Using Expanded Metal For Gratings
Monday, 13 April 2015 20:07
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expanded metal being producedIn many industries, walking across a wet or slippery workroom floor or climbing the stairs can be a dangerous endeavor. Expanded metal offers a lightweight solution that allows drainage and permits heat, light, and air to pass through to facilitate drying. By simultaneously slitting and expanding metal through a cold drawn operation that forms diamond shaped openings of uniform size and thickness, the resulting material is made to order for many applications.

Grating Applications For Expanded Metal Grates

While light-weight variations of regular and flattened expanded metal are used for machine guards, shelving, enclosures and ramps, expanded metal made for floors, platforms, catwalks, fire escapes, and stair treads is made to be stronger.

In part, the strength results from the pattern of the diamond design which positions the long way of the diamond across the open span, while the slip-resistance is enhanced by shearing and coating the metal. It is processed to have a weight of 3.0# to 7.0# per sq. ft. in order to support the weight. Relatively inexpensive to purchase, the product is easy to fabricate onsite.

Grating Beyond Expanded Metal

Material that will handle traffic or heavy equipment may require more support than even expanded metal offers. For applications such as highways, loading docks, inlet covers, and plant floors that must support heavy machinery, grating must meet load specifications for uniform and concentrated weight limits.

For very heavy applications, grates are built with the additional redundant support of metal bars to make them sturdier. The bars may be welded to the grate or forced through metal bard and locked in place. At that point, the process is no longer expanded metal.

Standards That Govern Grating Use

The specifications for grating are set by external bodies. For example:

  • American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) has design specifications for any material that will bear the weight of automobiles, trucks, or forklifts.
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), along with local building codes, regulates what can be used for floors, floor grates, and floor openings in buildings and for grates on sidewalks, roadway grates, and other openings in public or private streets.
  • Other bodies, such as The Construction Specifications Institute, and NSF International for the food processing industry offer specifications for their industries.
  • ASTM, a recognized testing body, develops technical standards for materials, products, systems, and services, including grating made by expanded metal and other processes. Although complying with their standards are technically voluntary, ASTM specs are written into federal state, and municipal codes and are recognized throughout the world.

Adame Expanded Metal Solutions

For light and moderate load situations, expanded metal is a trustworthy process. As a provider of equipment and engineering expertise in expanded metal applications, Adame EM Solutions is happy to consult with you about the specifications you need for grating. Contact us today for turnkey solutions, equipment, and design service.

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Last Updated on Monday, 13 April 2015 20:09