Universal Ductile Iron Trench Drain Grate (TDS 461D)

Interlaken Grate with Locking Device from Iron Age Designs

Previous articles I’ve written have discussed the evolution of the polymer concrete trench drain channel and how it came to the U.S. Market. The big takeaway is that the rise of modular trench drain started in Europe and migrated to the United States, bringing with them metric dimensional standards (channel length and width) which rendered each company’s grating interchangeable between certain manufacturers. Companies like MEA, ACO, ABT and ULMA all began modular channel designs utilizing the “Toggle Technology” for securing the grating into the channel. The most common channel design required a grating 498 mm long, 122 mm wide with a center toggle hole for attachment. This standardization has made it possible for boutique foundries like Iron Age Designs and Urban Accessories to develop a decorative grating market and sell unique grates that fit an array of products.

After several years, their effort to innovate and differentiate has led some companies to develop new grate securing methods that make interchangeability more difficult. But standard center hole grates are still available and are becoming more popular as older systems show signs of wear and need replacement parts. There are a number of reasons as to why trench grates wear out and need to be replaced:


Wrong Grate was initially installed – Sometimes when initially specified, the wrong load rating or chemical resistance is selected that leads to early breakage, deforming or corrosion.  Sometimes, the contractor will take a short cut on the drain grate to reduce his initial expenditure.

Improper maintenance – When grates are removed for drain maintenance, grates that are not locked properly back into the channel risk damage.  Grate load rating is only achieved when the grate is installed on a clean surface and secured into place with a toggle.

Change in use of drain – When a drain is in a building that changes use away from the initially designed function, problem may occur if load or chemical requirements increase.  Going from a pedestrian to a fork truck application is a common problem point.

Just time to replace or upgrade – If you have a drain that was installed 30 – 40 years ago, you might want to just be nice to the drain and give it some higher load rated or new shiny grates.

ABT Galvanized Perforated Grate

Trench Drain Systems (TDS) has just released a new universal ductile iron slotted trench drain grate called the TDS 461D.  The grate is designed to fit the toggle mounted renditions of ACO, J.R. Smith, MEA, Josam, Polydrain (ABT) and Ulma 100 mm wide modular channel drain systems.  The grate is made to a E600 load rating with ductile iron.  The grating measure less than ½ meter, weights approximately 10.4 pounds and is coated with a black epoxy paint.  Trench Drain Systems 461D grate is shown below installed in the channels of four separate manufactures.

Trench Drain Systems with TDS 461D Grates

The TDS 461D grate was specifically designed to cooperate with the PolyDrain 2510 AF frame.  The PolyDrain frame has special grate sliding stops build into each end of the frame that require some unique features be built into the grate in order to create a compatible assembly.  The design of the TDS 461D grate accomplishes compatibility with the PolyDrain system which helps in its “Universal” designation.  Good Job TDS!!

PolyDrain frame and TDS 461D

TDS is a national distributor and manufacturer of linear drainage products and accessories.  They continue to bring unique products to the linear drainage market that meet the growing needs of commercial and residential customers.  The new TDS 461D grate can be purchased on-line at www.TrenchDrainGrates.com.  For complete systems that utilize this or other grating options, visit www.DrainageKits.com