Understanding Expanded Metal

Expanded metal can be used in a variety of applications; safety, ventilation, flooring, and screening are some of the most common functions of the mesh product.  Each style is designated numbers to identify it.  Short Way of Design (SWD) is the nominal diamond dimension, indicating the distance from a point on the bond to the same point on the subsequent bond; the SWD is the first number in the style number.  The second number may indicate a few different things: the gauge of the metal, weight per hundred square foot, or it may have a different significance.  Learn more about the different types of expanded metal here.

Knowing the terminology can be useful when considering expanded metal for your application.  A bond is the point where two strands intersect; it is the width of the two strands.  The percent of open area determines the amount of light or air passage.  Long Way of Design (LWD) corresponds with SWD and is the distance of the points on the bonds across the open area. Likewise, the Short Way of Opening (SWO) and Long Way of Opening (LWO) measure the points from the inside of the bond across the opening.

Because expanded metal is made from one sheet and uniformly slit and stretched into a metal diamond pattern, its structural integrity is not compromised.  This kind of construction makes it durable for many years under normal circumstances and makes it an economical product.  The gauge, or thickness of the strands. are determined by the sheet from which it was originally produced; the overall thickness of the finished sheet determines the gauge of flattened expanded metal.

This product can be used for both form and function.  It can provide safety and security while also adding an interesting aesthetic look to an application.  For example, picture a supply shelf in a warehouse or garage with materials including hazardous chemicals on it.  If expanded metal was selected as the shelving material, light would be able to filter through each shelf to make it easier to find supplies & also provide slip resistance as users pulled items off the shelf for their safety and ease of use.  Here, expanded metal was a simple solution that also provided a decorative and functional outcome.

When looking into a solution for a slippery surface, stair treads, catwalks, and platforms, SLIPNOT offers non-slip flattened expanded metal, consider specifying it in your next project.  Its versatility, lightweight form, and longevity make it a trustworthy product.  Visit our recent case studies to read how some of our customers are using expanded metal.  For more information please contact SLIPNOT at 800-754-7668.

“Expanded Metal Terminology.” Niles Expanded Metals & Plastics., n.d. Web. 6 March. 2012


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