What is Tread Plate?
Rolled aluminum tread plate is made of an alloy, where elements such as copper or silicon are added to aluminum to increase its strength and corrosion resistance. The two of the most common grades of aluminum alloy include:
Alloy 3003: The most widely used of all aluminum alloys. Manganese gives the alloy up to 20% more strength over pure aluminum, while still allowing for good workability. While not as strong as 6061, aluminum 3003 tread plate’s shiny reflective finish makes it both functional and decorative.
Alloy 6061: 6000-series aluminum is mixed with magnesium and silicon, giving the metal a high degree of strength. This, along with its corrosion resistance and weldability, is why 6061 is often referred to as structural aluminum. Aluminum 6006 tread plate comes in a mill finish, which means its surface is untreated with little to no shine.
Uses of Aluminum Tread Plate
Tread plate, Diamond plate, Checker plate. No matter what the name, it all refers to the same product: metal sheet or plate with a regular pattern of raised diamond marks. When looking to keep workers safe on the job, aluminum tread plate is a durable, high-quality option to help reduce slips and falls. So why choose aluminum tread plate over other materials? It has numerous benefits including:
- Slip resistance: The raised pattern provides traction even under tough weather conditions that can find surfaces covered in water or mud. For this reason, tread plate is typically used on stairs, ramps, loading docks and other industrial areas.
- Corrosion resistance: Unlike iron oxidization, aluminum oxidization stops at the surface. Iron rust can be easily worn or flaked off, exposing fresh metal which rusts and leads to further deterioration. Aluminum oxidation, on the other hand, will not progress beyond the outside layer unless the oxide is removed. This makes well-suited to wear and tear, including exposure to corrosive elements like seawater.
- Hygiene: Tread plate is easy to wash down, and the corrosion resistance of aluminum alloy means it can hold up to regular use of strong cleaning agents. This makes it ideal for areas needing regular heavy-duty sanitation, such as food processing plants, kitchens and walk-in freezers, and ambulances.
- Protection: The design of tread plate gives impact and surface protection, coupled with the strength of solid metal. When used for corner guards and door plates, aluminum tread plate will help prevent unsightly marks or damage in high-traffic areas.
- Decorative: Aluminum tread plate is often used for its decorative quality. Vehicle trim, shop walls, and furniture can be made of tread plate, most often in a bright polished finish. The high shine combines both form and function, with the shiny surface also helping with ease of cleaning.
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