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The Difference Between Perforated Metal And Expanded Metal

Jul. 13, 2021

Looking closely at industrial filtration operations, you will often find perforated metal filters and expanded metal filters in use. Both have holes that allow certain substances or materials to pass through while retaining others. Likewise, you will find both perforated and expanded metal used in applications as diverse as speaker grilles, walkways, railings, beehive trays, grain dryers, and machine guards.

You will often see interior design features such as screens and building facades made of perforated or expanded metal. Both materials offer advantages in infiltration, ventilation, sound attenuation, and light control and can be used to create striking features. So what's the difference Between Perforated Metal And Expanded Metal? Let's start with the history.

Perforated Metal

 Perforated Metal

Perforated Metal

The industry of perforated metal originated in the 19th century in the coal mining industry. Perforated sheet metal was used to separate the coal and the holes were punched by hand. Manual perforation was eventually replaced by more efficient methods. These included "cold perforation," in which a roller filled with pins was run through the sheet metal to punch the holes, and "hot perforation" - a similar technique but using heated pins to create a veneer around the holes. around the hole.

In addition, there are die and press processes in which sheets with protruding pins are pressed against the sheet metal as they roll through the press, and laser perforation, which burns holes in the metal.


Expanded Metal

The expanded metal manufacturing process was invented by John French Golding - the first British patent was granted to him in 1884. John was the founder of the Expanded Metal Company, along with Mathew Gray, Christopher Furness, Robert Irving Jr., and WB Close, who brought the manufacture of expanded metal to Hartlepool (and where we are still located).

The expansion process involves cutting and stretching the material to form holes (usually diamond-shaped) rather than punching them out. When the sheet metal mesh first comes out of the press, it always has a "raised" appearance and is characteristic of the "slit and stretch" technique. This results in tangled strands that slope away from the sheet plane. The flattening web is created by a secondary process that uses heavy rollers to flatten the angled strands. The end result is a fully two-dimensional mesh sheet with the strands in the same plane as the sheet.

Expanded Metal

Expanded Metal

Advantages of Expanded Metal

While both expanded and perforated metals can allow for water and airflow and can be used to create lighting effects or design features, there is one key difference.


In perforated metal, the punching process generates a significant amount of raw material waste. However, cutting and stretching techniques result in the least amount of raw material waste. This has significant advantages when applied to materials such as stainless steel or galvanized steel - especially when large quantities are involved - and even more so when high-value raw materials are used. By replacing perforated metal sheets with expanded metal equivalents.


Another advantage of raised metal mesh is its ability to provide a very strong grip due to the joints formed by the slit and stretch process: this, combined with its ability to allow water to drain and snow and ice to fall off underfoot, makes it an efficient material for walkways, gantries, and stairs. The angular appearance of the raised grid not only gives it a strong aesthetic appeal but also gives it the ability to channel air, liquids, and light. 

Ares Metal was responsible for the sales of expanded metal, perforated metal, safety grating, and architectural decoration meshes. Besides the high quality and competitive price, we pay high attention to the customer’s service and satisfaction.  Welcome to contact us today or request a quote.

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