What Is Expanded Metal?
Expanded metal mesh is an unbelievably versatile material with thousands of potential uses. There are four basic types of expanded mesh on Meshstore Victoria: raised, flattened, walkway, and architectural.
Raised (or standard) mesh is general purpose mesh and the biggest group of products. Raised mesh has the characteristic ‘stepped’ surface texture that comes from the expanding process. Flattened mesh starts out life as raised mesh, but has been through a secondary rolling process to flatten it. Flattened mesh keeps similar diamond shaped openings to the original but has smooth, flat faces. Walkway mesh is heavy duty mesh, used in industrial walkways and platforms. Architectural mesh is expanded metal profiles that have been developed for decorative purposes such as louvre mesh, privacy screens or room dividers.
Expanded metal products are typically produced from solid sheets or plates of steel, as well as aluminium and a variety of alloys of copper, nickel, silver, titanium and other metals. In the expanding process, the sheet or plate is simultaneously slit and stretched along its length — expanding the slits into diamond-shaped holes of uniform size, shape and regularity. No metal is lost in the expanding process. Even better, the final product is stronger per kilogram and lighter per square metre than the original sheet material. The strands and knuckle of the diamond shaped trusses form an angle to the original plane of the sheet, adding strength and rigidity.
Because it is made from a solid sheet of metal, it can never unravel. The slender metal strands forming the open diamonds permit light, heat, air, liquid and sound to pass through, yet present a virtually impenetrable barrier to intruders. Even if the mesh is cut at one or more points, the remaining strand intersections continue to hold.
Expanded mesh is a popular choice for many mesh applications due to its unique combination of features and its cost effective price. A high open area mesh can be achieved while retaining excellent strength and stiffness to the sheet. This makes it popular for things like grilles and baskets. Apart from adding strength to the mesh, the three-dimensional nature of the mesh also produces a textured surface ideal for walkways where high traction is required. It can also provide some striking visual designs making it great for decorative screens. Safety and security applications are also very common such as machine guarding or security fencing.