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Any metal elements or alloys that go through a machining process which cuts and draws that material into an open grid pattern are referred to as expanded metals. Expanded metals are a more cost-effective alternative to perforated metals, and the production process creates no waste. In addition, fewer raw materials are required because each piece can be stretched to up to ten times its original length for maximum surface area.

Because expanded metals are so durable and cost-effective, they are the material of choice in many different industries. Architecture, water filtration, and construction companies all use expanded metals to build parts and structures on a budget. Expanded metal is also a popular material for fences as an alternative to more expensive welded or interwoven parts.

During manufacturing, the initial expansion of the metal shapes it into large, flat sheets. Once in this form, the sheet can easily be shaped and formed to the desired specifications. Manufacturers use several types of metal to create expanded metal products. Copper, aluminum, stainless steel, and titanium are all widely available forms of expanded metal. They can all be cold rolled after being expanded to reduce the material’s thickness for a more uniform surface. Read More…

Leading Manufacturers

Dexmet Corporation

Wallingford, CT | 203-294-4440

Metals, Inc.

Oakwood Village, OH | 800-492-7304

Central Expanded Metal Inc.

Chandler, OK | 405-258-0079

Spantek

Hopkins, MN | 800-828-7785


The start of the manufacturing process for regular and flattened metals is exactly the same. Metal sheets are fed into a machine that presses and expands them. These days, this is usually all controlled by an automated process for better efficiency. After expansion, a die is then used to pierce the sheet over and over again in an even pattern. The sheet is then pulled through a hot rolling press. This causes the metal to expand and the thickness to reduce. This results in a finished metal grid or mesh. Many different shapes and patterns can be cut and formed. Sometimes the product is being made for decorative purposes, while at other times it is made for more functional applications.

If the original metal sheet is very thick, more heat and pressure will be required to expand and cut it. Among the most popular metals used in this process are titanium, stainless steel, copper, and aluminum. Each of these metals is strong and resists corrosion well while still being fairly lightweight. If it is necessary, a protective coating can be added after the metal is formed. This is usually a spray or dip that colors the surface or improves the properties of the metal.

The open space that is created by the expansion of the metal must be considered and measured during manufacturing. There are two ways of measuring: SWD and LWD. SWD stands for “short way of the diamond”, that is, the width of the opening. LWD means “long way of the diamond” or the length of the opening. These measurements should be taken to account for the amount of air, water, or other substance that might be able to pass through the pattern in the metal.

After the proper manufacturing techniques, have been established to create expanded metal with the desired traits and dimensions, it can be used in many different applications. Although there are many different uses for expanded metal, there are five that are perhaps the most common: locker doors, storage shelves, machine or heater guards, fences, and fixtures like balcony rails. In each of these uses, expanded metal provides both a strong and light solution that has the ability to protect while still allowing air to pass through. In the final category, fixtures, expanded metal offers many affordable decorative opportunities as it can be created in any desired shape and finished with paints or other coatings.

Expanded Metal Informational Video