USES OF TREAD PLATE
Tread plate provides a grippy, hardwearing surface. Its primary use is as industrial flooring to reduce slips and falls even when surfaces are wet. Other common uses utilise the same properties including; trailer & truck beds, access ramps, kick plates and protective wall panelling, more recently it has been popular for decorative uses to fit in with industrial interior design trends.
HOW IS TREAD PLATE MADE?
The most common process for making tread plate is simple and quite economical. As with standard plate or sheet, the metal is passed through a series of large rollers until the required thickness is achieved. The difference being that on the final set of rollers, one of the rollers has a pattern which embosses onto one side of the sheet.
For aluminium, this process is done without heat, the pattern is stamped onto the plate, whereas with steel, hot rolling is generally used. Heating the metal above its recrystallisation temperature to reshape helps to prevent major alterations in mechanical properties.
THE HISTORY OF TREAD PLATE
The origins of tread plate are a little unclear, but a popular theory is that it was invented in the UK in 1938 by Colin Meek. Other sources suggest that tread plate has been in use since the 1920s.