Durable, dependable and incredibly versatile, expanded metal continues to top the popularity polls with both designers and specifiers. First manufactured by Andrew Mentis, based in Elandsfontein, expanded metal is now available in a variety of sizes and materials.
“The manufacturing process is extremely economical,” explains Andrew Mentis’ marketing manager, Elaine van Rooyen. “Expanded metal is produced by slitting and expanding a solid sheet of metal into a web of diamond-shaped meshes. The metal sheet can, in fact, be expanded up to ten times its original size, losing no material in the process and resulting in a remarkably light mesh.”
One of the distinguishing features of expanded metal is its inherent structural integrity and strength, created by the network of rigid strands which also permit light and air to pass freely through it. The expanded metal is also lighter than the original equivalent mass.
Known as Mentex, the raised mesh can also be flattened into the same plane as the sheet of metal expanded. This is known as Flatex. Andrew Mentis works with customers to select the most appropriate raised or flattened mesh for each particular application.
High quality local mild steel is used in the manufacturing process, but any other ductile metal is also suitable. The finished product can be painted, stove-enamelled, plated and galvanised.
The range of mesh sizes and thicknesses of both Mentex and Flatex is extensive and the expanded metal can be bent, shaped to radii, angled or notched. Customers can select a broad spectrum of mesh sizes, from the smallest mini-meshes with openings of 2.0 mm by 4.0 mm and a thickness of 0.3 millimetres to the larger versions with openings of 75 mm by 200 mm and a thickness of six mm.