Expanding Technology™

A Commitment to Innovation and Quality

Expanded metal is made by a process of slit and stretch. A precision die slits and stretches the material in a single operation. The material is then processed through a set of rollers which adjusts the final thickness. The shape, form and number of openings are dictated by the particular tool used (See Die Chart for discussion on available dies).

The Tool selected dictates the Long Way of the Diamond (LWD), whereas the strand width and the Short Way of the Diamond (SWD) is machine adjustable and is selected based on the needs of the customer.

The expanded metal process.

How Expanded Metal

White Papers and Technical Documents

Dexmet precision expanded metal and expanded plastic products are used in batteries, electronics, aerospace, aircraft, medical, packaging, filters, fuel cells, heating elements, resistors, load banks, food & drug products, automotive and wherever mesh and perforated foils, metals and plastics with high precision characteristics are required. They are available in most metals and polymers, or we can work with your proprietary materials. Metals we regularly produce include: aluminum, brass, copper, Monel™, nickel, steel, stainless steel, and zinc.

A range of standard diamond mesh sizes is available. As many as 9,000 openings per square inch can be achieved, with an open area from as much as 95% to as low as 10%. The variable open area facilitates lamination with a variety of other materials, including those which expand, contract and flex.

We will engineer a precision expanded foil, expanded metal or expanded plastic with unique characteristics for your particular application. Dexmet's proprietary manufacturing methods can accommodate a host of process variations.

Technical References

  1. Mesh Per Inch (MPI)

    EMI RFI Shielding Grid

    Measure one inch and count the number of meshes (or openings - between two nodes) along the SWD direction. We generally refer to MPI in the SWD direction and not the LWD direction. See Standard Product Range for the mean MPI count for each Mesh Designation.

  2. Openings Per Square Inch

    EMI RFI Shielding Grid 2

    Double the product of MPI and LWD mesh count. Openings per square inch = (3.5 x 2) x 2 = 14

  3. Product Code Nomenclature

    Product Example: 3 Ni 5-077

    • Original Foil Thickness: 0.003 in.
    • Metal or Alloy: Nickel
    • Strand Width: 0.005 in.
    • - LWD: 0.077 in.
  4. Coverage Area Calculation

    (Accurate to ±10%)
    Coverage Area = 2 x MPI x Strand Width
    Product Example: 2 x 24 x 0.005 = 0.24 Coverage Area = 24%

  5. Open Area Calculation

    (Accurate to ±10%)
    Open Area = 1 - Coverage Area
    Product Example: 1 - 0.24 = 0.76 Open Area = 76%

  6. Weight Per Area Calculation

    (Refer to Density of Materials Chart)
    Grams per square inch = metal weight (Lbs per cubic foot) ÷ 12 x original foil thickness x 2 x MPI x strand width x 3.1416
    Product Example: 554.688 ÷ 12 x 0.003 x 2 x 24 x 0.005 x 3.1416 = 0.10456 grams/sq. in.

  7. Total Surface Area Calculation

    A = Coverage Area
    B = 85% of Original Foil Thickness
    C = B/Strand width
    D = Total Surface Area = 2A (1+C)
    Product Example: A = 0.24

    B = 0.85 x 0.003 = 0.00255
    C = B/0.005 = 0.00255/0.005 = 0.51

    Total Surface Area = 2 x 0.24 x (1+0.51) = 0.7248 sq. ft. of Surface Area per sq. ft. of MicroGrid®

  8. Resistivity and Conductivity

    See Resistivity and Conductivity Chart

Physical Testing of Expanded Metal Foil

The first rule in testing expanded metal and expanded plastic is the need for new rules. The standards of Ultimate Tensile, Yield Strength and Elongation do not necessarily apply. Simply establishing the area to be considered becomes a point of discussion. The solution is to eliminate the questionable areas and concentrate on what we know to be true. The tests are simple and do not generally require expensive equipment, so quality may be verified by our customers.

Tensile Testing

Tensile Testing to failure (Ultimate Tensile) is usually more of a shear test than a tensile test. Tensile Testing rips rather than pulls the strands apart. Depending on the configuration of the product, pulling the mesh may actually change it from one form to another. For example, a flattened metal foil will revert to its expanded configuration before failing.

Bend Testing

Dexmet has established a simple yet effective test that utilizes the elasticity of the material. As the material is annealed, its elasticity, or spring-back, decreases. Relative stiffness can therefore be translated into degrees of anneal. A history has been developed that tells us whether we have accomplished a complete anneal. Feedback from our customers has also provided the specific numerical hardness requirements for a variety of processes. We know that certain rolling mill practices can adversely affect the ability of material to function in our process as well as in our customer's applications. Testing has also shown that stress relieving will make the material feel softer and lay flatter but will not affect the bend recovery.

Pull Testing

Pulling to within a small percentage of what would result in permanent deformation gives a reasonable measure of the force the material can tolerate without undue stretching. However, if stretching must be avoided entirely, pulling to the same distance a second time will result in the amount of force that the material can withstand without permanent deformation. This information can be very useful to the machine designer.

Salt Solution Plating Tests

The immersion of a sample of Nickel plated steel mesh in a bubbling 2% salt solution is an excellent test for plating quality. There is sufficient air to readily oxidize the nickel, but it is controlled. Salt Solution Testing remains one of the best methods for evaluating the post plating process. Exposure time provides a means to quantify the results.

Contact Us

Phone: (203) 294-4440
Fax: (203) 294-7899

22 Barnes Industrial Rd. So.
Wallingford, CT 06492
United States of America

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SAMPE Seattle 2017

May 23-24, 2017
Washington State Convention Center,
Farnborough, Seattle, Washington – Booth# E42
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August 8-10, 2017
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National Harbor, MD – Booth# 816
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