Expanded Metal Frequently Asked Questions
- What does 3/4 - 9 mean?
- Expanded metal terminology is roughly based on two characteristics of the finished product; the SWD dimension of the pattern and the gauge of the parent metal.
- For example:
1/2 - 16 means .500" SWD and 16 gauge parent metal.
- There are some designations, however, that do not follow the same pattern. In the case of 3/4 - 9, the original specification of .750" SWD and 9 gauge parent metal has evolved into something slightly different. In this case the SWD dimension is .923" and the parent metal is ten gauge.
- Why is 1/2 - 16 flat not 16 gauge?
- The simple answer is that it was. All expanded metal is manufactured first as standard, or un-flattened. In order for that standard product to be milled into a flattened product of acceptable levelness, it is normally necessary to reduce it below the gauge of the parent metal. As a result, a 1/2 - 16 product is manufactured as 1/2 - 16 standard from 16 gauge metal, then milled to the equivalent of 18 gauge.
- What is the difference between standard and flat?
- Standard expanded metal is metal as it comes off the expanding press. The individual strands are not fixed horizontally, but instead are angled off the plane of the sheet, giving it a bumpy feel and appearance.
- Standard expanded metal is often superior in structural properties to the parent metal, and always to its equivalent flattened product. It also offers opportunities for a gripping surface. In addition, it can provide directional flow and light reduction.
- Flattened expanded metal is simply what it calls itself, a standard product that has been milled until it is completely flat and level with all the ridges taken out.
- Flattened is best used in instances where abrasion or appearance is an issue.
- Can I buy direct rather than through a distributor?
- You sure can. Metalex stocks most common sizes for quick ship. Of course, special sizes or patterns are not normally found in service center stock, so ordering them direct will only speed your response time. By eliminating the middle man, ordering direct can also save you money.