A Guide to Trench Grates Material


When you look closely, you can never miss a drainage system near buildings or along the streets in urban environments. A well-constructed drainage system offers protection against flooding through capturing and draining excess water to streams, bioswales, sewers, and soft capes. The systems are carefully designed to prevent waste from flowing into seas and rivers. Trench drains are placed in these drainage systems.

About Trench Grates

Unlike French drains or weeping tiles, trench drains are open.  They are therefore covered using grates to keep off waste materials and prevent tripping people. Since trench drains are installed in different places, manufacturers make an array of trench grates using different materials.

You have to consider various factors when purchasing a trench grate. You might think of cost, durability, aesthetics,weather, and total load. Have adequate information on whether the trench drains will manage, salty, acidic, chlorinated, or rainwater. Also, consider if the trench will drain chemical spills or not.

The design, material,and size of the trench grateare also influenced by the type of debris to be drained out, safety regulations, surrounding environment, and architectural look. The size of your trench grates opening should be ideal for wheelchair casters or cane tips.Heel-grates come in handy along the streets to cover individuals who wear high heeled shoes.

Trench Grates Materials

Numerous materials are used to make trench drain grates. Every material features a set of pros and cons. Let’s have a look:

Cast Iron Trench Grates

Cast iron trench grates are durable, hardy, and affordable. Some are coated while others come in their natural state. Iron trench grates are highly resistant to corrosion, all thanks to the incredible material. Iron forms iron oxide protective coating on the surface when exposed to corrosives.  Initially, you will notice a reddish-brown color that later turns to dark brown as the trench grates age.

Iron trench drain grates can be coated with a protective finish such as powder-coated, hot-dip galvanized, and epoxy paint. However, coating iron grates used in the exterior is not economical. The department of transportation (DOT) might be against painted trench grates. Feel free to brush interior grates to a color of your choice.

You can use cast iron grates in almost any surrounding. Some familiar places they are installed include seaports, roadway, loading docks, gas stations, industry, airports, parks-the list is endless. They can be molded in different patterns and used for decorative purposes.

Plastic Trench Grates

Plastic trench grates are made from thermoplastics that are melted and shaped to the desired form. Thermoplastic material is naturally soft and heat sensitive. There are various concerns you should consider before installing these grates. For instance, they don’t work well with hot liquids or in regions that feature high-temperature changes.

Soft plastic grates can only withstand a lightweight load. They will serve you well when used in residential areas. Thestandard plastic grates colors include tan, gray, and black. You can, however,ask your supplier to use a different color.

Fortunately, plastics trench drains don’t corrode and are chemical resistant. If your trench is exposed to chemicals, urine, and other corrosives, plastic grates are a cheaper option. While they don’t corrode, these grates are prone to ultraviolet light degradation. A UV protection agent is used to control the hitch.

Stainless Steel Trench Grates

Most people prefer stainless steel since it is resistant to corrosion and looks beautiful. Steel grates are a bit expensive, but their gauge is usually thinner to reduce the cost. The silver shine of the polished stainless is one of the reasons why it’s costly.

Stainless steel comes in different grades; some grades can corrode when exposed to acids or salts. Choose the right grade for your application. For indoor settings, you can go with 304 stainless while outdoor use requires 316 stainless. Common locations include patios, tubs, showers,and driveways.

Bronze Trench Grates

Bronze trench grates are beautiful. The material can be molded into decorative patterns that match the surrounding accessories. Luckily, it is resistant to corrosion and, therefore, a perfect choice for outdoor applications.

A blend of salt resistance, aesthetic beauty, and corrosion resistance makes bronze trench grates unique. Well-made bronze grates can serve you for decades. They are common in marine, luxury, and indoor settings.

Aluminum Trench Grates

If you are looking for a material that won’t rust under any circumstances, pick aluminum trench grates. After many years, it can form a whitish oxide but won’t be harmful to the surrounding surfaces.

Compared to steel, aluminum is less strong and slightly cheaper.  It is, however, a better choice for wet outdoor applications such as playgrounds, waterparks, and spas. Like steel, aluminum is machined, meaning the grates are made of holes, slots, and bars.

With so many options available in the market, you will eventually come across a trench drain grate that will suit your need and preferences. It’s best to consult with your supplier on their trench grates material i.e specs and options. At the end of the day, your taste and landscape design will determine what you purchase.


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