About: Steel Bar Grating
There are two main categories of steel bar grating: galvanized and bare. Both have been used extensively in industrial construction and municipal engineering for decades.
All forms of steel grating are durable and feature high strength-to-weight ratios, but the choice between galvanized and bare grating is still an important one. Contractors, engineers, and property owners can read on to find out what they need to know about these two types of steel grating and their unique applications.
The Similarities Between Bare and Galvanized Grating
Bare and galvanized grating have far more in common than they have differences. Both are incredibly strong and durable, and the early stages of manufacturing are the same. They can be manufactured using four techniques:
Choosing the right manufacturing method is largely a matter of accounting for the intended use. For now, though, let's continue to focus on finishes.
The Difference Between Bare and Galvanized Grating
There is only one key difference between bare and galvanized steel grating. While bare grating is not coated, galvanized grating receives a coating during manufacturing that helps to protect it against rust and corrosion.
Common Applications for Bare Steel Grating
There are many industrial applications for grating. Bar grating comes in many configurations to accommodate different uses, but most forms have a large percentage of open area between the bars. In their ungalvanized form, these types of grating are perfect for:
1. Catwalk Floors
Industrial catwalks are elevated pedestrian walkways. They can feature either plain or serrated surfaces, and in all forms, they are cost-efficient and nearly maintenance-free. Common sizes of bar grating used for catwalks include 19w4 1" x 3/16" and 1 ¼" x 3/16" options. Both feature open designs that allow for plenty of ventilation and meet most fire regulations.
2. Mezzanine Floors
Mezzanine floors can be found in facilities such as warehouses, distribution centers, and manufacturing plants. Since they are located high up, they must be properly ventilated and allow for fire suppression sprinkler penetration. The same types of bar grating used to construct catwalk floors can also be used on mezzanines.
3. Paint Booth Grating
Paint booths are designed to create a specialized space for applying paint. They're enclosed on three sides, but the fronts are left open and often feature bare bar grating. The open space provided by the grating lets hot air flow through the structure to facilitate faster drying times.
4. Industrial Racks and Shelving
The racks and shelving found in warehouses and freezers must withstand heavy loads. Steel grating is perfect for this application. It's strong, affordable, fire-resistant, and has impressively high load limits.
5. Stair Treads
For stairs found inside industrial facilities, bare grating makes excellent tread. It can be manufactured for both load-bearing capacity and slip resistance and typically features welded carrier endplates and nosing. In outdoor applications, galvanized steel grating is a better option for stair treads.
Common Applications for Galvanized Steel Grating
For indoor structures in consistently dry environments, bare steel grating works just fine. Outdoors or in high-moisture environments, it's a different story. Galvanized steel is a much better option. Here are a few common industrial applications that require galvanized steel grating:
1. Trench Drain Covers
When choosing steel grating for drainage, galvanized steel is always the better option. It's perfect for covering trench drains in both indoor and outdoor applications. Galvanized steel can resist not just water, but also chemical spills and other potential contaminants. It allows the liquid to drain through while maintaining a stable walking surface and allowing gas to be evacuated safely.
There are several sizes of drain cover grate. Contractors generally choose a size based on overall load conditions. For pedestrian use only, 1" x 3/16" grating is standard. For heavy-duty applications, much larger 4" x 3/16" bars may be required.
2. Sump Covers
It's not just trench drains that can benefit from galvanized steel grating. This material can also be used to cover sump pits designed to collect water or liquid chemicals. Galvanized steel grating will prevent larger objects from entering the pit without impeding the flow of liquids. It can be cut to size to ensure that it will fully cover the sump and designed to withstand even heavy loads from construction vehicles.
3. Railcar Grating
Galvanized steel grating is used extensively on freight cars and locomotives. It can be found in brake steps, walkways, platforms, running boards, and elsewhere. The grating used on locomotives and railcars is typically serrated to increase grip and is welded to spacings of 25, 26, or 27 with 4" centers for cross rods.
4. Loading Ramps
Loading ramps make it easier to get large or heavy cargo into and out of trucks. Steel grating is strong enough to withstand the combined load of heavy equipment like forklifts and their cargo. Since loading ramps are often used outside, they should feature galvanized grating to minimize rust and corrosion when the grating comes into contact with snow, water, oil, or other liquids.
When choosing steel grating for loading ramps, keep vehicle compatibility in mind. Both mobile and stationary loading ramps usually feature bearing bars aligned with the expected traffic direction to improve traction and ensure sufficient load-bearing capacity.
Platforms can be found in refineries, factories, power plants, and elsewhere. They resemble mezzanines, but they aren't the same. While mezzanines are intended for indoor use and cover only part of the floor space, platforms are designed to be installed outdoors. They also encompass the entire floor and may be equipped with railings. Steel grating is so common in this application that it's sometimes referred to as "platform grating."
Find the Right Product for the Job
Just about all industrial applications for steel grating require some engineering knowledge for proper installation. An engineer can identify the required load-bearing capacity and bar spacing based on the expected use. However, those who are having trouble finding the right products for specific jobs can always contact a grating manufacturer with questions or concerns. These knowledgeable experts can help customers find the perfect stock or custom grating product.