Last year I reported on common designs for bar grating found in Singapore but not necessarily the United States.
Now, over a year later, I want to discuss the cast metal grating I saw during my visit. I personally prefer cast metal grating over bar or sheet metal grating. Part of this is prejudice because of my background in the foundry industry and metal casting. There is just something about pouring hot metal into a mold to create a durable item that appeals to the engineer in me. There is also an economic practicality to cast metal grates, which offer a broad variety of patterns, metals and applications.
There are no foundries in Singapore as far as I’m aware. In an effort to clean up the island nation, manufacturing has largely been moved to Malaysia, Indonesia and China. Singapore is fighting to readjust its economy away from low-skilled labor in order to become a financial and trade hub. Since Singapore imports its metal grating, I had the opportunity to see a variety of cast grates from all over Asia. I even saw a U.S.-made drain grate by East Jordan near a business complex plaza!
Learn more about Made-in-America decorative trench grates!
The first cast iron grate I’d like to discuss (see below) is a simple, thin slotted grating. It measures about 300mm wide and 200mm long. The thickness is only about 12mm (1/2 inch), making this light duty structure suitable only for pedestrians. I dare say it would be tested by the girth of some folks in the United States. That is probably one reason why you won’t see this grating size commonly here.
The United States trench drain market is trending toward heel-proof or ADA grating in areas of high pedestrian traffic. We are a deeply litigious country. Nobody needs a lawsuit because they created a trip hazard for someone in stiletto heels. Singapore, however, doesn’t seem to be burdened with this constraint as we are in the United States.
Nobody needs a lawsuit because they created a trip hazard for someone in stiletto heels.
To further elaborate this point, below is an aluminum slotted grating that spans a pedestrian bridge that crosses a river to a popular hotel on the river. The grating, though lightweight, is industrial looking. It has a large percent open area, a necessity in Singapore’s tropical climate.
The rail supporting the grating is broken, which adds to the potential tripping hazard. Nevertheless, thousands of people cross these grates every day in a very high end tourist area.
Decorative Grating Patterns in Singapore
I saw the interesting cast iron grate below along a sidewalk entrance to a government building. This simple mesh grating has an attractive, fresh look without seeming too overindulgent. The mesh structure makes it ADA compliant, though not heel-proof. It has engineer’s appeal! The grate’s painted surface helps to protect the iron from oxidizing in the region’s torrential rainfall. It also gives the grating character, which helps present a nice border around the building’s interior courtyard.
The next ornate slotted cast iron grate is on the decorative side. It measures approximately 10 inches wide and 12 inches long. The grating thickness, about 3/4 inch, is a little beefier than the previous pedestrian traffic grates. Again, this was grate was placed bordering a sidewalk. It seems to have had a galvanized coating, since faded.
The slotted design has a nice decorative flair without getting too flamboyant.
Last of the cast iron grates featured is a decorative radius grate. This particular drain grate meandered throughout the Garden by the Bay, just south of the breathtaking Sands Marina Bay Hotel and Resort adjoining the southern harbor. The garden is also breathtaking. I’ve included a photo of the super trees that they have at the park center.
The radius grate ran throughout the parks sidewalk, lining the walkway and sometimes crossing the path in a controlled-but-chaotic fashion. The slight radius of the grating highlighted the edges of the curved sidewalks throughout the park. The odd pattern on the grating is appealing to the eye, is ADA compliant and interesting enough that it be fitting with the other unique landscape architecture displayed throughout the garden.
The grates have a radius enough to make the curved drain, if wanted. By alternating the curvature orientation of each grate, one could make a nearly perfect straight drain. I couldn’t find markings on the grates to identify the country of source, but I enjoyed documenting the drain and viewing a world class park at the same time.
Many of the grating designs I saw in Singapore are less popular or not offered in America. To find out what your decorative iron grating options are, visit Trench Drain Systems or call 610-638-1221 to get information about grate covers for your project.