Trench drain systems

Trench drain systems DEFAULT

Trench Drain System – PRO-PLUS

- Labor Saving- Non-porous structure with a smooth surface- Easy to handle and install- Locking-bar slots in shallowest neutral channels- Shatterproof and extremely resistant to abrasion
- Available with PRO-SNAP grate securing system without bolts
- Lightweight – 70% lighter than polymer concrete
- SMC/GRP grate options
- 1.5 times stronger than polymer concrete
- Load class A-F (Includes GRP, steel, ductile iron, & non-metallic grate options)- Expands and contracts less than polymer concrete, Polypropylene, & HDPE- Up to class E without a rail- Withstands fluid temperatures of 212°F continuous and 392°F intermittent- Frost, heat, and rust resistant
- Available with and without slope
- Resistant to chemicals, oil, gasoline, hot asphalt, and tartaric acid- Built-in rebar support brackets- Free of halogens, asbestos, and toxic heavy metals- Two outlets per 39.4" channel section- Non-flammable- 39.4" and 19.7" channel lengths- Complies with UL 94 HB Fire Rating- 4" and 8" nominal interior widths- Recyclable

Trench Drain - Slot Drain - Stainless Trench Drain
Radius Trench Drain - Utility Trench

Quality commercial grade Dura Trench drain products are available nationwide with rapid delivery from our extensive inventory.   With over 200,000 square feet of manufacturing space across the USA we are equipped to build your next linear drain system.  Eric’sons Dura Trench stands behind the linear drain products we manufacture with knowledgeable technical support, seasoned personnel, and expert installation advice.

Trench Drain

Airport precast trench drain system

Dura Trench is a trench drain manufacturer offering a complete line of heavy duty, commercial trench drain systems.  Trench drains are offered in 2″, 4″, 6″, 8″, 10″, 12″, 18″, 24″, 36″, and 48″ widths.  Our commercial trench drains offer a wide assortment of load bearing frame options from light duty pedestrian frames to heavy duty traffic rated trench drain frames. The entire commercial trench drain line is offered with custom depths and slopes to meet your project specific needs.  Top your trench drain with a large assortment of trench drain grates for a complete trench drain system.  We also offer the highest quality residential driveway drain system.

Slot Drain

Dura Trench manufactures a full line of easy to install slot drain systems (also called slotted pipe or slotted drain).  The slot drain sizes offered are 4″, 6″, 8″, 12″, 15″, 18″, 21″, 24″, and 36″.  All of our slot drains systems have variable height throats to meet any slope you might desire.  Dura Trench slot drains feature smooth flow lines, installation aides, and multiple frame options.  Our slot drains are the best on the market.

Stainless Steel Trench Drain

Dura Trench manufactures stainless trench drains and stainless steel slot drains in both T304 and T316 stainless steel.  These industrial grade stainless trench drains are smooth and food safe.  They offer superior chemical resistance and the joints can have a bolted flange or fully welded connection to provide seamless water tight systems.  We can ship the stainless trench drains in long sections to minimize field welding and joints.  Our stainless steel trench drains and stainless steel slot drains are the highest quality on the market!

Radius Trench Drain

raidus trench drain system

Dura Trench is one of the only trench drain manufacturers that makes architecturally pleasing, true radius™ trench drain systems.  Each piece is crafted with a gentle curve to match the desired radius.  Endless curved grate options complete the look of the true radius trench drain system.  Let’s make something beautiful together!

Trench Drain Grates

Dura Trench manufactures trench drain grates of all types and sizes.  We fabricate cast iron grates, ductile iron grates, steel bar grates, stamped metal grates, stainless steel grates, fiberglass grates, plastic grates, etc.  We have trench drain grates for light duty loading to heavy duty trench drain grates.  Our grates are used in everything from airports to swimming pools.  We also manufacture custom grates to your specifications.  Need a different width, unusual height, architectural pattern, odd surface finish, special paint, etc. – Dura Trench is capable and ready to help you manufacture a grate that fits your needs.

Utility Trench

Dura Trench has a large selection of utility trenches.  Our utility trenches have built in channel strut to make mounting of pipes or cables easy.  Our utility trenches are chemical resistant and can provide secondary containment.  Utility trenches can be sloped to eliminate water standing in the bottom of the utility trench.  Dura Trench manufactures utility trenches in 12″, 18″, 24″, 36″, and 48″ widths.  Outfit the utility trench with a wide assortment of frames to match your load and chemical resistance needs.  Then top the utility trench with a wide selection of cover or grate options for a complete utility trench solution.

When the standard product line of heavy duty trench drains, slot drains, and utility trenches won’t fit your needs you can rely on Eric’sons Dura Trench to provide custom solutions for every need. We offer a very versatile pallet of custom fabrication options to provide everything from trench drains that buck grade to slot drains fabricated in a radius. If you dream it, we can build it.

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Trench drain

A trench drain (also channel drain, line drain, slot drain, linear drain or strip drain) is a specific type of floor drain containing a dominant trough- or channel-shaped body. It is used for the rapid evacuation of surface water or for the containment of utility lines or chemical spills. Employing a solid cover or grating that is flush with the adjoining surface, this drain is commonly made of concrete in-situ and may utilize polymer- or metal-based liners or a channel former to aid in channel crafting and slope formation. Characterized by its long length and narrow width, the cross-section of the drain is a function of the maximum flow volume anticipated from the surrounding surface. Channels can range from 1 inch (25 mm) to 2 feet in width, with depths that can reach 4 feet (120 cm).

Trench drains are commonly confused with French drains, which consist of a perforated pipe that is buried in a gravel bed, and which are used to evacuate ground water. A slot drain, also wrongly associated with a trench drain, consists of a drainage pipe with a thin neck (or slot) that opens at the ground surface with sufficient opening to drain storm water.


There are four common types of trench drains which are based on forming or installation method. These are cast-in-place, pre-cast concrete, liner systems and former systems. Newer stainless steel drains are available for residential and commercial shower installs and more commonly called "channel drains".

Cast in place[edit]

This is the original standard for trench drain systems. Here, a concrete trench is formed in the ground using wood forms, reinforcing bar and manual labor. It involves several steps:

  1. Building a wooden mold that will ultimately form the channel for the trench drain;
  2. Attaching a set of metal frames to the top edge of the form (which will hold the trench grating);
  3. Suspending the form inside the trough (and flush with the surface elevation), such that there is space (6 inches or more) below and to each side of the form;
  4. Attaching the drainage pipes to the suspended form;
  5. Filling the trench with concrete (surrounding the form base and sides) and finishing the concrete flush with the metal frame;
  6. And after drying, removing the wooden form, cleaning the pipe inverts and placing the grates in the frame.

This installation method is by far the most labor-intensive. In addition, material cost is a function of the width of the grate used in the trench. There are three main reasons why this is labor-intensive: the outlet pipe position in the floor, the levelling of the trench grate in the floor, and integration of the waterproofing. If the outlet is not exactly in the centre, then the channel must be customized, increasing cost and time to construct. This can be overcome by the use of modular trench drain systems. These allow the drain pipe to be connected anywhere along the trench, giving the builder and plumber more freedom to place the services, reducing construction time and costs, particularly in high-rise situations where moving plumbing services can be nearly impossible. Achieving a curbless or hobless entrance for special needs access is more readily achieved with a modular system, as the levelling of the shower floor to the bathroom floor is inherently problematic with non-modular systems as they have no on-site adjustment. Waterproofing is possibly the most critical aspect of the bathroom when integrating a channel/trench drain. There are two ways to approach the waterproofing issue. First is to develop a proprietary method where the waterproofing and trench drain are a kit. Second is to separate the waterproofing and trench drain. The first method has the benefit of an 'all-in-one' solution, but the downside is cost and limitation of the system in varying applications, i.e. limited generally to bathroom application. The second method is generally safest as the waterproofing is completed using established proven methods that most building contractors are familiar with. A second benefit is when the waterproofing is a separate item all methods of waterproofing (cementeous, bitumized, fibreglassed, paint-on, sweat-on, lead-lined, copper pan etc.) can be utilized. This will allow a modular system to be used in many applications such as pools, balconies, thresholds, pedestrian areas, public areas, essentially most wet areas where a waterproofing system is required, be it on ground or above (suspended slab). Stainless steel trench drains can also be installed in a home's shower and in commercial locations like hospital rooms, changing rooms and operating rooms.

Former systems[edit]

This installation method is the logical successor to the cast-in-place method. The former system gives a cast-in-place product without the hassle of making the form. Rather than wood, the forms are made of lightweight expanded polystyrene (EPS) or cardboard. The forms attach to a prefabricated frame and grate system that can then be easily set in the trough and aligned for the pouring of concrete. And, like the cast-in-place method, the form is removed after the concrete has dried. The real savings with the former method is in time required for making and setting the form. The efficiency of the former system helps speed up the installation thus reducing labor costs. One downside to the former system is the waste generated by the disposal of the EPS and cardboard.

Pre-cast concrete[edit]

Pre-cast trench drains are made in a factory that specializes in making concrete shapes. The channel pieces range in width and length, larger channels requiring heavy equipment to move them, however most channels can be picked up and moved easily by hand. The channels are formed in large metal forms that (usually) have a pre-determined channel width, depth, and slope. Like in the cast-in-place method, a metal frame is attached to the form and concrete is poured and finished in a factory atmosphere. The advantage to the pre-cast trench drain is again time savings—big time savings at the job site. Pre-cast trench drains made of a polymer concrete are also more sturdy and reliable than cast-in-place trenches. Once a trough is dug, the pre-cast trench sections can be installed and quickly be put into service through numerous methods. A patty method can be used by placing clumps of concrete at each trench drain channel joint and the channels can be levelled and set as such. Further installation methods involve clipping rebar through installation device used with the channel. Concrete will need to be poured to surround the trench drain so that the load can be transferred from the channel and grate to the surrounding areas.

Pre-cast trench drains generally come in 4-inch widths but can range anywhere from a 1-3/4-inch slot to 2-inch-wide channels with grates, and up to any size imaginable through custom trench drain divisions. A home owner could consider a pre-cast trench for a landscaping project as there are many pre-cast trench drain systems being manufactured specifically for the residential market. A person generally can go to a pre-caster or a distributor and buy 50 feet of trench drain out of the yard; the cost of the material to create the trench drains can be more expensive than simply using cast-in-place systems, however the money saved through installation, maintenance, and longevity heavily outweighs those costs.

Linear systems[edit]

A channel drain in a Vancouver condo

The popular trend in trench drains are linear systems. Linear as in line drain. Made from materials such as polymer concrete, fiberglass, structural plastic and steel, liner systems are the channel and grate components that are assembled in the trench and around which concrete is poured to form a drain system. By themselves, these liner systems do not have the strength and integrity to hold up under the physical requirements needed for the drain. A concrete (or asphalt) drain body is required to encase the channel to give the channel compressive strength and rigidity to ensure the drain will be able to withstand the traffic load it was designed to handle.



The use of trench drains in construction began with the commission by the British Airports Authority of a company called Gatic. Airports were in need of a form of trench drainage with fewer movable parts and less tendency to collapse under heavy traffic than the traditional drainage gratings. Gatic designed and engineered the first stainless steel slot drain, and it was installed first at Stansted Airport in the United Kingdom, following which it was specified at Britain’s most famous airport – Heathrow. These airports continue to use stainless steel slot drainage both airside and landside for surface water drainage requirements.

Industrial, Development and Urban Landscapes[edit]

Following the use of slot drainage at airports, the manufacturers began engineering slot drainage for other types of construction project, including ports, docks, industrial areas, motorways, roads, car parks and urban developments. Differing sizes and load ratings variations of the original slot drain product now exist, manufactured by Gatic and a handful of other manufacturers, most notably Halfords and Aco technologies.


The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) publishes the following Standard:

  • ASME A112.6.3 on Floor and Trench Drains

The Absolute Guide to Trench Drain Systems





According to the Insurance Information Institute, as many as 1 in 50 homeowners make a claim caused by water damage each year. The average costs of these claims are a staggering $6,965.

Fortunately, many instances of water damage are preventable. In fact, trench drains can play a significant role in this prevention.

Read on to learn more about trench drain systems. This guide explores their basic functions, types, and benefits, so that you can choose the best option for your commercial, municipal or residential application.




Airport runway drainage issues can be mitigated by trench drains



What is a Trench Drain?


A trench drain is a linear drainage application used to catch, collect and convey water from a starting location to and an outlet or catch basin.

These linear drains are made up of primarily channels, end caps, end outlets, grates, catch basins and some other installation accessories.

Channel materials include: Fiber Reinforced Concrete, Polymer Concrete, Stainless Steel and HDPE.

Grate materials include: Ductile Iron, Cast Iron, Galvinized Steel and Polymer.

Technical specifications can be viewed here.






What Are Trench Drain Systems?


Trench drain systems are linear surface drainage applications used to remove water from places where it tends to pool. These drains can be installed inside or outside your home or business.

Common interior locations for trench drains include showers, pools, and garages. Common exterior locations include:

Trench drains are also important features in industries, agriculture, and public planning. On public roads, trench drains remove water after heavy rains. In industrial facilities and other job sites, trench drains remove water and other liquid waste produced by machines. In facilities that care for animals, trench drains can keep kennels or stalls free from waste.










How Do Trench Drain Systems Work?


In all cases, linear drains rely on gravity to carry water away from locations where it pools. Thus, as you work with an installer to design your trench drain system, you'll need to discuss run, slope, and width.




HDPE trench drain channels have anchors for rebar to prevent floating


Run refers to the length of your drainage system, which should extend across the area where water pools.

Across that length, or run, your trench will also need to gradually slope downward toward the disposal area. Depending on the type of system you choose and where you install it, installers may:

  • Hand-form this slope on-site
  • Construct it from pre-sloped sections
  • Rely on the natural slope of ground that is already pitched


If you are installing a linear drain system in an area that is already pitched, you may choose a neutral channel trench train. Neutral channels may also be necessary when depth constraints prevent you from installing deeper channels.





Intersecting T connection for a pre sloped brewery drain system



When they can be installed in flat areas, however, pre-sloped trench drains have certain advantages. While neutral channels will still drain most flat areas, sloped drains increase velocity. They also prevent the buildup of debris that can lead to blockages.

Finally, the effectiveness of a trench drainage system depends on its width. Common widths are 5", 6", 8", and 12". Wider channels increase flow rates and can handle more water. Thus, channel widths of 5-8" are generally sufficient for moderate pooling. Twelve-inch channels are better suited for areas with significant drainage issues.

Ultimately, the goal of a trench drain is to remove water to a disposal site. Therefore, you'll also need to consider the width and placement of the outlet pipe to promote proper outflow.

As you select your linear drain materials, an expert can help you determine the options that best serve your needs.


Benefits of Trench Drain Systems


Drainage systems protect and enhance your property in a variety of ways.

First, they protect your property against water damage. When water pools outside, it can damage your lawn. If it pools regularly, it can also seep into the foundation of your house and cause interior and structural damage.

On potentially slippery surfaces, like pool decks and patios, trench drains also increase safety. Evacuating water quickly reduces slipping hazards. This is true—and important—in all weather. When water pools in the winter, it freezes, producing dangerously icy surfaces.

Paved surfaces around your property also tend to last longer when they utilize trench drains. These include exterior surfaces, like driveways and sidewalks, and interior surfaces, like basement and garage floors. Just as pooled water can seep into and weaken the structure of your house, pooled water can seep into and weaken paved surfaces. Trench drains prevent this pooling.

Safety improvements from trench trains also include sanitation considerations. Pooling water can produce property damage and injury hazards. However, stagnant water is also a breeding ground for mosquitos, bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Installing a trench drain system can help to ensure that you're not sharing your home with these health hazards.

Although you don't see them and, therefore, likely take them for granted, trench drains, finally, protect you on public roads. Following heavy rains, water pools on highways, roads, and bridges. Trench drains remove this water and reduce the risk of hydroplaning.



Channel Depths and Pre Sloped Drain Dimensions



Trench Drain Terminology and Alternatives


As you explore trench drain options, you may find certain terms used interchangeably. These include "trench drain," "channel drain," and "line drain." Each of these terms describes a drain system that removes water via a trough—or open trench—with removable grates.

French drains and slot drains are sometimes confused with trench drains. While they have similar purposes, their structures are distinct.

A french drain structure buries a perforated pipe, surrounded by gravel, in a channel. Like a trench drain, this structure collects and removes water from an area where it pools.

Slot drains likewise evacuate pooled water. However, they utilize slots in the pavement that are connected to underground pipes. Unlike trench drains, slot drains do not have removable grates.

Other options for surface water removal are the catch basin drain and the swale drain.

Catch basin drains are similar to linear drains in their use of removable grates. However, catch basin drain grates are generally square or round. As such, they cover a much smaller surface area than the linear trench drain.

Catch basin drains also require deeper excavation to install. Furthermore, they tend to be more difficult to maintain. While trench drain pipes are relatively accessible, catch basin drain pipes are not. This problem is compounded by the fact that catch basin drains are more susceptible to blockages. For this reason, catch basins tend to be less effective at removing pooled water.



Typical Catch Basin Inlet
Trench drains can also be furnished with inline or seamless catch basins to collect debris before outlet



Finally, swale basin drains are among the simplest drainage options. They consist of a wide, shallow ditch lined with grass, rocks, or other ground cover. Like linear drains, these ditches gather water and carry it away. However, swale drains can be overwhelmed by runoff from large storms. They also are less effective at preventing soil contamination from bacteria and chemicals in runoff.


What Are My Trench Drain Options?


Once you've decided that a trench drain best serves your needs, you need to find the best trench drain for you.

Linear drains come in different materials for different applications. Two main types include the concrete trench drain and the high-density polyethylene (HDPE), or polymer, trench drain.


Concrete Trench Drains


For areas that endure significant and sustained weight loads, including vehicular traffic, concrete trench drains may be a good option. Concrete drains can be cast in place or precast.


Cast-in-Place Concrete Trench Drain Systems


Cast-in-place trench drain systems are the original trench drain. However, they are also among the most labor-intensive and expensive.

Like any trench drain system, building a concrete trench drain on-site requires, first, digging a trench. Once the trench is excavated, installers line it with a wood frame before casting it with concrete. This process is time-consuming, which makes labor costs significant.

Because these drains are hand-formed, they can also exhibit variations in the slope. This can affect drainage since trench drain systems rely on gravity to evacuate pooled water. The wider pipes in these systems may also allow debris to gather, which can, in turn, slow drainage.

Finally, concrete is a porous material. Thus, it absorbs water. This means that concrete trench drains may not be as effective at keeping contaminants from the soil. They may also eventually need repair or adjustments as the concrete erodes. Patching can be difficult and time-consuming.


Pre cast Concrete Trench Drains


Pre cast concrete trench drains use a similar structure to cast-in-place systems. However, the concrete trenches in these systems are made in a factory and transported to the installation site in sections. These pre-cast pieces cut down on installation time and labor costs, but manufacturing costs can be higher. Because they are not hand-formed, they also offer a more uniform slope.

Like cast-in-place concrete trench drains, pre cast systems are able to bear significant and sustained weight. This is why trench drains in public roads use concrete materials. Forklift rated trench drains are likewise able to bear loads imposed by heavy construction machinery.

Also like cast-in-place systems, though, pre cast concrete drains can allow water to seep into the soil. They are likewise subject to erosion and may need to be repaired or adjusted over time.

However, most heavy duty concrete trench drains use fiber-reinforced concrete. In this construction, fibers of steel, glass, and other synthetic and natural materials strengthen the concrete. This prevents cracking, crumbling, breaking, shattering, and erosion. It also reduces permeability, which prevents soil contamination. View technical specifications here.





  1. Catalog
  2. Installation Guide



High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Trench Drains


Like pre cast concrete trench drains, HDPE, or polymer, trench drain systems are manufactured in a factory and transported to the installation site in pieces. The pipes used in HDPE trench drains are constructed from lightweight but highly durable polymers.

This lightweight material means that installation is easier and faster. It also tends to be more cost-effective.

Importantly, if you intend to install a polymer linear drain on a surface that bears vehicular weight, you'll need to reinforce it with a concrete encasement.

Polymer piping with a concrete encasement combines the superior weight-bearing properties of concrete with the impermeability of plastic.

Polymer piping also doesn't absorb water. This means the pipes themselves are durable. It means, further, that water or waste containing bacteria, chemicals, and other toxins doesn't reach the soil. Polymer trench drains are, therefore, especially useful in industrial settings. View technical specifications here.






  1. Catalog
  2. Installation Guide
  3. Encasement Detail
  4. Slope Detail



Grating Materials


Whether it uses concrete or polymer piping, your new linear drain system will also require a grate covering. Grating materials include cast iron, ductile iron, galvanized steel, and stainless steel.


Cast Iron Grates


Cast iron and ductile iron are cost-effective and durable options for trench drain grating. They also offer increasingly decorative options.

Because the grate is the part of a trench drain system you'll most often see, appearance is a consideration. Raw cast iron naturally rusts. As a result, it develops a reddish hue over time. Eventually, this rust can bleed and discolor the surrounding concrete as well.

Coating a cast iron grate with powder or epoxy paint can prevent this rust, at least for a time. When aesthetics are a concern, powder coating and epoxy paint can also help you match the grate to the surrounding surface.

Of the two materials, epoxy paint tends to be more durable. However, research continues to make advances in the durability and environmental-friendliness of both coatings. Still, any color modifications are subject to wear away over time. Thus, they require additional maintenance.

When the grate's ability to withstand significant weight or impact is as important as its appearance, you might consider ductile iron. Ductile iron grates combine the aesthetics of iron with the strength of steel.





Decorative ductile iron grates


Steel Grates


Stainless and galvanized steel boast the toughest properties. They are also rust-resistant, maintaining their silver appearance in most conditions.

If you choose steel grating, keep in mind that some types can still react with salt and acids in rain or pool water. Galvanized steel and some grades of stainless steel do not hold up well under prolonged exposure to saltwater. Deicing chemicals can also degrade galvanized steel. Thus, you may need to choose a different grade of steel for a grate in a shower drain than for a grate in your driveway or on your pool deck.

Many homeowners find the shiny appearance of stainless steel fits well with the sleek modern designs in their homes. It can also complement light-colored concrete and other paved exterior surfaces. Stainless steel is used in industries such as breweries, chemical processing, food and beverage and the like.

Whether galvanized or stainless, steel is more difficult to cast than other materials. Thus, grates tend to include more basic patterns of slots, bars, or holes.

As you sort through various options and considerations—from aesthetic to functional, a trench drain expert can help you select the materials that are best suited to your needs.


Polymer (Left)

Stainless Steel - ADA , Heel Proof , Perforated (Middle)

Ductile Iron - Forklift Rated , Class D (Right)


Money Invested in a Trench Drain Is Not Money Down the Drain


A linear drain system is an investment. However, it can save you money and trouble in the long run. Investing in a trench drain system can protect your property from serious and expensive water damage. It can also protect you and your family from injuries and illnesses due to slippery surfaces and stagnant water.

Choosing the right trench drain system for your needs maximizes the return on your investment. As you explore different trench drain systems, count on the experts at Swiftdrain. Contact us today with questions or to request a quote.





Material Choice and Components


As discussed, there are two major groups of trench drains. Polymer Channels and Concrete Channels. Polymer based channels can come in the form of hdpe (high density polyethylene) or fiberglass. Concrete based channels can come in the form of fiber reinforced concrete or polymer concrete. Polymer channels have anchors for rebar which prevent floating during installation. Concrete channels have articulated mechanical anchors which come pre formed in the trench drain channel which provide added stability during installation.

Drain widths are typically 4" , 5" , 6" , 8" or 12" wide. Anything larger than 12" is usually overkill. They come in varying depths, with shallow profiles, deep profiles or pre sloped systems. Pre sloped trench drains usually have a .75% or 1% external slope. Meaning, that each channel is numerically numbered and slightly deeper than the one that precedes it. For instance Channel 1 could be 4.25" to 4.75". Which would connect to Channel 2 which would be 4.75" deep to 5.25" deep.


Trench and Channel drains are primary made up of:



The Channel:





The Grate:



Cast iron grates on an hdpe channel (Left) Galvinized Steel perforated grates on a concrete channel (Right)



The End Cap / End Outlet:






Or Bottom Outlet:







Optional Catch Basin:


Inlet Catch Basin
Square Catch Basin



Most of these parts are beneath the surface and after they are installed shouldn’t be seen from or heard from if installed properly. Channels can come with attachments for re bar on the side which secure the channel to the concrete bed which will be poured as shown in the following clip.




Trench Drain Channels are long, tubular u shaped conduits.

The channel can be made of:

  • HDPE/ Fiberglass / Polymer
  • Polymer Concrete
  • Fiber Reinforced Concrete
  • Cast iron,
  • Stainless steel

Plastic derivative channels are more than sufficient for most residential applications.  One of the main things to consider when determining channel material is load bearing.

Load bearing is how much weight the drain can and is expected to hold. In most residential situations, the heaviest thing that will be going over these drains are delivery trucks, oil and gas trucks and typical “highway rated traffic”. In most instances a polymer channel should be sufficient. Higher grade materials wouldn’t add much functional or structural integrity to the system.  Polymer channels are budget friendly, last long and easy to assemble.

There are some differences between channels. As previously mentioned, some have anchors for re bar to prevent the drain from floating during installation. The Dura Slope has anchors that are pre fabricated, circular place holders for re bar. This thoughtful and measure allows the installer to fasten re bar beside the channel every section and the concrete will be poured around the re bar to prevent it from “floating” or moving during the installation process.

In lieu of re bar, other manufacturers have chosen to have articulated channel bodies so the concrete can form a natural “wet blanket” around the rivets as its poured.  These indentations allow the poured concrete to form better and also gives an added layer of foundation.



Concrete channels have vented articulated designs to conform with concrete pour


More on ASTM Standards and Ratings can be viewed here.



Drain systems trench

For those of us unordained in the technical world of drainage, choosing the right trench drainage system requires some thought. In the drainage industry, terms like mechanical keying, anti-shunt lugs, integrally cast-in steel rails and knockouts are thrown around willy-nilly. Separately, these words might mean something to you. Together, they are meaningless. And then there’s choices between various styles and materials you’ve never heard of, all suited to different applications. New age materials, finite element analysis, purpose specific load features, binders, aggregates, shock absorbing widgets – they must (and do) mean something to somebody. So, to uncover the mystery of technical drainage terminology, let’s examine some of ACO’s trench drainage products, the parts and materials that constitute them, and find out how the terms apply.

Trench Drain Systems
Trench drain systems are surface drainage systems designed to manage surface water that can cause safety hazards and damage pavement and property. At ACO, we primarily offer grated trench drainage systems because of their superior design features when compared to grated pit and pipe systems. Grated trench drainage systems are simple to design and construct, easy to install and require minimal underground piping, therefore reducing excavation costs. ACO Drain’s KlassikDrain, SlabDrain and PowerDrain systems are all grated modular trench drainage systems.

Materials: Trench Drain Systems
ACO Drain commercial grated trench systems are manufactured from Polycrete®, ACO’s trademark for polymer concrete castings. Polycrete® is a durable, lightweight composite material made from polyester resin binder reinforced with mineral aggregates and fillers. ACO’s KlassikDrain, SlabDrain and PowerDrain channels are all manufactured from polymer concrete. The bodies of the channels are therefore highly resistant to chemical attack and, with the appropriate grate, can be used in most environments where acids and dilute alkalis are encountered. When greater chemical resistance is required, stainless steel channels are available. Contact ACO for details by clicking here.

KlassikDrain rangeFig 1. KlassikDrain range

Trench Drain Grates
Trench drain grates are the covers through which the excess surface water passes into the drain. Because grates in many locations will need to withstand heavy loads, grates need high tensile strength (maximum yield stress before breaking), but the particular type and material of the trench drain grate will depend on specific loading, installation and application requirements. Unlike the trench drain body, grates can be removed, changed or easily replaced after installation, which is important for drain maintenance. Perhaps of higher importance, though, is patron safety – which is why many of our trench drain grates are trademarked Heelsafe® Anti-Slip for their slip resistance properties. Our trench drain grates comply with multiple national and international standards for wheelchair, bicycle and heel safety.

Materials: Trench Drain Grates
Multiple grate styles are available, with various levels of slip resistance. These are marketed as ACO’s Heelsafe® Anti-Slip  Range. A variety of materials is available; the most common are ductile iron, mild steel, stainless steel and plastic.

trench drain grates

Fig 2. Cost effective black polypropylene longitudinal grate. Ideal for use in pedestrian areas.

Materials: Edge Rails
Edge protection rails should be integrally cast-in or mechanically connected to the trench body to prevent movement. For optimum strength and protection.

Edge Rails
In ACO Drain’s KlassikDrain, SlabDrain and PowerDrain trench drain systems, galvanised steel, stainless steel or ductile iron edge rails are integrally cast. The edge rail is the exposed edge of the trench which helps hold the grate in position. Because it is exposed to the same loads as the trench drain grate, it needs to be extremely secure. If the edge fails, the grate will move out of place, which could cause catastrophic failure. The edge rails are fitted with lugs which interlock with recesses in the grates to prevent longitudinal movement (see Fig 3).

Fig 3. Anti-shunt lugs

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