Press-locked grating is a series of vertically positioned metal bars joined to perpendicular cross bars at specified intervals, which creates a load-bearing panel with a smooth appearance. It supports the same loads as welded grating, except it’s formed with enormous hydraulic pressure. 

This bar grating type is manufactured from aluminum, carbon steel, and stainless steel in dovetail or swaged constructions. Optional serrated surfaces provide increased traction for wet, slippery, or hazardous environments. 

What is press-locked grating?

Press-locked grating is fabricated using tremendous hydraulic pressure to bond the two close-tolerance slotted bars together, permanently locking crossbars into notched bearing bars. This results in a firm, rigid connection and bi-directional flush surface featuring a clean, aesthetically pleasing look.

This bar grating type is often called press grating or pressure-locked grating, but the end product is the same regardless of name. The combination of high performance and striking visual appearance makes press-locked bar grating incredibly versatile. It’s perfect for a range of applications.

Although pressure-locked bar grating can sustain the same weight as welded grating, it’s not recommended for applications where vehicular or rolling loads are commonplace. 

The Indiana Gratings advantage

Indiana Gratings is a leading fabricator of press-locked bar grating for demanding applications. We can supply it in an array of bar sizes and spacings as well as material types and finishes. The construction method and material type are the primary things to consider when choosing the best pressure-locked grating construction for your application. 

The two prominent pressure-locking methods are swaging and dovetailing. Both have similar joining methods and can be produced to tighter tolerances than welded grating, but they have unique characteristics. 

Swage-locked grating

This press-locked grating type is fabricated by inserting hollow tube cross bars into bearing bars with pre-punched holes. The crossbars are then permanently secured using a swaging reshaping process. With cross bars recessed below the top surface of the bearing bars, duty swage-locked steel grating offers clean lines and a distinct appearance.

Dovetail grating

This is a tightly locked and rigidly stable panel grid with clean lines and an aesthetically pleasing appearance. Manufactured by deforming pre-punched bearing bars and cross bars assembled in an egg-crate configuration under intense hydraulic pressure, this dovetail grating permits heat, light, and air to pass easily. 

Although Indiana Gratings can fabricate press-locked grating from any material by request, those used most often are aluminum, carbon steel, and stainless steel. Each one offers unique advantages.  


Aluminum is perfect for press-lock grating when weight and moisture degradation are key considerations. Light mass, high strength-to-weight ratio, and robust corrosion resistance make this metal alloy an ideal option for wet environments, food and beverage preparation, and water treatment facilities.

Carbon steel

This material offers excellent strength, load-bearing capacity, and affordability. It’s a popular choice for indoor or sheltered press-locked grating applications. Carbon steel doesn’t resist corrosion, so it’s not ideal for moist, wet, rainy, humid environments. The application of a galvanized finish boosts corrosion resistance, however. 

Stainless steel

Stainless steel press-locked bar grating is rugged, long-lasting, and designed to withstand severely corrosive and high-moisture environments. Typical uses include catwalks, platforms, stairways, entranceways, and trench grating. Water treatment, chemical processing, food processing, and outdoor industries can benefit from this grating type.

Work with us

Indiana Gratings can deliver pressure-locked bar grating in various configurations to meet unique client needs. Our team of veteran fabrication specialists and engineers is ready to work from your plans or develop an in-house solution.

Customer satisfaction is the utmost priority at Indiana Gratings, a member of the National Association of Metal Manufacturers. From the moment an order is received, we are all accountable for the service and final product. No request is unattainable, and our team will exhaust every resource available to exceed client expectations.

Contact Indiana Gratings to learn more about press-locked bar grating.

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We are Indiana Gratings Inc.

The mission of Indiana Gratings Inc. is to be recognized as the premier gratings supplier in the industry for the Midwest and Southeastern United States and to be the benchmark others strive to achieve. We, as a team, are committed to meet the agreed upon requirements of our customers by measuring and improving our work processes.

Indiana Gratings, Inc. is located in Martinsville, Indiana with over 35,000 square feet of manufacturing area. It is a financially strong; family owned company.

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Midwest and southeastern United States

Providing proven quality and craftsmanship for a variety of applications