through a series of smooth rollers to its desired thickness. Heating the metal above its recrystallization temperature helps to prevent major alterations in mechanical properties due to work hardening. Once the material has reached its final shape, it is allowed to cool slowly.
While there are other techniques used to create diamond plate, the rolling method is most common because the only major difference between rolling plate and diamond plate is the roller used. This makes the process very economical, and it is why diamond plate can often be found at relatively affordable prices when compared with a normal plate of the same material and dimensions.
Common Uses of Diamond Plate
You will most often see diamond plate used in safety applications as the diamond pattern creates an excellent tread which can help reduce slips and falls. It is generally a good safety practice to use diamond plate any time people will be frequently walking over a slick metal surface.
- Stairs and Walkways: Diamond plate is commonly used on stairs or ramps in industrial areas, which helps to reduce the chance of slipping on the metal. Outdoor fire exits in particular rely on diamond plate to enhance traction when the steps become slick from rain or snow.
- Vehicles and Trailers: Most people with a pick-up truck can attest to how often they are stepping in and out of the bed of the truck. For this reason, diamond plate is often used as an accent on bumpers, truck beds or trailers to help reduce skids when stepping onto a vehicle, while also provide traction for pulling or pushing material on and off of a truck.
- Aesthetic Accents: Aluminum, stainless steel and hot rolled steel diamond plate each have a very unique appearance and finish which can be used as an accent for architectural elements or furniture. Diamond plate can be found as runners on stairs, backslashes, table tops and more.
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