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Expanded Metal | Types & Application

Updated: Sep 12, 2020

Expanded metal is formed by a sheet of metal with a regular pattern and normally is in diamond-shaped openings. It can be used to make walkways, fencing, and grates. It is made by first creating multiple slits in the metal sheet, and then stretching it to create a diamond pattern opening by the expanding machine. The slitting and stretching process has not created any wastes and indirectly reduces the production cost, so it is a much more economical alternative choice to perforated metal. Due to its shape and material characteristics, it is very strong and durable in comparison with the wire mesh. There are small opening in the material which reduces the overall weight of the metal sheet and also allows the water, air, and light to flow through whereas still providing a barrier to large objects. Expanded metal can be found in different materials such as aluminum, hot rolled steel, cold-rolled steel, stainless steel, copper, and titanium. There are many types of expanded metal available in the market, which provide a variety of shapes, sizes, thickness, and opening positions. When choosing the right expanded metal sheet you will need to consider the weight and structural design requirements as well.

Another main reason for choosing expanded metal over the plain metal is that it will create better traction with its exposed edges which made them more suitable to be installed as drainage covers or catwalks. In addition, expanded metal is made in one piece and it can be a good conductor of electricity, heat, and magnetic flux. Other common applications of the expanded metal can be found in Machine guards, stair treads, flooring, platform, window security, balcony railing mesh, conveyor, shelf, and many more. It can combine with concrete, glass, and other material to provide greater strength to the product.

Here we will introduce a few common types of Expanded Metal in Malaysia:

Standard Expanded Sheet

This is the most versatile and economical type of expanded metal which provides a variety of opening sizes and gauges. It is not only has a rigid surface and also provides additional strength that allows a large volume of air circulation in the ventilation system. The standard expanded sheet is often referred as raised expanded metal because of its alternating ridges created by overlapping strips of diamond pattern. There are many sizes and weights available for the application as warehouse enclosures or safety guards between the machinery.  

Hexagonal Expanded Metal

It has hexagonal-shaped openings which means a larger open area percentage in comparison with other types of expanded metal. However, it still maintains a high strength-to-weight ratio which provides a higher strength than diamond shape expanded metal. Hexagonal Expanded Metal is commonly used in architectural load-bearing applications such as facade, roof, or walkway where strength is a must.

Flattened Expanded Sheet

This type of expanded metal sheet is suitable to be used in the place where requires a smooth surface as Flattened Expanded Sheet has a level surface. During its manufacturing process, it is processed a second time by using the cold rolling process to flatten it. The process will reduce the overall thickness and extend the length of the metal sheet by around 5%. In this case, the flattened expanded sheet is lighter than the Standard Expanded Sheet for about 5%. Flattened Expanded Sheet has different lengths and width which suitable to be used for fencing, cages, or ventilation devices. We will need to apply the metal slip-resistant coating on it when using for walkways, to provide a durable and higher traction surface.

Micro Expanded Metal

It has small openings in a light gauge metal. This kind of special expanded metal is made of high-quality fine steel sheets of aluminum, galvanized steel, carbon steel, or stainless steel. The opening can be flattened, standard, square, and hexagonal. Micro Expanded Metal is mainly used as filter, speaker grill covering, battery grid plate, rain gutter filter, or other applications that require small holes filtering functions. Additionally, it can provide a consistently high level of strength and precision for filtering air, liquid, or solid.

Expanded Metal Grating

It has no joints or welds and each sheet is a single & continuous piece of material which made them an ideal to be used for platform application. Expanded Metal Grating is made of low carbon steel sheet or plate which is suitable for heavy-duty usage. Its material and design characteristics ensure it can hold up well even when in the most demanding work environments. It is best suited for use as a machine platform, walkway, pedestrian areas, and stairs as the surface is naturally having a slip-proof function without any further processing. The high percentage of open area allows the water, dirt, grease, and other debris to drain off easily without special maintenance, it helps to maintain a high level of cleanliness and safety. Expanded metal grating also has a lower cost than traditional bar gratings, it is an economical selection when having a tight budget.

Architectural Expanded Metal

The expanded metal in a diamond-shaped pattern with extra architectural features that is suitable to be installed for both functional and decorative purposes. It does not only provide security and ventilation functions but also give good aesthetics. We usually use it as room dividers, sunscreens, or building facades. The material is available in aluminum, carbon steel, or other alloys in a variety of gauges and patterns. Customized orders can be made if a special pattern is required for the application.

MecHero supply a wide range of expanded metal and other steel products in the Malaysia market. You can always contact us at +6011-7001 7687 or email to us at for the inquiry. Tell us your requirements now about the steel product you're looking for and we can advise you accordingly.

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