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Expanded Metal Sizing Guide

Jun. 24, 2022

Our customers sometimes find themselves confused over what measurements they should provide in order to select the most suitable mesh pattern for their application.  As a professional manufacturer of metal wire mesh products, BZWIREMESH provides a guide on how to measure and specify expanded metal.


What is Expanded Metal?

The expanded metal mesh also called expanded metal or expanded metal sheet, is one of the most widely used metal wire mesh products. The expanded metal mesh is produced of a whole metal sheet by punching and expanding process, the material of expanded metal mesh can be stainless steel, carbon steel, galvanized steel, or aluminum. The mesh holes of expanded metal mesh are uniform, and the mesh structure is firm and stable, this makes the mesh achieve very high strength with light weight.


Animal Enclosures

Animal Enclosures


Expanded metal is sometimes considered an alternative to sheet metal or wire mesh. It combines some of the best features of both—providing a material that is stronger than thin wire mesh and has better air flow and drainage than sheet metal. In fact, it's an excellent option for custom wire baskets that need more tensile strength than wires can provide. Additionally, expanded metal cuts down on the need for extra welding operations compared to using individual steel wires, making it faster and easier to complete sturdy baskets.


How do I measure a raised mesh?

The key measurements for a raised mesh are Longway Pitch (LWP), Shortway Pitch (SWP), Strand Width (SWDT), and Strand Thickness (STK).


  • LWP, measured horizontally from either knuckle to knuckle or center to center, is derived from the size of tooling used within the production process.

  • SWP, measured vertically from either knuckle to knuckle or center to center, is manifested through the overall expansion applied during manufacture.   

  • SWDT is a measurement of the width of the resulting angular strand created during manufacture.

  • STK is a measurement of starting raw material thickness. Contrary to belief, the expanding process does not directly alter material thickness. Strand Thickness should not be confused with the overall height or depth of expanded metal. Typically, mesh height can be as much as 1-2x the measurement of SWDT.

Terminology for Measuring Expanded Metal

How do I measure a flattened mesh?

The key measurements for a flattened mesh are Longway Aperture (LWA), Shortway Aperture (SWA), Strand Width (SWDT), and Strand Thickness (STK).


  • LWA is measured horizontally from internal aperture point to point.

  • SWA is measured vertically from internal aperture point to point.

  • SWDT is a measurement of the width of the resulting angular strand created during manufacture.

  • STK is a measurement of starting raw material thickness.


Terminology for Measuring Expanded Metal

While the expanding process does not alter material thickness, the flattening process does. It is common to observe a 10-20% reduction in material thickness after the flattening process. As the mesh is completely two-dimensional after flattening, the overall height measurement of the mesh is akin to starting material thickness with a further allowance of 10-20% reduction.


How do I specify sheet size and orientation?

Expanded metal mesh exhibits different mechanical and aesthetic properties when the sheet size is orientated at opposing angles.


When specifying sheet dimensions, one should also consider the orientation of the diamonds in relation to sheet size. The terminology employed to describe orientation is Longway Mesh (LWM) and Shortway Mesh (SWM).


Industrial Facilities Construction Mesh


For example, when the raised mesh is used as a walkway ramp platform, the surface grip is strongest when the diamonds run left-to-right underfoot.


Alternatively, it is common within the security fencing industry to mount expanded mesh fencing panels with the diamond longways pointing to the sky. This creates narrower openings and inhibits the ability to climb and scale the fence.


The expanded metal mesh size and plate thickness range are very wide, and there are various specifications available. The common range of plate thickness of expanded mesh that BZWIREMESH produced is from 0.5mm~6mm, and the opening size is from 3*6mm to 56*150mm, which can meet various application requirements from our clients.


For more support and to discuss your requirements further call us at +86 155 1129 3350 or email [email protected]


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