Grating Fundamentals


What is Grating?

A manufactured product for nearly 100 years, metal grating is an assembled grid or metal lattice of parallel bearing bars with crossbars or crimp bars used to space and hold the bearing bars erect. The assembled grid is used to cover or floor any of various openings. Grating provides a surface but allows air, light, heat, sound and water to pass through. It is strong and durable, and virtually maintenance free. Metal grating is either custom fabricated or provided in "stock panels" and is available from Harsco Industrial IKG (IKG) in a wide variety of sizes, spacings, thicknesses, surfaces, and finishes, depending on the application´s environment and load requirement.

Metal floor grating may be required by regulatory standards in certain circumstances. It is a reliable, proven product for industrial flooring because it withstands heavy equipment, rolling loads and pedestrian traffic.

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What Materials Are Used to Make Grating?

Many different materials can be used for gratings, including carbon steel alloys, aluminum, and stainless steel. Each material has specific advantages; carbon steel industrial flooring gratings are good for high-traffic floor areas; aluminum grating is lightweight; corrosion resistant and non-sparking, so it is well-suited to situations where strength to weight ratio is important, such as wastewater treatment plants. Stainless steel grating is used in areas with elevated temperatures and certain corrosive environments.

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Types of Grating

As a member of the Metal Bar Grating Division of The National Association of Architectural Metal Manufacturers (NAAMM), IKG has helped lead the way in developing consensus standards for the design and manufacture of the many metal grating products available today.

  • Welded steel grating is made by electrically fusing steel cross bars to steel load bars. An economical product, welded steel gratings are suitable for walkways, mezzanine decking, security screens and general industrial and commercial purposes. Welded grating is produced in carbon and stainless steel alloys
  • Pressure locked grating is among the most versatile types of metal grating because it offers the widest variety of bar spacings. Pressure locked grating is the grating of choice for architectural applications, including close mesh grating for high traffic public pedestrian areas and ornamental grilles. IKG manufactures pressure locked grating in a full-range of materials: carbon steel, aluminum, and stainless steel.
  • Riveted grating is the most substantial and oldest design of grating made. This type of grating is especially recommended in difficult stress situations including plant floors, mezzanines, highways and bridges, where a grating of high strength and stiffness is required, or where turning vehicular loads are handled. The flush surface of riveted metal grating provides excellent walking comfort. IKG manufactures riveted grating in steel, aluminum and stainless steel.
  • Aluminum plank gratings have either a solid surface or can be punched in a choice of several patterns to allow passage of light and air. They are light weight, low cost, easy to install, yet aluminum plank gratings have an excellent strength to weight ratio, a flush walking surface and are non-magnetic, non-sparking and corrosive resistant.

Harsco Industrial IKG (IKG) also manufacturers stair treads in all types of metal grating with a choice of "nosings" and prefabricated for easy assembly to stair stringers.

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Metal Grating Surfaces and Finishes

IKG offers a variety of surface options for its metal grating products: plain, serrated and five grades of IKG Mebac® (Metal Bonded Anti-Slip Coating,) an IKG patented process for bonding aluminum oxide grit to a steel or aluminum metal base, which is the most durable non-slip surface available today.

IKG's metal grating finishes are steel (bare steel, hot dip galvanized and painted); aluminum (in mill finish, anodized and Duranodic) and stainless steel (in mill finish, glass blasted, and electro-polished finishes).

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When to Choose Grating

In many applications, metal grating is the best choice for strength and long-term cost savings. Choose metal grating instead of solid flooring when you need:

  • Open area to allow passage of light, air, heat and sound between flooring levels
  • Flooring on which liquids and/or debris cannot collect
  • Flooring where slip resistance is an issue
  • Areas where easy installation and fabrication are important
  • Areas where there are complex floor patterns and hard-to-fit areas
  • Situations that require a high strength-to-weight ratio

In many applications, metal bar grating is the best choice for strength and long-term cost savings. Metal bar grating has many benefits in commercial and industrial environments:

  • Available in carbon steel, aluminum and stainless steel for a variety of applications
  • Provides functional, durable installations
  • Can be configured for slip-resistance
  • Designed for strength and longevity, metal bar grating outlasts other materials
  • Versatile: Can be fabricated to suit any configuration for your specific application
  • Extensive open areas allow for the passage of light and air, reducing the need for additional lighting and ventilation
  • Can support loads ranging from light pedestrian traffic to the heaviest vehicular traffic
  • Prefabricated and ready for installation, metal bar grating reduces costly field labor
  • Virtually maintenance free: High percentage of open areas allows for excellent drainage and free passing of debris
  • Aluminum grating is light-weight, corrosion resistance and has a high strength to weight ratio

The most common uses for metal bar grating is in commercial and industrial flooring, including mezzanines, catwalks, platforms, ramps, subway and sidewalk grating.

Choose metal grating for your flooring when you need:

  • Open floor areas to allow passage of light, air, heat and sound between flooring levels
  • Flooring on which liquids and/or debris cannot collect
  • Flooring where slip resistance is an issue
  • Flooring where walking and standing comfort is a concern
  • Flooring where economy in combination with high corrosion resistance is important
  • Areas where there are complex floor patterns and hard-to-fit areas
  • Flooring that requires a high strength-to-weight ratio
  • Situations where flooring must be non-magnetic, non-sparking and corrosion resistant
  • Situations where highly concentrated or turning wheel loads require increased lateral stability, such as forklift and pallet jack traffic areas
  • Situations where there is heavy pedestrian traffic and flooring needs to feel solid yet be high strength, light weight and economical, such as in vestibules
  • Environments which require flooring that is light weight, provides a comfortable walking and rolling surface with substantial load bearing capacity and long life expectancy
  • Areas where slip and fall loss prevention programs are important, including stairs and ladders

Industrial and commercial uses for metal bar grating include:

  • Power plants
  • Refineries
  • Water and wastewater treatment plants

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Common Uses for Grating

Some common uses for metal grating include

  • Flooring
  • Catwalks
  • Mezzanines/decking
  • Stairs
  • Sidewalks
  • Platforms
  • Grates
  • Grilles
  • Fencing
  • Vault bin floors
  • Ramps
  • Docks
  • Trench covers
  • Fire escapes
  • Window and machinery safe guards
  • Wash racks
  • Railcar Running boards
  • Ventilation screens

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Grating Fundamentals