Steel Expanded Metal
Expanded steel isn’t a new product, nor is it really a new turn on an old idea. It’s been around for many years, but the uses for it has increased exponentially over the past few years. Even people who are aware of what expanded steel is might be surprised with the number and diversity of applications for expanded steel all around them.
What is Steel Expanded Metal?
Although steel expanded metal is quite complex in its uses, the product itself is very simple to understand. Put simply, steel expanded metal is a sheet of metal that has been cut and stretched in order to form a single sheet of could be thought of as a mesh-like material. After the stretching of the metal is complete it forms regular patterns (often oblong diamond shapes). After the expanded metal is finished, it is used for form grates, fences, lath, walkways, catwalks, rail enclosures and other support structures. Most expanded metal utilizes A-36 steel.
Anyone who has ever been on an overhead catwalk and looked at the grating that was supporting them has probably seen steel expanded metal. Also, steel expanded metal is also used frequently as a support structure whenever stucco or other similar material is added to the exterior of a home. This is due, in great part, to the fact that something of lighter weight such as chicken wire does not have the strength to support these materials.
Expanded Metal Designs
Oblong diamonds is not the only shape that can be made with expanded metal. Other shapes include squares, circles, and others. This is due to the fact that these shapes are well known to absorb energy and resists deformation after installation. Other factors that are taken into consideration during manufacturing is not only the shape of the openings, but the angles and shapes at which they are configured to respond to energy absorption, drainage, and others.
Different Styles, Different Uses
Just as is the case with so many other materials, steel expanded metal is formed in different ways in order to fulfill the requirements of different jobs. For example, standard expanded metal is often used since it is so strong but is also excellent at allowing air circulation. By contrast, another type of expanded metal is flattened expanded metal, which is the same thing in principle as standard expanded metal, but the manufacturing has been extended to flatten it to provide a more level, smooth surface. Contact your steel supply source for more information.