Expanded Metal is the big brother of expanded mesh. Both are similar products and can be used for same application, but differences are also there to highlight. Drainage, ventilation, and a decorative touch are the top advantages of installing Expanded Metal. Well, we should compare other similar products such as wire mesh and expanded mesh. Don’t worry! We will explain all these modern materials in this article, so you can choose the right type for your specific application. Let’s get started!
Did you know that this piece of metal is made by stretching a metal sheet (as the name suggests?) First, they create multiple slits in the metal sheet. Well, heavy machinery is used for this purpose. Then, the slotted metal sheet is stretched to create unique patterns. The diamond pattern is the most common Expanded Metal pattern available today. Well, this useful material has a long history (since 1880.) The UK is the country that invented this material in 1880 with a patent. Later, several advancements were made in other countries like Italy. Still, the process of making Expanded Metal remains almost the same. Aluminum, stainless steel, hot rolled steel, and cold rolled steel are the widely used materials for this piece of material. The pattern of the metal determines the open area of the entire metal. Diamond shape offers the greatest open area. See this picture and get a better understanding of its pattern and structure (http://i.cebuclassifieds.com/ad_photo/2015/9/7/thumb/dc55f4ea5b80ecc3d94159771df1523fd4964a3f_gal.jpg.) As you can see in the picture, the Expanded Metal doesn’t have any loose joints, which is another unique quality. Why should you worry about the open area? Well, it depends on the application. For example, if you look for metal sheets for ventilation; more open area provides greater ventilation.
Benefits of Expanded Metal: Several benefits are there to highlight here:
This benefit is enjoyed by the manufacturer. As mentioned, the metal piece is made by stretching a slotted metal sheet. Now, you can understand the benefit of it. A small metal quantity can be stretched into a larger piece. In other words, the manufacturer can save a lot on material usage.
The metals used for Expanded Metal are stainless steel, aluminum, copper, and brass. All these metals are known for special qualities such as strength, corrosion-resistance, chemical-resistance, weather-resistance, light-weight, and durability. When compared with wooden partitions of the same size, the Expanded Metal is much lighter. This lightness makes it ideal for buildings and structures. It is a well-known fact that the weight of additional components such as partitions affects the stability of the entire structure. Engineers, designers, and architects consider this factor (light-weight) as a top benefit.
Any metal can be stronger than wood and other materials of the same size. So, the Expanded Metal can offer higher levels of protection and security than wooden alternatives. The size of the metal sheet affects its overall strength. Also, metal sheets can withstand stress and weight than joints welds and woven meshes.
* Acoustic properties
This is a surprising benefit of installing metal sheets on your building. Anyway, only the specially made meshes can offer acoustic properties.
* Allows circulation
Air and light can travel through the metal sheet freely. As a result, you can minimize the use of air conditioners and lights on your property. Sufficient air circulation is essential when designing buildings such as parking lots.
Expanded Metal types
A wide range of metal sheets is available on the market today. So, you can choose the right type for your specific application from a wider range of products.
1) Standard type
This extremely versatile piece of metal comes in a variety of opening sizes and gauges. Proving a slip-resistant, rigid, and raised surfaces are the purposes of the standard type. Extra rigidity and strength are achieved by bonding strands and metal at uniform angles. This type is widely used for flooring and where a slip-resistant surface is required.
* Flattened Expanded Metal
This type is ideal for applications where a smoother surface is required. This smoothness is achieved by elongating the sheet’s length by 5%. Cold rolling the expanded metal and flattening it, is the processed used here.
* Hexagonal type
As the name suggests, instead of diamond-shaped openings; this metal sheet has hexagonal openings. The shape might reduce light, heat, air, sound, and liquid passing through, but offers greater rigidity and strength than the diamond-shaped types. So, widely used in applications where higher strength to weight ratio is required. Hexagonal Expanded Metal is the best option for applications where a greater area has to be covered.
* Architectural metal pieces
Increased security, adding architectural beauty, increased privacy, and improved ventilation are the aims of this metal sheet type, making it suitable for good aesthetics and modern looks.
* Micro expanded type
This type is achieved by creating small openings on a light metal piece. Widely used for applications such as filters and cooling systems.
How to choose the right Expanded Metal type for your application?
Well, you should determine all your needs first. Ventilation, light, strength, privacy, beauty, and slip-resistance are the factors to consider here. Choosing flattened type is not advisable for applications such as flooring. The diamond-shaped metal may not be the best option for applications where a larger area has to be covered. Choosing the wrong type may not fulfill your requirements. Or, it can lead to unnecessary side effects such as accidents. We can explain it you with an example. What would happen if you install flattened Expanded Metal on a floor? A slippery floor is a hazard.
What should you do then? Always talk to a professional in the construction industry such as a designer, architect, or engineer. Well, the Expanded Metal manufacturer or the distributor can suggest you the right type for your specific application. Well, don’t ignore the anti-slip factor when installing metals on floors. As experts in the industry, we have heard accidents due to wrong selection of metal sheets on flooring.
Aluminum or the natural metal is the common color of this versatile metal piece. Anyway, you can contact the supplier or the manufacturer and get to know whether they can do something unique for you (a customized design and color.) Well, they can charge you a bit extra here than on their standard products (that’s obvious.) Our previous articles on how to select the right Expanded Mesh supplier applies to here as well. So, you will benefit from reading our previous articles too.