In recent years, suppliers have been working with architects to incorporate stainless expanded metal into many new applications. Since the applications are endless, it’s very important that architects identify the strengths and weaknesses of the material in order to achieve high performance. Below are important questions you should ask yourself before making a purchase.
- Define Your Style
- Expanded Metal comes in a standard (raised) or flattened diamond pattern in a variety of gauges, opening sizes, materials and sheet sizes.
- Stainless steel is one of the most aesthetically pleasing alloys due to its resistance to corrosion and staining, low maintenance and luster.
- Other alloys may fit your application better, such as steel, galvanized steel or aluminum.
- Depending on what your application is, any type of expanded metal may be used as a pass through to support sound absorption in ceilings and walls.
- They could also function as protective or decorative coverings for special acoustic materials.
- Expanded metal is often used for a ventilation and filtration applications.
- The openings in expanded metal allow light, air, heat and gases to pass through.
- Structural Considerations
- Expanded metals “open area” can’t stand alone since it is lightweight and less rigid. It must be fastened and secured to a structure.
- Slip Resistance
- Stainless expanded metal can be used in many different ways, but a popular application is flooring. Many companies have a slip resistant metal coating applied to the expanded metal for flooring applications.
- Expanded metal can then be easily retrofitted over existing material such as floor plates, grating and stair treads.
- Expanded metal can be easily tack welded or bolted down for instant safety.
Comparing the pros and cons of a material before you make a purchase is extremely helpful, especially when you speak to an expert in the field. For information on the strengths and weaknesses of particular metal products you may view Metal Architecture’s website.
Farber, Bob. “Choosing the Right Metal for Your Design.” Metal Architecture – The Authority on the Use of Metal in Architectural Applications, Building Design, Construction, Retrofit, and Product Applications. N.p., 4 Apr. 2011. Web. 14 Sept. 2012. <http://www.metalarchitecture.com/>.