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Frequently Asked Questions

There is no current Australian Standard for heel safe, or heel proof grates. However, AS 3996 requires ≤25 mm slots and ≤32 mm holes for access covers and grates and AS 1428 (Design for Access and Mobility) requires ≤13mm x 150mm. Both of these Standards allow for apertures that are larger than most stiletto heels, so at ACO, we categorise grates with apertures at less than 10mm as Heelsafe.

There are three main slip resistance tests most suitable for grates: oil/wet inclining ramp, wet barefoot inclining ramp and wet pendulum. Each test simulates different environments, so specifiers should take care to call up the relevant standard. The oil/wet inclining ramp test simulates greasy, oily floors such as those in commercial kitchens and food processing facilities. The wet barefoot inclining platform test simulates areas that are commonly trafficked by bare feet, such as swimming pools, change rooms or beaches. The wet pendulum test simulates areas where worn heels move along the flooring or grate surface, such as pedestrian areas and office buildings.

If you’re interested in learning more about this topic, check out our free Architectural Building Drainage CPD, you can book your spot here.

ACO has independently measured, by experimentation, the hydraulic intake capacities of ACO Drain grates. Tests were carried out under varying flow rates and catchment approach slopes. To determine the hydraulic utilisation, each grate was tested until bypass occurred (point at which liquids would pass across grate).

The Grating Intake Calculator (GIC) provides information on the intake efficiency of the chosen grate. If the required liquid intake is greater than the grate’s performance, the extent of bypass (or failure) will be calculated. To try out the program, click here.

AS 3996

“This standard specifies requirements for access covers and grates for use in vehicular and pedestrian areas. It applies to access covers & grates having a clear opening of up to 1300mm….” Clause 1.1 Scope.

As part of ACO’s continuous product development and commitment to quality, ACO has NATA certified testing equipment (Licence number 15193), operated by fully trained and certified technicians.


EN 1433

The only standard written specifically for grated trench drains, and internationally recognised, is DIN 19580. EN 1433 is superseding DIN 19580. It accounts for different widths of grates, with different size test blocks for different size channels. EN 1433 tests products in exactly the same method as DIN 19580 with the same load categories, up to 900kN.
As with DIN 19580, EN 1433 offers test methods for both the grate and channel body. It accounts for both proof loading and catastrophic failure.

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