Now, you may know some of the uses of expanded metal: grilling, ventilation, walkways, or stairs; however, not all expanded metal is built the same. There are various types of expanded metal – each created to fulfill a different need or solve a specific problem.
The expanded metal you use to make a grill may not be the expanded metal you will use to build a staircase. Each expanded metal has its own unique properties – raised, flat, size of holes, etc. – that allow you to know what each is best used for. Without further ado, here are 5 types of expanded metal that you can possibly use on your next project.
5 Types of Expanded Metal
1. Standard Expanded Metal
First, we must discuss the one-size-fits-all expanded metal: the standard. With standard expanded metal, there are a variety of sizes and weights available. It is created in a press that cuts and stretches solid metal into normally a diamond pattern. The diamond pattern not only provides air circulation, but it maintains the strength and durability of the original sheet metal. It is most often seen in warehouse enclosures, safety guards, or lockers. When in doubt, standard expanded metal should be your go-to.
2. Flattened Expanded Metal
Like the name says, the difference between standard expanded metal and flattened expanded metal, is well, the fact that it is flat. To make the expanded metal flat, it must go through a cold rolling press. This process allows for the sheet to be flattened while creating a smooth and level surface. Like its predecessor, it is available in a variety of sizes. However, flat expanded metal is better utilized for fencing, cages, flooring, or to be used in ventilation systems.
3. Expanded Metal Mesh
For mostly decorative purposes, expanded metal mesh is your best option. This type of expanded metal usually comes in a fine, lightweight option but can also be found in heavier meshes. You can find expanded metal meshes utilized as room dividers, grills, and sunroom enclosures.
4. Expanded Metal Grating
When you have a heavy-duty job, expanded metal grating is there to help. By utilizing low carbon steel plates, expanded metal grating is created from sheets that are of heavier weight. This allows the metal to be used for situations that call for a higher strength-to-weight ratio such as walkways, stairs, any pedestrian area, or platforms. Also, one of the best aspects of expanded metal grating is its natural slip proof surface. So, if you are in need to hold up humans, this is the material you should be looking for.
5. Micro Expanded Metal
For a more niche use, look no further than micro expanded metal. Micro expanded metal is suitable for use in filters, as well as several other applications. It is often made to order as the material is usually sought after to fit a particular shape. It features small openings in a lighter gauge of metal that allow for more uses as it will not weigh down where it is placed.
Now that you know the types of expanded metal available, you will be able to attack your next project with the knowledge and material that will set you up for success. Whether it’s for a more standard usage as fencing or you need something more heavy-duty as grating, expanded metal can be utilized in almost any way where safety and protection are needed. Have fun on your next project and let us know if this information helped!
Visit Tampa Steel & Supply for Expanded Metal
Are you in need of steel supplies? Look no further than the professionals at Tampa Steel and Supply. We stock an extensive list of steel products for whatever project you need to tackle. We’re proud to have served our customers for nearly four decades and are ready to assist you with your steel needs. Have questions? Give us a call today to learn more, or stop by our beautiful Tampa showroom.