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Is Standard or Flattened Expanded Metal Stronger?

Sep. 26, 2021

Extended metal baskets can be used for heavyweight custom parts washing applications as they combine some of the best features of wire baskets and sheet metal baskets. Unlike wire mesh, expanded metal mesh is made from a solid piece of material that has been compressed and stretched. As the expansion is a single piece of material, it tends to be stronger than wire mesh of the same thickness and requires less welding.


Compared to sheet metal, expanded metal mesh provides more open space and costs less per square inch of the basket. In fact, expanded metal is more resource-efficient than perforated sheet metal because only a minimal amount of metal is lost during the expansion process compared to the perforation process.


In addition, there is more than one type of metal mesh available for baskets. Expanded metal comes in two different varieties: standard and flat. What is the difference between standard and flattened expanded metal? And, which one is best for your metal mesh baskets?

3/4 #9 Expanded Metal

3/4 #9 Expanded Metal


A brief description of standard and flat expanded metal mesh

The term "standard expanded metal" refers to the metal that comes out of the expander. Although the exact expanded metal size will vary depending on the thickness of the expander and the expanded metal, the thickness of the metal strands and the open space between them will be consistent and regular. The surface of this expanded metal may have a slightly rounded appearance (depending on the expansion equipment), which helps to reduce the risk of wash process runoff collecting in the expanded metal basket.


The flattened expanded metal is the result of flattening the standard metal mesh through a cold-rolled steel mill. This results in a thinner, flatter, and wider/longer expanded metal mesh. Because it is sometimes difficult to predict how much expansion will occur in the mesh during the flattening process, the size of the flattened expanded metal may differ slightly from the original estimate.

 4x8ft Raised Expanded Metal Metal

 4x8ft Raised Expanded Metal Metal

In addition, the flattened expanded metal size will vary depending on whether it passes through the rollers in the short design style (SWD, narrow direction of the diamond pattern) or in the long design style (LWD, wider, longer direction). (diamond pattern).


Explore the benefits of standard sheet metal mesh

Standard or raised expanded metal is an extremely versatile material. By varying the pattern size and/or strand width, it is easy to control the percentage of open area to suit the application, thereby increasing the flow of air or light through the finished product. Stencil offers great formability - it can withstand 90-degree bends within a 1/4" radius without breaking.


Manufacturers concerned with minimizing operating costs will appreciate the increased cost-effectiveness of expanded metal. The slitting and stretching process produce no scrap or waste.


Which expanded metal is better for your basket?

The choice between using a standard or a flattened expanded metal basket will depend on your application. The slightly rounded surface of the standard expanded metal may be more suitable for parts washing applications where residues from process run-off may be a negative factor.


At the same time, flattened expanded metal baskets may be preferable for certain material handling applications where the flat surface allows for better weight distribution or prevents fixed parts from sticking to the metal strands of the basket. In addition, because the flattened wire mesh is slightly thinner and wider, it is slightly lighter per square foot than the standard equivalent - which may be important for metal mesh baskets where weight is an issue.


Need help choosing between standard and flattened metal mesh baskets for your manufacturing application? Ask the experts at Ares Metal for the advice!

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