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How Are Aluminum Diamond Plates Manufactured?
Diamond plates go by several names, including tread plate, diamond tread plate, deck plate, and checker plate. All these names refer to the same basic product: metal sheet, or plate, with a three-dimensional diamond-shaped or bar-shaped pattern embossed on one side.
Diamond plates offer a rugged, maintenance-free, slip-free surface that makes stairs, ramps, vehicle running boards, and walking surfaces safer, especially when wet. It provides protection to bumpers, docks, walls, columns, toolboxes, etc. Aluminum diamond plates also makes an attractive backsplash or wall covering or decorative accent in modern industrial-style interiors.
Diamond tread plates comes in different types of aluminum alloys, and steel, but it is called floor or tread plate when made of steel. There are two basic methods for making diamond plate – stamping and rolling.
A sheet metal stamping machine uses a metal die on a room-temperature metal sheet to create the raised diamond pattern. After the molded die presses down to emboss a small section of the sheet, the automated machine moves the sheet along a bed of rollers, and then the block stamps the next section until the entire sheet has been embossed.
Most metal sheet is created through the process of rolling, in which pairs of heavy rollers gradually compress a block of very hot metal to create the desired thickness and cross-section. Diamond plate can be created near the end of the rolling process while the metal is still hot, or in a separate process after the metal sheet has cooled. Either way, one of the rollers is covered in a raised diamond pattern. By using just a single patterned roller, the resulting diamond plate will remain smooth and flat on the back side, making it easier to install.
- Tread Brite is the most common type of aluminum tread plate. It has a shiny appearance and can be used for a wide variety of applications, including architectural and decorative, as well as functional.
- Embossed Firetruck-Quality (FTQ) Tread Plate has the same pattern as Tread Brite, but with a slightly modified textured diamond¬¬ which provides an even better grip. FTQ meets NFPA industry safety regulations.
- 5-Bar Tread Plate has a unique pattern of individual blocks of five parallel bars positioned perpendicularly with neighboring blocks like the squares on a checkerboard.
- Mill Finish Tread Plate comes in aluminum or steel with a matte-finish diamond pattern. It is used primarily in structural applications that do not require bending.
Contact Industrial Metal Supply for all your diamond tread plate needs.