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Architectural Expanded Metal: What You Need to Know

Expanded metal fabricators design metal pieces perfect for countless architectural applications across plants, facilities, commercial buildings and more. Expanded metal is strong, durable, flexible and lightweight, which makes it the ideal choice for a wide variety of jobs. It’s even used in some patio furniture — a testament to its versatility.

Read on to learn what expanded metal is, how it is made, what designs use it and where to get it.

What Is Expanded Metal and When Is It Used?

The first answer you’ll need before deciding whether expanded metal is correct for your architecture job is what it is and how it’s created. The manufacturing process for architectural expanded metal involves a process of slitting, shearing and stretching simultaneously so that solid metal transforms into a material with uniform diamond-shaped openings. The process is cost-effective because it reduces waste that would occur from simple cutting and it allows a piece of metal to expand in size by several feet as it converts from a solid material.

Fabricators apply this process over a range of different sizes in various types of metal. The diamond openings themselves can range in size from about 1/8” to 3” inches wide and ¼” to 8” long. Popular for its customization potential, expanded metal allows you to design a wide range of appearances and functions that suit any particular building.

Architectural Uses for Expanded Metal

While expanded metal improves safety features and enhances building utility, it also changes the location’s appearance and influences sensory experiences. The interior and exterior surface of any building changes the way people interact with it. Textured areas offer a completely different experience from smooth surfaces. Regions in an architectural design that can flow and bend are more three-dimensional than flat structures. If you want to allow light and air in, you’ll build differently. Expanded metal allows all of these decisions and more.

If you decide to include expanded metal in your design, it might also have to do with safety and security features. No matter who will inhabit the area on a regular basis, keeping it safe reduces accidents and possible compliance issues. Expanded metal goes into some safety grating for non-slip walking, both indoors and outdoors. This applies to balconies, walkways, entry ramps and more to keep anyone in and around the building safe.

Other uses for architectural expanded metal include:

  • Concrete reinforcement
  • Security fencing
  • Office separators
  • Room dividers
  • Building facades
  • Ceiling panels

For more ideas visit our architectural photo gallery.

Choose Marco Specialty Steel for Your Architectural Expanded Metal

If you’ve decided it’s time to order the expanded metal you need for your architectural design work, you can trust Marco Specialty Steel to supply highly trained technicians who can get any custom fabrication job done right. We’re experts in the metal fabrication industry, which means we’ll create the product to meet your specifications. We’ll also deliver it to you within a quick timeline so you don’t have to wait to complete construction.

Contact us for a custom quote on the amount and material type of your choosing.