If you’re into construction, carpentry, and transportation to name a few, you’ve most likely used a metal mesh.
A metal mesh is an extended sheet or coil of metal made up of strands of metal running from one end of the sheet to the other. These strands form openings of varying sizes that create a barrier, hence the name mesh.
The size of the openings ranges from the smallest 1/8″x1/8″ to the largest 6″x6″, while the size of the entire expanded foil can be as large as 10 feet long for a standard foil and 100 feet long for one default role. The openings can also take different forms, such as. B. a square, a hexagon, a rhombus and a circle.
Depending on the use of the mesh, you can choose one of stainless steel, copper, aluminum, bronze, galvanized steel, brass, monel, carbon steel or brass. You can also make it from an alloy of the above metals. Therefore, the type you use will depend on the material or alloy used, the size of the entire plate or roll, and the shape and size of the openings.
In this article you will learn more about metal mesh, also known as expanded metal. You will learn how it is formed, its application and the benefits of using it.
From the description above, you probably picture a welded or woven wire mesh. Note, however, that these are two different types of products. The best way to tell the difference is to first understand how a metal mesh or expanded metal is made.
As already mentioned, a metal mesh is made from a sheet or coil of metal. The sheet metal is placed in a stretching machine, where it is made thinner so it can stretch. As the sheet of metal stretches, its surface begins to cut, making uniform holes on the metal.
The difference between metal mesh and wire mesh is that the metal mesh’s holes are molded into the metal sheet. On the other hand, the holes are made from thin strands of metal that are woven or welded together for a wire mesh.
Second, the metal mesh remains strong regardless of expansion. The thinner the wire mesh, the weaker it becomes. Therefore, wire mesh is used for less intensive applications and is relatively cheaper than expanded metal.
The possible uses of a metal mesh can be summarized as protection as a barrier, support in the construction industry and custom applications such as decoration. Here are the applications of a metal mesh:
- construction industry. The fabric is used to support parts of construction such as adobe in walls, plaster or stucco.
- Modern architecture. Expanded metal has found a niche in modern technology where metal mesh is used to form decorative features and building facades.
- filter water. An example are large gabions to avoid soil erosion.
- filling panels
- Used to craft vents for large machines
- Functional and decorative trellis
Here are the benefits of using expanded metal for all your needs:
1. Metal mesh consists of one material
As detailed in the article, expanded metal is made from an expanded sheet of metal. This fact alone results in two advantages in use. First, there is less waste when designing, and second, the metal retains its strength. The two are further discussed in the following points.
Apart from these advantages, it can be easily further processed, e.g. B. shears and presses, since it consists of a piece of sheet metal. So if you need to change the shape of the mesh, you don’t need to buy a new one.
2. Minimal waste is produced
Creating the holes in a metal mesh involves stretching the metal sheet as opposed to punching holes. If you punch holes, the punched metal cannot be used, increasing the amount of waste.
3. Lower costs
Producing little to no waste means you need fewer sheets, which cost less than throwing some away as waste. In addition, some metals can stretch more to cover a large area. If this is the case, you may need less sheet metal or metal coils for your design.
4. A metal mesh is strong
When the sheet metal is stretched, it loses some weight. However, this does not affect the integrity of the metal. Therefore, the uncut parts of the metal remain stable and the stretched strands can withstand more pressure compared to woven or welded connections. The strength makes it suitable to support other structures during construction.
5. Metal mesh has non-slip properties
As mentioned, the strands of metal forming the openings are pulled out of the metal sheet. The ankles where the strands meet have a firm grip, unlike if those strands were woven. The sturdiness of the knuckles makes them non-slip, which is best for building walkways, stair treads, and ramps.
6. It is highly efficient
Because a metal mesh is one piece of material and there are no breaks from one strand to the other, electrical and magnetic energy flows continuously through the mesh. Therefore, if you intend to use it for energy-related tasks, you can be assured of efficiency and reduced energy loss due to minimal destruction of a metal mesh.
7. It can be made of alloy
When processing, you can mix two or more metals to strengthen the fabric, increase its ability to stretch, and sometimes for aesthetic reasons. Whatever your reason, a metal mesh allows you to play with different metals to achieve your desired alloy.
It gives you the flexibility you need to shape a mesh with your own design and aesthetic while maintaining optimal functionality. For example, if you want to get more light, you can use larger cuts to create large openings. However, with a perforated mesh, the larger the cuts, the weaker the mesh, meaning it will ultimately fail in its intended purpose.
Although their physical appearance is the same, there is a difference between a metal mesh and a wire mesh. The metal mesh is stronger, more expensive and has more advantages. It’s made from one material so there’s minimal waste; and because of the reduced waste, it is cheaper to form and use a metal mesh.
Other advantages are that it is strong with stable knuckles that make it suitable for non-slip constructions such as sidewalks. In addition, it is highly efficient, can be made of alloy, and finally flexible for various designs and functions.