How to Select Best-suited Trench Grate for Your Project

Trench drainage is widely used in public and private spaces as a fast-acting method to drain away stormwater and other liquids.  You will find it in big public spaces like airport parking lots, and small private spaces like the backyard of an apartment building. Trench grates keep trench drainage functional and also have a secondary aesthetic value. Trench grates come in different materials, designs, and patterns.  How do you pick trench grates for your project?

Assess the Load Bearing

How much weight will the trench grate bear? This is the most important question for a trench grate that will carry pedestrian or vehicle traffic. A trench grate that is incapable of bearing traffic loads will collapse, causing injury to pedestrians and damage to vehicles.  But an oversize grate is a waste of money.

Trench grates are classified according to the maximum weight they can handle without structural damage. There are two main classification methods; EN 124 (UK) and EN 1433 (US). The UK classification uses the metric system and has group classes. The US classification uses the imperial measurements and has alphabets classes:

  • Group 1/A15‑ (maximum 3,372 lb./1.5 tons per ft) For pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
  • Group 2/B125 ‑ (maximum 28,100 lb./12.5 tons per ft) For pedestrians and areas with little vehicle traffic. E.g.: private car parks.
  • Group 3/C250 ‑ (maximum 56,200 lb./25 tons per ft) For curb-sides or roads with moderate speed vehicle traffic.
  • Group 4/D400 ‑ (maximum 89,920 lb./40 tons per ft) For major roads, highways.
  • Group 5/E600 ‑ (maximum 134,800 lb./60 tons per ft) For areas with industrial vehicles like forklifts and trucks.
  • Group 6/ F900 ‑ (maximum 202,320 lb./90 tons per ft) For areas with especially heavy wheel loads such as airport pavements or docks.

Assess the Type of Material

Trench grates are available in different materials.  Traditional metallic grates are usually made from cast iron, but you will find aluminum or bronze grates in high-end establishments.  Metallic grates are appropriate for very heavy loads starting at Group 5 upwards.

There are naturally reinforced stone trench grates, which are preferred for their aesthetic value. Decorative trench grates are customizable to fit different landscaping settings. The designs, color, and pattern motifs are made to custom order for different tastes and preferences.

Stone trench grates are good for both vehicular and pedestrian traffic.  They are slip-resistant, making them ideal for high pedestrian traffic spaces like apartment block pathways.  Stone trench grates are rust and corrosion resistant, and more durable than metallic grates.

Heavy-duty PVC grates have become popular of late for large projects. This is because plastic grates are very cheap. They are appropriate for spaces such as city footpaths and urban roads.  The problem with plastic trench grates is that they come in uniform dull green or black colors.

Assess  Durability

Trench grates are versatile. You can deploy them both outdoors and indoors for a variety of uses. You will find them in chemical factories,  large loading warehouses, public parks, and residential spaces. 

Outdoor trench grates are exposed to harsh weather; freezing in winter and hot temperatures in summer. The expansion and contraction cycles will sometimes cause cracks in metallic trench grates. 

Metallic trench grates are prone to rust and corrosion, more so when they are unpainted. They are also not very suitable in places where they come in contact with harsh chemicals like industrial factories.

PVC trench grates can withstand weather well, but they are prone to fading in harsh sunshine. Poor quality PVC grates develop cracks from expanding and contracting.  But they withstand harsh chemicals without corroding.

Natural reinforced stone trench grates are suitable for both outdoor public spaces like public parks and outdoor residential spaces.  Stone trench grates withstand temperature extremes well as they have done in their natural state. They are very durable when installed in the right way.

Assess the Location

Where do you intend to install the trench grates? For example, metallic bronze trench grates are suitable for an outdoor private luxury setting like a golf club. Metallic galvanized cast iron grates are ideal in industrial settings, like warehouses or loading docks. Plastic trench grates are ideal for areas that see a lot of humidity, for example, pool areas. Fiberglass trench grates are also ideal for indoor spas and pools.

Stone trench grates are versatile and can fit in varied settings. Decorative stone trench grates work well in a sophisticated residential set, blending into beautiful natural landscapes.  They also fit in recreational public spaces like children’s play parks.

Trench grates are essential fixtures in both private and public spaces.  They are versatile for functional installation and decorative purposes.  Picking the right trench grates gives you value for money. Appropriate grate installation ensures that trench grates can bear their loads without damage and prolong their durability.

Ariana Smith

Ariana Smith is a freelance content writer and enthusiastic blogger. She is the co-founder of bigjarnews. She contributes to many authority blogs such as Thepetsmagazine.

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