What Is Diamond Plate?
What is diamond plate, and what is it used for?
Diamond plate is a specialist category of sheet metal stock characterised by a repeated, raised pattern on one side. It is alternatively known as checker plate, chequered plate, or tread plate. Diamond plate takes its name from the repeated diamond shape used to give it its texture, though other patterns can be used, including lines, bars, ovals. This is occasionally referred to as PGP, or Positive Grip Pattern. The underside of diamond plate is flat and smooth for ease of fitting.
Diamond plate is primarily made from either aluminium, galvanised steel, carbon steel or stainless steel, although it is possible to make it from a variety of other metals. It is a popular choice for a wide variety of applications and industries as an anti-slip solution, as well as being highly durable, corrosion-resistant, and easy to clean and maintain.
In the UK it is also sometimes referred to by one of the most common manufacturer brand names, Durbar plate.
What is diamond plate used for?
Due to the texture of the raised pattern increasing traction, diamond plate is primarily utilised for its anti-slip properties where walking access is required, hence the alternative name, tread plate.
Found in mostly industrial settings, diamond plate can be found on ramps, platforms, stairs, fire exits and walkways, and anywhere additional grip is required. Many variations, such as galvanised steel diamond plate, are also highly corrosion and rust-resistant, meaning they’re a popular choice in the shipping industry for container interiors and dock plates. Diamond plate, however, is only considered safe in mainly dry environments, and water or oil will quickly reduce its anti-slip properties, so additional protection such as mesh or grating may be required in certain situations. Stainless steel grade 304 diamond plate is a popular choice in environments where hygiene is important, such as food and beverage or chemical laboratories, as it is the most corrosion-resistant.
It can also be found on the interior of ambulances, in vehicle footwells and on truck and trailer beds, and even as semi-temporary flooring in outdoor events settings such as festivals and sporting events.
Diamond plate is also considered aesthetically pleasing, and as such, can also be used for a variety of decorative applications. It can often be found as wall panels, for example, in gyms where the additional protection from weights or bars is a benefit and on toolboxes, counter-tops, and cladding. Diamond plate can even be found in many venues or themed bars that want to portray a more gritty, industrial vibe. Once you start looking out for the distinctive diamond pattern, you’ll notice it everywhere!
It is worth noting that the phrase “diamond plate” is also sometimes used to refer to the pattern alone when applied to PVC or rubber flooring, either in rolls or tiles.
How is diamond plate made?
Diamond plate is manufactured with the same process as any other sheet or plate metal until the final stage where the pattern is applied.
When working with steel, hot rolling is used to raise the temperature of the material before running it through rollers, one of which is embossed with the diamond pattern applying it to one side of the sheet while leaving the other face smooth. This is a fast and relatively straightforward process, which is why diamond plate is so readily available and economically accessible.
As aluminium is more malleable and workable than steel, the required pattern can simply be stamped directly onto the surface of the sheet. Aluminium diamond plate is also substantially easier to cut and bend than steel, so the more popular choice for most DIY and home projects, although at a higher price point.
We stock a wide range of diamond plate and tread plate in a selection of sheet thicknesses and metal types, we also offer a free custom cutting service, so you simply order exactly what you need for your project to reduce cost and waste.