Diamond plate, also known as checker plate and tread plate, is a lightweight metal product with a raised diamond pattern. The diamond pattern is said to provide slip resistance and traction for pedestrians and workers. Diamond plate is carried in steel, stainless steel or aluminum and is used on numerous applications including industrial floors, loading docks, warehouses, processing plants, conveyers, and distribution centers, among many others. When it comes to slip resistant qualities, diamond plate does not have a high enough coefficient of friction when covered with liquids or dust. Coefficient of friction measures the friction between two surfaces and can range from zero to one. Diamond plate’s coefficient of friction may meet the standard specifications, although it wears a lot quicker than a smooth, coated aluminum plate. An aluminum plate with a non-slip coating applied generates a coefficient greater than or equal to 0.85. Depending on where the tread plate is installed; oils, liquids or dust may build up on the surface and compromise the slip resistant surface. If you do not replace diamond plate annually, it may become worn down from overuse. Below are three ways to avoid slip and falls while using diamond plate.
1. Retrofit a non-slip product over the diamond plate surface
If diamond plate is already installed within your facility you may consider retrofitting a slip resistant product over the surface such as solid plate or expanded metal. Non-slip metal products are used in stainless steel, aluminum, steel or galvanized steel to retrofit over tread plate. SlipNOT Metal Safety Flooring recently retrofitted aluminum solid plate nosings onto diamond plate stair treads. The non-slip metal products can easily be tack welded or bolted down.
2. Coat the diamond plate surface
Another way of adding slip resistance to diamond plate is to add a non-slip coating to the surface. This would give pedestrians extra traction. Non-slip manufacturing facilities generally do not recommend this because the raised diamond pattern may wear quicker than a solid plate. However, different facilities will work with companies if this is the solution that is most desirable. Honda Transmission recently had their existing checker plate coated with the high traction surface to avoid slip and falls.
3. Avoid installing diamond plate without a coating
If your company is renovating their facility or beginning new construction, they may want to consider using a more durable, long lasting and slip resistant product from the start. Non-slip manufacturers offer a large variety of products such as plate, grating, perforated plate, expanded metal, among many others. TheSlipNOT® metal coating is applied to metal substrates, providing a high bond strength which will not chip or flake off. Also, different grades of slip resistance are offered to cater towards certain industries or applications. However, if diamond plate needs to be used, SlipNOT® can apply it’s slip resistant coating to the surface.