Steel Bar Grating vs. Fiberglass Grating

If we talk about the use of grating in the industrial, mining and energy sectors, there
are two type of surfaces, both have been very common for many years now:
Steel Bar Grating and Fiberglass Grating. It is extremely important to know the differences and advantages of each one to choose the correct one according to your project.

First you should ask yourself some questions:
In which environment is the grating supposed to be installed? What loads will it receive and how often? Maintenance costs? Market price?

In places where acids or sulfates exist, it is recommended to install fiberglass
grating or stainless steel bar grating. In damp places with high resistance to loads, steel bar grating is the safest choice. For heavy vehicular traffic, steel bar grating works better too. To avoid electrical or heat conduction, fiberglass grating will be the best option.

Stainless Steel Grating Fiberglass Grating

Unlike other materials, such as fiberglass, which are prone to break due to rough practices and uses that take place in the industry, steel bar grating is known for its resistance and durability. In addition, it has more competitive prices regarding cost-benefit. Another outstanding feature is its resistance to corrosion or oxidation when it is galvanized. It is also very light compared to the loads it can resist.

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How Grating is made

Electric welding, also known as electro-forged, is a thermoelectric process in which heat is generated by the passage of electric current. For a controlled period of time and under controlled pressure, the current passes through the junction area of the parts that wish to be welded.

This process is frequently used to manufacture steel bar grating and other types of grid.

In this manufacturing process, metals are welded without additional materials. This is achieved through the pressure and the electric current applied to the wished welded area.

During the process, metal parts (commonly steel) are pressed together by the welding machine”™s electrodes to assure a firm and constant electrical contact.

Subsequently, the electric current passes through the electrodes and heats them until their junction spot melts. The two pieces”™ of molten metal are combined and they join together. When current stops both pieces solidify, forming a solid metallic connection between both pieces.

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The Use of Grating?

The use of grating has increased significantly in construction projects. This is due to its versatility making it perfect for many areas where other types of products would”™ve been considered before.

In industrial markets, grating is usually used in platform and industrial floors, as well as on stairs, ramps, storm drains, and among many others.


Regarding its architectural aspect, and due to its modern design and variety of finishes, grating fabricated products adapt perfectly to the construction environment; in addition, provide great durability and security. A wide variety of Architectural Products are available, such as: fences, benches, louvers, hand railings, balconies, and others.

When it comes to choosing a quality material, grating is an excellent option for many reasons: it can be custom fabricated to fulfill specific drawings requirements (custom fabricated grating); it has different loads capacities (Types of Grating); and, above all offers high resistance and elegance. It is also a product that can be found in different finishes, such as: natural steel, black anticorrosive enamel and galvanized.

Natural Steel Black Paint Galvanized

Cut to Size Steel Bar Grating

Delivery time and cost reduction are two very important aspects to take into account during a construction project. Installation of Steel Bar Grating in industrial plants is an art and also the key to save both, time and money.

Finding wrong cuts and incorrect installation of grating in plants or urban projects is very common. This of course gives a bad impression and makes us believe that grating wasn’t the most adequate solution for that area. In addition, in the long term this causes maintenance expenses for the owner of the plant.

To avoid mistakes, you can always rely on a Cut to Size Service with any Steel Bar Grating manufacturer.

When a project needs to cover an specific area (which is normally drawn). You should send  the drawings to the grating manufacturer and they will send each piece identified by a number to assure that when it gets to the installation area it is located in its correct place. Each and every cut piece is manufactured under resistance, thickness and correct alignment considerations.

Some examples of Cut to Size Projects:


Guarantee your project with the support of a custom fabricated grating supplier.

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Bar Grating Stair Treads

Commonly known as Stair Treads and mainly used in industrial plants. When a project includes in its structure several levels (floors), stairs normally come out as the best option, also contributing benefits such as an easy installation, low costs, customization according the area and almost a null maintenance.

Depending on the project’s purpose Grating Stair Treads offer smooth or serrated (non-skid) surfaces; measure 8-½”, 9-¾”, 11”, or can be custom fabricated. As for the finish, depending on the environment they will be exposed: plain steel, anti-corrosive black paint or galvanizing. However to ensure greater corrosion resistance is recommended to always galvanize any steel product.

Benefits of Steel Bar Grating Stair Treads:

  • Safety and Resistance. Offer non-skid surface which decreases possibilities of accidents inside the plant.
  • Maintenance Savings. Since they are made of steel and not cement or concrete,  bar grating stair treads do not break or crack so easily eliminating maintenance costs.
  • No Cleaning Required . Since stair treads are made of steel bar grating; fluids, gases and other substances are able to pass through.
  • Allow Fluids Flow. Eliminate possibilities of flooding and slippery floors that can be dangerous to transiting personnel.
  • Gas passage. Prevent accumulation of gases that may cause poisoning or visibility problems inside the plant.

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Steel Bar Grating Components

During purchasing process is important to consider the quality of the steel bar grating components since this affects directly in its resistance. To supervise quality, we enlisted 3 steps for you.

Steel Bar Grating Components

  • Bearing Bar: made from from steel strip. This component is in charge of supporting loads.
  • Cross Bar: thick wire, normally smooth, sometimes extruded. Its functions are to group, and maintain equidistant bearing bars.
  • Banding: made from from steel strip, used to close up tips of the regular support bearing bars in a standard panel. Also helps to maintain a balance in loads.

First supervision. Ensure that the panel’s dimensions are 3´x 20´. Important projects such as marine platforms, industrial plants, among others, demand certified grating to ensure a perfect performance. To learn the required certifications for your project click here.

Second supervision. Count the bearing bars that make up the panel they should be 34, and 60 cross bars. Every space between each cross bar should measure 4”. With this supervision you will know if your manufacturer is or not an expert in steel bar grating fabrication.

Third and last. Revise permitted tolerances of bearing bars and cross bars for the ordered type of grating. A micrometer is the best alternative to measure them. Tolerances are published by NAAMM (National Association of Architectural Metal Manufacturers).

Doing this supervisions you minimize chances of receiving non certified grating and guarantee price and quality of what you’re buying.

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Architectural Louvers

Within the range of architectural products louvers are proposed by architects as structures to hide specific objects, but simultaneously permitting ventilation throughout that covered area. They are used in residential and industrial projects, normally hiding power plants, air conditioners, ducts and other elements.

Due to its apparent lightness, louvers are easily integrated to the architectural and structural environment as an ornamental element that provides security to the objects in the inside.

Some benefits of using louvers:

  • Allow view to the outside
  • Prevent water from coming inside
  • Provide optimum ventilation
  • Help to control sunlight

Different types of louvers exist. Steel bar grating type, provide resistance, durability, protection and security to the objects found inside the building.

Before purchasing architectural elements, take advice with the experts.

Structural Steel Fabrication

Structural Steel is implemented in numerous ways. It´s versatility helps actual contractors to mold structures to the project´s requirements, in addition its high resistance compared to other construction alternatives guarantees the developer an enduring project.

Steel Fabrication is divided in two primary categories:

  • Light Steel Structures
  • Heavy Steel Structures

Some commonly known light structures are: safety ladders, marine stairs, catwalks, among others. These are generally a component of a bigger structure, for example: (the safety ladder used to climb up the water tank).

In the other hand, within the most common heavy structures: process equipment, recipients, casings, building structures, warehouses and tubing. These are also in most of the times components of a greater system. (To see examples you can click here).

Depending on the location that the structure is going to be situated, is recommended to galvanize it. This finishing process extends its service up to 60 years protecting it from corrosion. (click here to learn more about hot dip galvanizing)

Unlike line production products such as steel bar grating (enlace a steel bar grating panels), steel sheet, rebar, and many others; steel structures are normally custom fabricated due to the requirements and sizes that each project demands.


During fabrication, construction materials, diameters (atmospheric and pressurized), weldings and other processes should be audited under API and ASME specifications.

To guarantee the structure’s quality, the auditor (supervisor) should master the following:

  • Welding inspection Certified by a CWI as WIS, according to AWS B5.2
  • Penetrating liquids level II, according ASNT TC-1A
  • Magnetic Particles level II, according ASNT TC-1A
  • Working paint under SSPC norms

Before selecting your fabrication supplier make sure it has plenty years of experience to ensure you will receive the best lead times, quality and service.

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Steel Bar Grating Finishes

Steel Bar grating is a functional product that has been in the market for decades helping the industry in several ways, such as industrial flooring, catwalks, antiskid flooring in humid plants, among many other uses. Its contemporary look is nowadays attracting architects to use it as an architectural alternative as fence, faÁ§ade, louver, and other ornamental elements that complement a residential or urban project.

Due to its diversity in uses, architects and engineers required new and better finishes to assure that the grating lasts in specific environments and projects conditions.

Most common steel bar grating finishes are:

1.- Mill Finish: the panel or custom fabricated grating is delivered in its natural finish, having nothing protecting it. This finish is used when a project requires a natural steel color look, taking into account that its aspect is going to become corroded in few days (appearing oxidation in the piece).

2.- Black Paint Finish: it is about immersing the grating into a black paint kettle adding on a thick layer of special black paint. This layer protects steel from corrosion for a long period of time. This finish is not the most protective one, but still ensures that the piece does not corrodes in the short term.


3.- Powder Coating: this covering application takes place spraying atomized paint particles to steel generating a more efficient paint. This finish is superior to any other in the market. It offers a wide variety of colors, that´s why architects determine to use it in order to match colors in their architectural projects.

Is recommended to hot dip galvanise the piece before powder coating it since this finishing process guarantees extending grating´s life from 5 to 10 more years.

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4.- Hot Dip Galvanizing: is the best corrosion protection available in the market. The finishing process is performed under ASTM-A-123 specifications. It is used for all type of projects due to its resistance to extreme conditions. Besides extending up to 60 years the life of the product, presents a modern grey finish color (since most of the covering is represented by zinc) that transmits elegance (to learn more about galvanizing click here.

Thanks to this brief explanation of possible steel bar grating finishes you can now suggest your project manager the best alternative to guarantee durability and aesthetic to the project you’re working on.

If you still have any inquiry don’t hesitate and contact an expert.

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