Perforated and Expanded Metal Updates

Perforated and Expanded Metal Updates

Even though perforated and expanded metals have been used in construction for over 100 years, architects, designers and builders continue to find new applications for them and their usage is growing. Here are nine things you should know about these two building components.To get more news about expanded mesh, you can visit official website.

1. NEW APPLICATIONS Recently, there has been increased demand in both architectural and security applications for expanded metal. “The advantage of expanded metal for security applications is increased strength and difficulty breaching compared to chain link,” says Drew Bahner, vice chairman of Expanded Metal Manufacturers Association (EMMA) and general manager of Expanded Solutions LLC, Oklahoma City. “It also works well behind drywall to prevent business-tobusiness building breaches.”

Bill Phillips Jr., president/COO of Niles International, Niles, Ohio, says expanded metal has new applications in and is quite functional for absorbing specific sound frequencies, EMI/RFI and microwave containment, control of design, control of lighting, control of ventilation, control of sound and the fabricating/structural considerations of open area. “Other unique applications for expanded metal are in foils with lightning strike protection, fuel cells, filtration and medical,” he adds.

From a design perspective, perforated metals are becoming more popular in parking garage applications, for sunshading elements and accents with backlighting, according to Jim Bush, vice president of sales, ATAS International Inc., Allentown, Pa. “In some cases, corporate images with customdesigned perforations are also requested,” he says.

2. SUSTAINABLE ISSUES Some believe expanded metal is the greenest type of open area metal on the market today. While it looks like expanded metal is punched, it is actually slit and stretched in one motion and there is no scrap generated in the process. A typical expanded product expands the raw material more than 300 percent; however, depending on the product, this can vary. “When perforating a 4-foot by 8-foot sheet, you get a 4-foot by 8-foot sheet of perforated along with all of the punched scrap,” Bahner says. “Both expanded metal and perforated metal are cold processes utilizing mechanical energy and dies and require no welding. Yet another type of open area metal would be metal bar grating, which, like expanded metal, doesn’t create scrap in its process. However, metal bar grating does use a significant amount of energy since it is a welded product. The lower environmental impact also generally translates into a lower overall cost.” 3. MANY MATERIAL CHOICES Many different metals can be perforated. Bush contends aluminum is the desired material due to its inherent corrosion-resistant properties. He feels this is especially true with exposed cut edges at the holes or penetration locations. Bahner agrees that aluminum is popular because it doesn’t rust and doesn’t require paint.

Expanded mesh is available in most any ductile metal, alloy, plastic and polymer. Phillips says common materials expanded by his company are aluminum, brass, bronze, copper, carbon steel, nickel alloys, platinum, silver, stainless steel and titanium.

4. COATINGS Designers are further stretching the boundaries of aluminum by adding colors with an anodizing coating. Expanded metal is also available in original mill finish, powder coating and polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) finishes. Phillips says coatings available in secondary treatments completed after the expansion process include Corten, hot-dip galvanizing, and painting and plastic coatings. Bush says for materials other than corrosion-resistant materials such as metallic-coated steels, it may be desirable to post paint the material after perforating because the primer and paint coating can provide some element of corrosion protection at the cut edges of the perforations.