From decorative paneling, truck tool boxes and fire truck accessories to commercial walkways and marine gangways; diamond plate aluminum is everywhere. Due to the fact that it is lightweight, non-corrosive and easy to work fabricate this aluminum plate is often used where water is present. Diamond plate is commonly used on walkways in marine situations in order to access boat slips, boating piers and boat launch ramps.
ADA compliance is important on any accessible pathway. Sections 206.2.10 and 1003.2 of the 2010 ADA standards require an accessible route to any boating facility. However section 1003.2.1 lists gangways, transition plates, and floating piers as structures that are exempt from various accessible route standards. The reasoning behind these exemptions is because the water level affects these structures and it would be hard for them to comply with the slope, cross slope and handrail requirements for fixed ramps. In fixed ramps a slope no greater than 1:12 is permitted and handrails are required for any ramp with a rise greater than 6 inches. Due to the fact that this is not always required on gangways concerns were made that it might be impossible for some people to access boating facilities. Commenters suggested a formula for the gangways that ties required length to anticipated water level fluctuations. While some new construction materials and new design innovations are available to facilities with sufficient resources, this may not work for all diamond plate aluminum pathways or boating facilities.
Slip resistant should also be considered in access pathways. Bare diamond plate may be considered slip resistant but it can still get slippery when wet or worn. SlipNOT® Metal Safety Flooring can coat bare aluminum diamond plate with a high traction surface that surpasses the ADA requirements. Steel, stainless steel and aluminum bare checker plate can be coated creating a permanently safe surface.
Appendix B to Part 36, Analysis and Commentary on the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design. <http://www.ada.gov/regs2010/titleIII_2010/reg3_2010_appendix_b.htm