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Bar Grating End Banding: What's The Difference Between Load & Trim?

In this post, we share about the bar end banding process and whether a load band or trim band is right for your Bar Grating application!

 |  3 min read

There are several factors to consider when choosing the right Grating for your project. After you’ve selected the Grating that suits your application best, there are a few finishing touches that can prepare your panels for their final application. One of these final steps is bar end banding, a welding process that closes open bearing bar ends with a Flat Bar, giving your Bar Grating a uniform look and increasing its construction strength. Customers often ask us about the specifics of end banding, including the difference between load and trim banding. In this article, we detail banding options as well as how to maximize the stability and appearance of your Grating selection.

What is End Banding?

With Bar Grating products, end banding is a process that brings uniformity to all sides of a piece of Grating. First, a Flat Bar of the same primary material, height and thickness as the selected Grating bearing bars is cut to the width dimension of the panel or piece(s). Then, the Flat Bar is welded to open bearing bar ends and/or cut sections of the Grating.

There are several reasons to choose to band your Bar Grating pieces. The banding process adds an overall finished appearance and can prevent bearing bars from warping over time. Depending on the final application and intended use of the Grating, two banding methods can be employed: load banding and trim banding.

Load Band

With a load band, the Flat Bar is welded to the open (unfinished) end of every bearing bar on a piece of Grating. This process locks the bearing bar ends in place, preventing them from bending and twisting under force.

Load bands are commonly used in trench grating applications that bear a significant amount of weight. For example, this method is often used in places where heavy vehicular traffic is expected, such as automobiles and forklifts. If wheels regularly cross the surface of the Grating, load banding protects the structural integrity of the bearing bars by helping them resist the significant, recurring pressures. For high-loading environments, load banding Steel Bar Grating is the common choice due to the overall strength and durability of the product. It is atypical for Aluminum Grating to be load banded as it is not a material type designed to carry significant loads over wide spans or areas.

Load-banded Bar Grating trench beneath vehicular traffic
Load-banded Bar Grating trench beneath vehicular traffic

Trim Band

When you select trim banding, the Flat Bar is welded to the corners and to every fourth or sixth bearing bar depending on the overall width of the piece. Unlike a load band, trim banding wouldn’t typically be selected if an application is designed to carry a heavy load. However, trim end banding does improve your product’s appearance and enhances its stability. This banding method is most commonly used in pedestrian traffic applications where vehicular traffic and loading is a non-factor.

Trim-banded Bar Grating forms an exterior building facade.
Trim-banded Bar Grating forms an exterior building facade.

Our Fabrication Services

So, should you close up those open bearing bar ends with a Flat Bar in a trim or load band? If you’re not sure, no worries! McNICHOLS is here for you. In fact, if you would like assistance with banding your Bar Grating panels, our fabrication specialists are ready to serve! At our Metals Service Centers, we are eager to help you save time and resources with our fabrication services, including cutting your panel to size, welding and other finishing touches. To learn more about how McNICHOLS can provide ready-to-install Hole Products, we invite you to contact us at 800.237.3820, sales@mcnichols.com, or via Live Chat at mcnichols.com!

Stacks of banded Bar Grating panels at McNICHOLS® Metals Service Center
Stacks of banded Bar Grating panels at McNICHOLS® Metals Service Center
Bar Grating End Banding: What's The Difference Between Load & Trim?
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