Standard and Flattened Expanded Metal

Kloeckner regularly stocks both standard and flattened expanded metal nationwide.



  • Standard Expanded Metal
    Standard Expanded Metal Routinely Stocked In The Following Styles and Size Ranges:
    Size (inches) | Style No.
    Size Ranges
    1/2 | #16
    48" x 96"
    1/2 | #13
    48" x 96"
    3/4 | #9
    48" x 96"
  • Flattened Expanded Metal
    Expanded Metal Grating Routinely Stocked In The Following Styles and Size Ranges:
    Size (inches) | Style No.
    Size Ranges
    1/2 | #16
    48" x 96"
    1/2 | #13
    48" x 96"
    3/4 | #9
    48" x 96"

General Info About Standard and Flattened Expanded Metal

Expanded metal grating is a versatile product that can be used for a variety of applications. It is available in two main types: standard and flattened.

Standard expanded metal grating has a raised surface while flattened expanded metal grating has a smooth surface. Both types are available in a variety of materials, including aluminum, steel, and stainless steel.

The difference between standard and flattened expanded metals is in how they are fashioned. Standard expanded metal comes out of an expanding machine as a single sheet. The machine has punched a pattern of holes into the sheet and then stretched the metal into interconnected strips. The pattern is usually regular and consistent, and the resulting strips are slightly rounded.

To make flattened expanded metal, cold roll a sheet of standard expanded metal. The process produces thinner, flatter strips with a more burnished surface. The pattern may be slightly less regular after the metal sheet has been cold rolled. If expanded metal is fed through the cold roller the short way, it produces one pattern (short way design, SWD), and if fed through the machine the long way, it creates a different pattern (long way design, LWD).

More Details About 19W4 Serrated & Non-Serrated Bar Grating

Kloeckner regularly stocks both standard and flattened expanded metal in the following styles, weights, and sizes:

- ½ | #16, 48” x 96”
- Style: 3 lb, 4 lb, 4.27 lb, 5 lb
- Weight: 300, 400, 427, 500
- Size ranges: 48” x 96”

Both standard and flattened expanded metals have the same size, style numbers, and size ranges.

Kloeckner is also one of only a few distributors of floor plate, otherwise known as diamond or tread plate. In addition to extensive inventories, Kloeckner offers value-added services such as cutting and just-in-time delivery.

  • Advantages/Disadvantages

    Both standard and flattened expanded metal types bring their own distinct advantages and disadvantages.

    Advantages of standard expanded metal include:

    • Greater structural strength because strands distribute weight more evenly
    • May provide directional flow
    • Higher-grade gripping properties, making it superior for walkways
    • Durable and long-lasting

    Disadvantages of standard expanded metal include:

    • Not as aesthetically pleasing as flattened expanded metal
    • Heavier and denser
    • Delivery may cost more due to greater weight

    Advantages of flattened expanded metal include:

    • About 5 percent lower material weight
    • Burnished surface offers a smoother, sleeker appearance than standard expanded metal
    • Thinner, flatter, and lighter, making it great for fencing material
    • Corrosion-resistant
    • Often less expensive than other expanded metals

    Disadvantages of flattened expanded metal include:

    • Not as strong as standard expanded metal
    • Poorer grip, making it a less viable choice for walkway construction


  • Industries

    The construction industry uses most expanded metal — both standard and flattened. Food processing, automotive, aerospace, pharmaceutical, and telecom industries also employ this metal type.

  • Applications

    Standard expanded metal is often used in grates, ramps, and other applications where traction is important. The raised surface of the metal provides good grip for tires and shoes. Standard expanded metal makes excellent walkways, staircases, grills, security doors, racks, and shelves. Standard expanded metal also makes great strainers for fluid, air, or even industrial kitchens.

    Flattened expanded metal is often used for fencing, railings, and ceiling tiles.

  • Machining

    All expanded metal has been fed through an expanded metal mesh machine. Flattened expanded metal has also been cold rolled.

    Consequently, the metal grade used to create expanded metal has to be easy to machine. Typically, manufacturers use grade 316 steel, which is a low-carbon austenitic type of steel known for its toughness and durability.

  • Welding

    Expanded metal is never easy to weld because you are trying to attach a thin plate to a thick plate. It’s easy for your arc to burn up the thin plate, which is usually your expanded metal sheet. To avoid this problem, many welders use TIG instead of MIG welding so they can control their power and avoid penetrating the thinner sheet.

    Successfully welding expanded metal requires training the heat on the thicker piece of material and pushing the puddle on top of the expanded metal. With expanded metal, you can’t run a long bead, so you are essentially doing spot welding. You may or may not need to weld each prong of the expanded metal separately depending on the outcome you need.

  • Heat Treatment

    The heat treatment of expanded metal is a process by which the metal is heated and then cooled in order to change its physical and/or chemical properties. The most common reason for heat treating expanded metal is to increase its strength and hardness. Depending on the type of expanded metal, the heat treatment process can vary.

    For example, standard expanded metal is typically heat treated using a process called annealing, while flattened expanded metal is sometimes heat treated using a process called tempering.

Frequently Asked Questions About Standard and Flattened Expanded Metal

  • What is the difference between standard and flattened expanded metal?


    There are two types of expanded metal: standard and flattened. Standard expanded metal is raised and has a mesh-like appearance, while flattened expanded metal is level and has a plate-like appearance. Both types are creating by taking a sheet of metal and making cuts in it, then stretching it out. The difference is in how much the metal is stretched during manufacturing.

  • Why would you choose standard versus flattened expanded metal?


    Both standard and flattened expanded metal offer many benefits. Typically, standard expanded metal is the optimal choice for walkways and other applications that require strong, durable material. Flattened expanded metal is usually the preferred option for fencing or applications that call for a higher aesthetic but require less strength.

  • What do the different style numbers of standard and flattened expanded metal mean?


    Style numbers usually include a number with an inch-mark followed by a dash, another number, and a letter.

    For example, 1/2” – 13 R.

    The first number indicates the measurement of the diamond-shaped opening. In this example, that would be ½”. The second number typically specifies the weight of the metal per hundred square feet. The letter at the end should be an S, STD, R, or F. S, STD, and R stand for standard while F stands for flattened.

Branches featuring Standard and Flattened Expanded Metal products

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