Tread plate, checkered plate, or diamond plate; call it what you will, this plate steel has many functions across a variety of industries. Tread plate suppliers provide plate steel for uses in warehouse loading docks, toolboxes, stairs and industrial worksite to name a few.
The purpose of tread plate is to reduce the risks associated with walking on slippery metal surfaces. Tread plate can be found everywhere, from worksites to adorning modern buildings.
The raised diamond pattern on the tread plate allows more traction than typical metallic flat surfaces. In addition, the pattern on tread plate also makes it an attractive option for architects looking to spice up the aesthetic of their buildings.
This type of steel can come in a variety of metals – hot rolled steel, stainless steel or aluminium. A protective coat may also be applied to give the plate more grip, or even to gloss up the appearance.
How Is Tread Plate Steel Made?
The process for producing tread plate steel is not as complicated as you would expect. In fact, the whole process simply involves a series of rollers.
When producing standard plate steel, the tread passes through a series of large rollers to achieve the exact thickness. The only difference between the manufacturing of typical plate steel and tread plate steel is that the last roller embosses the diamond pattern directly on the steel. You will notice that tread plate steel is only embossed on one side. This due to the way the rollers are set up.
Depending on the type of metal you use, the process of imprinting the diamond pattern may change slightly. For example, with steel typically hot rolling is done; whereas aluminium requires stamping the pattern directly on to the plate.
For those not familiar with hot rolling, this process requires heating a slab of metal to above its recrystallization temperature and then manipulating it accordingly through a series of smooth rollers. By making any alterations to the metal whilst above the recrystallization temperature, there is less of a chance of making any changes to the mechanical properties of the metal.
There are alternative ways to produce tread plate, but the use of rollers is by far the most common. The main reason for this is for economy. In many cases tread plate steel can be cheaper than regular plate steel depending on your plate supplier.
What is Tread Plate Steel Used For?
The primary purpose of tread plate is to improve safety and reduce risk in the workplace. The diamond pattern helps reduce slips and falls. Especially when dealing with wet conditions, this type of flooring is an excellent way to mitigate risk.
Some places where you might expect to find tread plate steel include:
1. Stairways and Pathways
Tread plate steel is often used to add texture and reduce the risk of slipping on ramps, walkways, stairs and catwalks. This particularly important regarding conditions where there is extreme weather – such as rain or snow. They can often be found at fire exits.
2. Vehicles and Trailers
Given how often tradespeople and delivery people need to get in and out of their vehicles, having appropriate tread to reduce the risk of slips and falls is pertinent. As a result, tread plate steel can be found on bumpers, truck beds and trailers. The extra traction also assists when moving materials on and off trucks for example.
3. Aesthetic Purposes
There is more to tread plate than it’s functional properties. Tread plate can be used for design purposes too. It has been known to adorn stairs and table tops to name a few. Combined with the aesthetic appeal of various metals, such as aluminium, stainless steel hot rolled steel, the diamond pattern can provide an engaging, and functional, design element for architects and builders to employ in their projects.
Having good plate steel suppliers is crucial to getting the best quality tread plate steel product. Given how unsafe the workplace is, having appropriate measures in place to mitigate the risks is crucial.
Although there are plenty of alternatives to tread plate steel for providing traction on surfaces, the durability and economic advantages of tread plate steel make it ideal for any large-scale project. Often times, the cost of tread plate steel can be cheaper than purchasing regular plate steel.
If you are interested in purchasing tread plate steel, contact your local plate steel supplier and discuss what options there are for your project.