Sample boards enable correct selection of expanded metals

21st October 2005

The inherent structural integrity of expanded metal has rendered this versatile material suitable for use in almost any application, and local manufacturer, And- rew Mentis produces a wide variety of sizes and mate-rials.

The East Rand company was formed in 1950 as a precision-engineering works and steel grater, producing Gripweld grating technology in 1959.

Today, the company has grown to become a specialist in grating manufacture, gaining a share in over- seas markets, and has supplied large quantities of high-quality products to major industries locally.

This includes the power gener-ation, mining, petrochemical, motor, construction, food, paper and steel industries.

Expanded metal is sheet or coil metal slit and stretched mechanically into a network of uniform-sized dia-mond-shaped openings forming a mesh structure. No material is lost during the manu- facturing process, and the formation of the diamond patterns gives the expanded metal greater strength without affecting its weight. Andrew Mentis produces two distinct ranges of expanded metal: Mentex is raised and Flatex is flat-tened. According to company marketing manager Bruce Sprake, the correct selection of the appropriate material depends on the application at hand.

To facilitate correct selection of expanded metal, the company has prepared expanded-metal sample boards, which are on display at branches, suppliers and distri-butors. Sprake says the sixteen most popu- lar sizes, eight raised and eight flattened, are shown to assist cus-tomers in the selection process.

Mentex and Flatex expanded metal is manufactured from high-quality local mild steel, but Sprake says it can be manufactured from any ductile metal. The product is normally supplied unpainted, but readily lends itself to any of the normal finishing pro-cesses, such as painting, epoxy coat-ing, plating and galvanising.

General-purpose expanded metal is available in a comprehensive range of sizes, weights and thicknesses, and the fabrication of the material in any form is possible. The metal can be bent, shaped, angled or notched while maintaining its inherent rigidity. It is also available in various mesh sizes, from minimeshes with small openings to larger meshes with 75 mm * 200 mm openings.

Applications where expanded metal is found include screens, grates, shelving, racks, protection guards, internal partitioning, burglar proofing, fencing, reinforcement, beds, garden furniture, filters, divi- ders, truck bodies, tunnel and shaft linings, grain silos, vents, drying racks, strainers, speaker grills, bill-board walkways and many more.

Andrew Mentis is a leading manu- facturer of grating and expanded metal.

The metal includes Mentrail, which is used for guard-rails and roads; Mentcano, which includes perforated steel sections; Mendril, which is used for automatic drilling and boring machines and in the industrial handrail and steel floor-tile industries.