Metal grating is a term used to classify a wide variety of fabricated metal products. While perforated metal and wire mesh are considered grating, this Metal Grating Guide will look closer at the two more common types of metal grating, Bar Gating and Safety Grating.
Bar grating consists of individual parallel metal bars that are joined together with perpendicular bars, forming a grate. Typically, the bars are joined by welding, and while many different types of welding processes can be used, the most economical solution depends on the thickness and material type of the metal bars. Other joining methods for bar grating include riveting, close meshing, press-locking, and swage-locking.
Bar grating can have a variety of finishes and textures, and the spacing between the bars can also vary from application to application. Commonly used bar grating materials include carbon steel, galvanized steel, aluminum, and austenitic stainless steel. Bar grating is typically used for industrial style flooring due to its excellent strength-to-weight ratio and a high percentage of open area making it almost maintenance free. Other common applications of bar grating include:
- Fire escapes
- Safety fences and gates
- Street drains
- Trailer beds
Safety grating is a type of metal grating that it used as a walking surface to improve traction and reduce the risk of slips and falls. One feature of safety grating that increases grip is its surface finish. Safety grating typically has many small protrusions, commonly in a diamond shape, which help with traction. Like bar grating, safety grating also has a high percentage of open surface, allowing for drainage and airflow. This helps to prevent liquids or other materials from building up to the point where they could become a slipping hazard.
Typically, safety grating is made from metal sheet that is perforated or cold stamped in a variety of patterns. Grip Strut is perhaps the most common pattern which consists of diamond shaped holes which have been cold stamped through the metal sheet. The outline of these diamonds are raised and serrated which allows for a very high amount of traction. Many other variations and patterns of safety gratings use this raised and serrated approach. Alternatively, safety grating can be perforated with no raised edges. Once perforated, the metal sheet is coated with a material that helps reduce the risk of slipping, and the high percentage of open surface helps reduce the build-up of liquids or snow. Carbon steel, galvanized steel, aluminum, and austenitic stainless steel are all common material types that are used to make safety grating.
Certain types of bar grating can also be categorized as safety grating if the finished product is designed with traction in mind, such as including runners with a diamond plate pattern.
Safety grating is used almost exclusively for the use of pedestrian walkways, such as catwalks, stairs, bridges, rooftops, and various types of platforms.
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