Expanded metal

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Expanded metal
Expanded metal used as fence at the Inner German border

Expanded metal is a form of metal stock made by shearing a metal plate in a press, so that the metal stretches, leaving diamond-shaped voids surrounded by interlinked bars of the metal. The most common method of manufacture is to simultaneously slit and stretch the material with one motion. It is often shortened to exmet. "Exmet", however, is a registered trademark in the US for expanded metal produced by Expanded Metal Company, Ltd.[1] It is a large part of the metal industry and plays a key role in metal fabrication.

Expanded metal is used in:

  • grates,
  • in outdoor furniture (e.g. benches),
  • fencing,
  • installation of "heating floor" system;
  • plastering (metal lath).[2]

It is often used for guarding to prevent contact with hot surfaces or machinery.

Expanded metal is often used for architectural details and finds use in security applications such as in the walls of a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility because, in heavier grades, it is difficult to breach without heavy cutting equipment or explosives.