In the realm of construction and design, the use of expanded metals has become increasingly popular. From reinforcing brickwork, and creating walkways, to designing artistic displays, expanded metals offer a versatile solution to a myriad of design challenges. At the forefront of this industry is F.H. Brundle, the country’s leading supplier of expanded metals. Their extensive range of products offers innovative solutions to various construction and design needs.

Understanding Expanded Metals

Expanded metal, a versatile material that’s sheared and stretched from a single sheet, is produced by feeding sheets or coils into an expanding machine equipped with a ‘knife’ designed to cut it to produce a specific mesh pattern. This process results in a mesh-like material that’s stronger than wire mesh and offers better air flow and drainage than sheet metal.

In the field of architecture, expanded metal is often utilised for cladding facades in the construction of bridges, ornamental features, and art displays. In the industrial sector, it’s used in creating exhibition stands, window guards, cages and flooring. Notably, in the automobile industry, it’s employed for car grilles, radiator grilles, and filtration systems.

The Process of Making Expanded Metal

The manufacturing process of expanded metal begins with a metal sheet. It’s cut and stretched uniformly, creating a pattern of diamond-shaped openings. This process doesn’t involve any material wastage, making it an environmentally friendly and cost-effective solution. The choice between standard and flattened expanded metal mesh depends on the application. Standard expanded metal is often more useful for parts washing applications, while flattened expanded metal may be better for certain parts handling applications.

The Different Types of Expanded Metal

F.H. Brundle offers a variety of expanded metals, each catering to unique design needs. Here’s a look at some of the types available.

Standard Expanded Metal

This type of expanded metal is created by entering a metal sheet in a machine press that cuts and stretches the metal. The stretching and cutting result in a diamond pattern that permits air circulation without compromising the metal’s strength and durability. It can be used when making lockers, warehouse fencing, and machinery safety doors.

Flattened Expanded Metal

Flattened expanded metal undergoes an extra step after the standard process used to make standard expanded metal. It’s put through a cold rolling press to flatten it, making the metal mesh thinner, flatter, and longer. This type of expanded metal is perfect for fences, ventilation, cages, and flooring.

Expanded Metal Mesh

The expanded metal mesh comes in various shapes and sizes, ranging from delicate mesh to stronger ones. It’s made by using a single sheet of solid metal that’s compressed and stretched. This type can be used to create ornamental and constructive products such as dividing screens, fences, and aerated storage systems.

Expanded Metal Grating

Low-carbon steel plates are used to create this heavy-duty type. These are used for areas where durability is necessary such as walkways, stairs, or main pedestrian zones. This type proves to be one of the most economical and strong materials.

Expanded Metal in Architecture

Expanded metal is a popular choice in the architectural sector. It’s utilised in various ways, from cladding facades in the construction of bridges to creating ornamental features and art displays.

Cladding Facades

Expanded metal is often used for cladding facades in architectural structures. It allows for a unique aesthetic appeal while providing practical benefits such as enhanced ventilation and light penetration.

Reinforcing Brickwork

Expanded metal can be used to reinforce brickwork. It provides additional strength and stability to the structure, ensuring durability and longevity.

Creating Walkways

With its strength and durability, expanded metal is a suitable material for creating walkways. Its diamond-shaped openings allow for water drainage, reducing the risk of slipping, and making it a safe choice for public spaces.

Designing Artistic Displays

Artists and designers can utilise expanded metal to create stunning art displays. It offers flexibility in design and can be moulded into various shapes and patterns, unlocking limitless creative possibilities.

Expanded Metal in the Transportation Industry

In the transportation industry, expanded metal is employed for various applications like car grilles, radiator grilles, and filtration systems. Its strength, versatility, and ability to withstand high temperatures make it an ideal choice for this sector.

Car Grilles

Expanded metal is often used to make car grilles. It provides a strong and durable surface that can withstand impact, protects the engine, and allows for optimal airflow.

Radiator Grilles

Radiator grilles are another automobile component that can be made from expanded metal. It helps protect the radiator from debris while allowing air to pass through, essential for the cooling of the engine.

Filtration Systems

The mesh-like structure of expanded metal makes it suitable for filtration systems in vehicles. It can effectively filter out debris and particles, ensuring the smooth operation of the engine.

Security Applications of Expanded Metal

Where security is important, expanded metal can be a reliable solution. It can be used to make security screens, balustrade infill panels, and security lathing. It’s also often used when erecting scaling barriers.

Security Screens

Expanded metal can be used to make security screens for windows and doors. It provides an effective barrier against break-ins while allowing for natural light and air to enter.

Balustrade Infill Panels

Balustrade infill panels made from expanded metal offer a combination of style and safety. They provide a secure barrier on balconies, staircases, and decks, preventing accidental falls.

Security Lathing

Security lathing made from expanded metal can be fixed to block work, studded partitions, or joists to prevent or restrict entry. It’s a cost-effective solution for enhancing the security of a property.

Expanded Metal in Domestic Applications

Expanded metal can also have numerous domestic applications, including indoor and outdoor furniture, ceiling tiles, and more.

Indoor and Outdoor Furniture

Expanded metal’s strength and aesthetic appeal make it a good choice for furniture design. It can be used to create tables, chairs, and other furniture pieces, both for indoor and outdoor use.

Ceiling Tiles

Expanded metal can be utilised to design unique and stylish ceiling tiles. It offers a modern, industrial look while allowing for better ventilation and light diffusion.

Extensive Selection

We offer an extensive selection of expanded metal products to cater to various needs and specifications. Their range includes different materials, patterns, mesh sizes, and sheet or roll sizes.

  • Mild steel
  • Pre-galvanized steel
  • Stainless steel (304 & 316)
  • Aluminium

These different materials offer varying levels of strength, corrosion resistance, and aesthetic appeal, allowing you to choose the most suitable material for your specific application.

Different Coating Options

F.H. Brundle stocks a variety of materials for expanded metal, including mild steel, pre-galvanised steel, stainless 304 & 316, and aluminium. All these materials can be coated using various popular methods, including galvanising, painting, and powder coating, to enhance their durability and aesthetic appeal.

Patterns and Mesh Sizes

F.H. Brundle’s expanded metal products come in an extensive selection of patterns, offering over 50 mesh sizes. The choice of pattern and mesh size depends on the specific requirements of your project. Whether you need a fine mesh for delicate applications or a larger mesh for improved airflow, F.H. Brundle has you covered.

Coating Options

To enhance the durability and appearance of expanded metal, F.H. Brundle offers various coating options, including galvanizing, painting, and powder coating. These coatings provide additional protection against corrosion and can be customised to match your desired aesthetic.

Technical Information

When selecting expanded metal for your project, it’s important to consider the technical specifications and requirements. F.H. Brundle provides the necessary technical information to help you make an informed decision.

Thickness and Hole Apertures

Expanded metal is available in different thicknesses and hole apertures to suit specific applications. The thickness of the metal determines its strength, while the hole apertures affect the size of the openings in the mesh. F.H. Brundle offers a wide range of options to ensure that you find the perfect balance between strength and functionality.

Sheet and Roll Sizes

Expanded metal can be purchased in either sheet or roll form, depending on your needs. F.H. Brundle offers various sheet and roll sizes to accommodate different project requirements. The choice between sheet and roll form depends on factors such as ease of transportation, installation, and customisation.

Choosing the Right Expanded Metal

Choosing the right expanded metal depends on your specific needs. Factors to consider include the application, the required strength and durability, the desired aesthetic appeal, and the budget. F.H. Brundle offers a wide range of options, ensuring that you can find the perfect expanded metal for your project.

In conclusion, expanded metal offers a versatile, cost-effective, and durable solution for a wide range of applications. With F.H. Brundle’s extensive range, the possibilities are limitless. Whether you’re embarking on a construction project, designing a piece of furniture, or looking for a secure fencing solution, expanded metal could be the answer. Above all, remember that the right choice of expanded metal can unlock design potential and lead to a successful project.