Aluminum flat grill ?

I need some seat of the pants opinions from people who know metal!
My local charitable organization needs to create some more grill
space for a monthly "breakfast". They have a gas stove with a 2'x3'
flat stainless grill (built in) which is used for grilling eggs,
pancakes, french toast, etc. On the right side of the unit is a
classic six burner setup - about 2'x3' also. The two burners in
the middle are capped off so we really only have four burners in
use. The middle two have all the hardware but no gas piping.
What we would like to do is to put a flat piece of metal over the
burners, turn them on, and make the right side a flat grill too.
However, it has to remain "convertible" since the burners are used
for heating pots and such at other functions. We have an old
commercial version of a removable grill which is a (roughly)
3/8" piece of steel with thicker edges. It ceased being flat about
25 years ago.
So, we need to put a piece of something metal on there. We thought
of steel but a 2'x3' piece 1/2" or more in thickness will be darn
heavy. We can't really machine the edges like a manufactured
piece so some thickness might be needed to prevent warping (although
we could have a machine shop do something creative ?). We are
considering aluminum, 1" thick, but we have some concerns about
warping - particularly since there are no burners in the middle.
Thoughts on this ? Will the aluminum warp quickly ? Would some
sort of runners machined (tapped/screwed) to the edges help
stabilize it ? We need to keep the price somewhat reasonable as
this is a charitable organization (low finding). Stainless steel
might be nice, but the weight is a factor (it does have to be
removed a couple times a month.
Opinions welcome, particularly on the warping factor,
Bob
Reply to
Retro Bob
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