At ACO, materials used to manufacture our drainage products are carefully selected for their superior durability in the conditions of each particular application. Harsh commercial environments and heavy traffic urban environments require durable, well-designed drainage products suited to the conditions of the location. When choosing a trench drain, the primary aspects to consider are the hydraulic performance of the drain and grate system and the specific application location requirements, including the expected loading, material durability and user requirements. A thorough investigation of the application environment is recommended before choosing a trench drain system in order to identify any chemicals or corrosive materials that could influence the choice of materials used.
To ensure you get the right drain system for your project, we manufacture the channels, grates and edge rails of modular trench and grate systems from a variety of materials designed to suit a large number of application environments and project budgets.
Trench Body Materials
Understanding the materials used in the manufacturing of trench drain and grate systems assists in choosing the right trench drain, which is vital to the long life, durability and correct functioning of the system. For commercial and industrial applications, ACO Drain grated trench drain systems are manufactured from polymer concrete. GRC (glass reinforced fibre) is sometimes used but is predominantly used in cladding panels, and HDPE (plastic) is generally only used for drainage in domestic applications. Read on for a further explanation of the materials used in modular channel drains.
ACO Drain systems are manufactured from polymer concrete. Polycrete® is ACO’s trademark for polymer concrete castings. Polycrete® Channels are durable, lightweight composite products made from polyester resin binder reinforced by mineral aggregates and fillers. ACO’s KlassikDrain, SlabDrain and PowerDrain channels are all manufactured from polymer concrete. This material has been designed for superior chemical resistance, which makes it suitable for commercial and urban environments where drains could come into contact with chemicals. A guidance chart outlining chemical resistance can be found in the Chemical Resistance sheet of our ACO Drain Technical Data Sheet.
The structural rigidity of the material also makes it ideal for use in a variety of pavement types including concrete, asphalt and brick.
Because of its smooth surface, the Polycrete® Channels resist biological attack, such as what occurs from the build-up of mould and other deposits on the surface of regular concrete. This makes it easy to clean and maintain.
The extremely low porosity of Polycrete® makes it useful for applications where the contents of the drain need to be isolated to avoid contamination of the outside environment.
Glass fibre reinforced concrete is a mixture of cement, fine aggregate, water, chemical admixtures and alkali resistant glass fibres. It is predominantly used for building cladding panels. Although GRC is stronger than regular cement concrete, polymer concrete far exceeds the strength of both. Click here for further information.
Polyethylene is an economical and easy-to-mould plastic material that we use in some of our domestic trench drains. For heavier duty applications, HDPE needs to be keyed into the concrete in order to keep its bond with the concrete encasement. Otherwise, it is a lighter duty material used only in domestic applications with lower traffic loadings.
ACO Drain grates are predominantly manufactured from ductile iron, mild steel, stainless steel or plastic. They feature properties which comply with a number of national and international safety standards for wheelchairs, bicycles and thin high-heeled shoes. In order to withstand heavy loadings, grates need high tensile strength properties. Our range of Heelsafe® Anti-Slip grates are designed for various applications from light traffic pedestrian areas to heavy duty roadways. View multiple styles at our dedicated Heelsafe® website.
Edge Rail Materials
Edge rails are the exposed edges of the trench which help to hold the grate in position. Because they are exposed to the same loads as the grate, edge rails must be extremely secure. If they fail, the grate will shift out of its place and could become a safety hazard to people using the area. Edge rails are fitted with interlocking lugs to prevent longitudinal movement of grates. For optimum strength, we manufacture integrally cast-in edge rails from galvanised steel, grade 304 stainless steel or ductile iron.
ACO is here to assist you in choosing the right materials for your drainage products. For more information about material properties and a comparison between cement concrete, polymer concrete, GRC and HDPE, click here. If you require further assistance choosing a trench drain system, read Trench Drain Systems for Beginners or Contact Us today.