FAQs

What is the open area or free drain area of the drain cover?
How many gallons per minute can the drain handle?
Can you cast grates on a radius (circles and ovals)?
What other materials can be cast?
Different material costs?
ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) Compliance?
Heel Proof Grates?
Load Class for Traffic?
Custom Patterns?
Frames?
Can I use a Major Manufacturers drain body for a radius trench channel?
Tree Grate sizes and shapes
Will The Grates Rust?
Will The Grates Rust Away to Nothing?
Will Rust Stain the Surrounding Area?
Is Rust a Problem Around a Pool?
Can the Grates be Screwed down?
Can Cars Drive Over the Grates?
Can the Grates be Painted or Powder coated?

What is the open area or free drain area of the drain cover?
This is expressed as a percentage, if not listed we can provide that number as needed.

Free Drain Areas
Trench Grates Catch Basin Grates
3” Minnione = 17% 5” Oblio = 23% Carbochon = 30% 12” Locust CB = 17%
4” Locust = 21% 5” Janis = 14.5% Paradise = 25.5% 12” Oblio CB = 21%
5” Locust = 19% 5” Interlaken = 21% RG-133 = 16” 12” Sun Drain CB = 16.5%
6” Locust = 15% 6” Interlaken = 21% ARGO = 11% as a heel proof grate 12” Interlaken CB = 20%
      5” Interlaken CB = 21%
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How many gallons per minute can the drain handle?
This depends upon the free drain area but is essentially calculated by this formula:

Free Drain Area in Square Inches X 1.31 = GPM (gallons per minute)

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Can you cast grates on a radius (circles and ovals)?
Yes, Iron Age can make any radius you would like for both our standard size products as well as a completely custom product.

Circles only require one pattern that goes around the entire length. Ovals have a changing radius and may require multiple patterns. A large enough circle or oval however may not require any original pattern at all because the radius change at any connection is very slight resulting in only a 1/8 inch gap.

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What other materials can be cast?
Aside from raw Cast Iron, we can cast in Aluminum per ATSM B26, Ductile, and silicone bronze. Bronze is best for use near salt water or for fountains.

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Different material costs?
The cost for ductile and Aluminum are greater than cast iron. Bronzeis the most expensive. Price depends on the weight of the casting and each is slightly different, so it is better to request a quote.

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ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) Compliance?
All of our drains are designed to be ADA compliant. For example, if you were to take a ½ inch ball bearing and roll it over the entire surface of a casting it would never fall through.

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Heel Proof Grates?
A “Heel Proof” design is different than ADA complaint. Heel proof requires a ¼ inch opening and even less than the ADA requirement. We sometimes jokingly refer to Heel proof as “Drain Proof”, since ¼ inch holes are more much more likely to clog than ADA compliant grates.

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Load Class for Traffic?
At this stage Iron Age products haven’t been rated. That said, gray cast Iron can certainly handle residential traffic or load class A. If a customer wants the trench to be placed in an area with commercial traffic, load class C,D, or E we suggest casting in Ductile Iron which has more flexibility. Gray Iron is very strong but also brittle due to graphite content. We can get any classification that is needed upon request.

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Custom Patterns?
We can make a completely custom pattern of anything they like, including their own designs. A rough estimate for pattern cost of a custom radius trench would be several thousand dollars. For anything else we’ll have to make a more refined estimate.

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Frames?
Custom grates such as radius grates or custom sizes and Tree Grates require frames. A frame is a metal fabrication that is attached around the top perimeter or along the top length of the drain hole. Frames are made from angle bar and when bolted or “wet set in” to the top edge of the drain hole. They act as a shelf or bearing surface for the grate to sit on. Think of holding a picture frame with a glass face upside down. The glass, like the grate, has to sit inside of the frame so it will not fall through.

Sometimes a customer can build a “frame “ simply by creating a ledge out of the concrete itself. The concrete ledge works nicely but over time it can crumble making less durable than a metal frame.

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Can I use a Major Manufacturers drain body for a radius trench channel?
Custom patterns will require a custom frame, ACO and other manufacturers do not make channels on a radius. Custom frames are outsourced to a local fabrication shop. It will be important to send the cast radius trench covers to the fabrication shop for fitting into the frame before sending both frames and covers to the client. The client will often ask for the frames before they want the covers.

Drain Cover Sizes
NDS Duraslope is 6” X 24” (commercial product)
NDS Speed D Channel is 4” X 24” (residential product)
NDS Minni Channel is 2.7” X 12”
NDS 1200 Catch Basin is 12”X12”
NDS 900 is 9” X 9”
ACO K100S is 4.9” X 19.69” (half a meter)
JR Smith “Enviro Flo” is 4.9” X 19.69” (half a meter)
Josam Meadrain 1000 series ibid
ABT Polydrain: ibid

Note on Casting Process
We use the sand casting method, not the lost wax method. This means that we don’t cast three dimensional objects. A bollard would be done in two halves. The pattern in sand casting must be 90 degrees or less in order to pull away from the casting.

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Tree Grate sizes and shapes:
Tree grates generally come in square, round, and rectangular shapes. They range from 3’ foot, 4 foot, 5 foot and 6 foot square and round, or 3’x6’ and 4’x6’. We can cast any size you require.

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Will The Grates Rust?
“Rust” the Oxidation of Cast Iron Metal
Cast Iron goes through a process of oxidation, more commonly known as “rust”. Most metals, with the exception of gold, go through some form of oxidation. This oxidation process creates a tightly adhering iron oxide coating known as the Passivation Layer. The Passivation Layer actually protects the bulk iron from further oxidation. In other words, once the Passivation Layer is created the oxidation slows dramatically and the iron remains intact for a very long time.

On the whole Iron metal is relatively unaffected by pure water or by dry oxygen.

Oxidation as a Patina
This Passivation layer is often referred to as a Patina. Many metals create a Patina, the green patina that forms naturally on copper and bronze is known as verdigris and consists of copper carbonate. Think of the Statue of Liberty’s green color. The patina on cast iron is more chocolate brown in color.

The Passivation or Patina Evolution

The oxidation process begins on contact with water and goes though an evolution of Passivation or Patination. First the iron turns bright orange for a few months then slowly will turn chocolate brown in color. Over time, perhaps a year depending upon the environment, they will look like every other cast iron manhole cover or drain grate that you see in the street.

When traffic wears on iron the finish can take on a burnished look, think of manhole covers you see in high traffic areas. Unlike steel the Cast Iron will not flake away. The navy has made ship anchors out of cast iron, which can last for decades in a raw state. Most of the casting you see in the street such as manhole covers are made of cast iron and are very durable.

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Will The Grates Rust Away to Nothing?

  1. No, Cast Iron creates a patina of rust which acts as a protective coat
  2. The grates will last for decades
  3. The Navy makes boat anchors out of cast Iron
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Will Rust Stain the Surrounding Area?
Rust Should NOT stain the surrounding area.

  1. If a drain is working properly any rust particles will flow down the drain with the water.
  2. The drain channels have plastic, metallic, or polymer edges along the top edge that prevent the iron grates from directly touching the surrounding surface.
  3. Think of the manhole covers on the street, there aren’t rust stains surrounding them.
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Is Rust a Problem Around a Pool?
NO, cast iron can better handle the PH balance in pool water better than aluminum which over time will turn to mush.

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Can the Grates be Screwed down?

  1. Yes, all the grates come with bolt holes or divits that can be drilled and screwed to the channel if needed.
  2. In many residential cases screwing down the grate cover is not necessary.
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Can Cars Drive Over the Grates?

  1. Yes. The grates will be able to handle class A traffic easily.
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Can the Grates be Painted or Powder coated?
Yes, you can paint the grates, but it is not recommended. Any traffic will wear away the paint and the rust process will begin in the areas where the paint has worn off. A better option is to oil the grates with linseed oil before or after the rust process has begun, depending on the look you would like to achieve.

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