Grating or gratings are bars or plates that have been joined together to create evenly spaced, parallel, and identical (or nearly identical) patterns that allow for liquids, debris, air, sound, or light to pass through. Grating may be made from metal or strong plastics, specifically fiber-reinforced plastics.
Quick links to Plastic Grating Information
Applications of Plastic Grating
Plastic grating works just as well as metal grating for applications in many industries, including chemical processing, electronics, food processing, offshore and marine tasks, paper and pulp, refineries, and wastewater and water. Plastic gratings are widely used as drain grates and as trench covers. Additionally, because they increase traction, they are frequently installed to serve as slip-resistant surfaces. They are typically found working on stairs, ramps, catwalks, walkways, work platforms, seaside walkways, docks, and floor systems.
Other types of grating that can be used for flooring include:
- Plate Grating
- Circular Mesh Grates
- Square Mesh Grates
- Rectangular Mesh Grates
- Bearing Bar Grates
- Cross Bar Grates
Materials Used in Manufacturing Plastic Grating
The vast majority of the time, plastic grating is made using fiber-reinforced plastic. A fiber-reinforced plastic may be born out of a number of plastic and fiber combinations. Possible plastics to choose from include, for example, vinyl ester resin, polyester resin, epoxy, and vinylester.
The vast majority of the time, however, the choices for selection of fiber are much more narrow. Typically, the fiber chosen for this endeavor is a glass fiber. Glass fibers may be made with a number of different types of glasses, such as dolomite, silica or silicate, limestone, calcium, colemanite, magnesium, kaolin clay, and fluorspar.
When the chosen plastic is reinforced with glass fiber, it becomes a fiber-reinforced plastic known as fiberglass grating. Fiberglass grating is stronger and more impact resistant than regular plastic grating. It is ideal for use in areas of heavy traffic, consistent traffic, or high stress and tension.
Manufacturing Process of Plastic Grating
Plastic grating can be fabricated using a few different methods. These methods include weaving, riveting, pressure-locking, swaging, and welding. The weaving method is one used exclusively with fiber-reinforced plastic gratings and/or fiberglass gratings. In short, it involves weaving continuous strands of fiber through thermosetting plastics while they are still malleable.
Next, riveting is a process that involves the joining of bars with permanent mechanical fasteners called rivets. To install the rivets, manufacturers may use a hammer or another manual tool, or they may use a riveting machine. A riveting machine works automatically, squeezing rivets into the workpiece. The third method, pressure-locking, works to bond grate bars together. It does so by placing extreme amounts of hydraulic pressure onto the bars. Usually, two pairs of bars can be pressure-locked at a time.
Following this is swaging. Swaging is a process that is rather reminiscent of extrusion because of its use of a die. Overall, swaging is a cold working process used to change the dimensions of a workpiece by forcing it through a die. Lastly, welding is a hot working process that fuses two separate pieces together by melting their ends and then pushing them together.
Benefits of Using Plastic Grating
While metal grating varieties, including stainless steel grating and aluminum grating, have many great qualities, none of them can match plastic grating in terms of lightness and customizability. Plastic grating is additionally valued for its extreme corrosion resistance, ideal impact resistance, and superior durability. The presence of plastic resins, which provide said corrosion resistance, also impart plastic gratings with a degree of imperviousness to wear and tear. This characteristic also means that plastic grating is easy to maintain and has little need for repairs.
There are many reasons to invest in plastic grating. In addition to all of the advantages mentioned above, it is also worthwhile to note that, because plastic is so malleable and formable, plastic grating is easy to make into specific shapes and sizes. It is for this reason that minimal adjustments are required during installation. This is the reason that plastic grating is so easy to install, along with the fact that it does not require the same amounts of labor or machinery as metal grating installation. Another money and time-saving aspect of plastic grating fabrication is that it does not require galvanization or coatings to have great strength. No matter where they are installed, plastic gratings and fiberglass gratings are safe, durable, and provide excellent traction and/or filtration.