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According to Glen Pringle, Technical Director at Vital Engineering, the only limit to the application of expanded metal products is the human imagination. Expanded metal has an excellent weight-to-strength ratio, and has an advantage over welded products in that the material does not have localised weak points because it is made from a single sheet of metal. It is cost-effective, and the material, structural design, and material-to-air ratio can be tailor-made to a company requirements, he explains.

Photo 1 Vital Engineerings Vitex expanded metal“Expanded metal products and their related applications can vary from our very popular base industrial range of meshes – typically used as walkways, screenings, to oil filter encasements; and small aperture meshes which are used as speaker covers, rodent control in phone towers, or to protect solar geysers from hail – and everything in between. Expanded metal is also increasing in popularity in architectural applications, where functionality like noise and light deflection is combined with interesting aesthetic effects,” Pringle says.

He cautions that customers should be discerning when choosing expanded metal products, as there are certain subtle defects such as sharp edges or small tears in the joints that could be indicators of compromised structural integrity. However, there could be variations in product thickness which might appear as material flaws when, in fact, the variations are inherent to the manufacturing process.

Photo 2 Vital Engineerings expanded metal range Vitex has become synonymous with quality and versatility in a broad range of applications“Always choose products that adhere to SANS or ISO standards, and which are manufactured by a trusted supplier with an excellent industry track record. We pride ourselves in producing world-class quality products and in going the extra mile to help our clients find the perfect combination of material and design for their specific needs – whether it be mild steel, copper, or stainless steel; varying patterns, large or small aperture,” he explains. 

“Our decades of experience - coupled with a spirit of innovation - has led to the development of various distinctive products. As an example, we are the only producers of non-slip serrated walkway mesh in South Africa. We were recently privileged to supply expanded metal products for some newly built coal mines where they have been used for machinery safety guards and in the manufacture of mine walkways. We also supplied some expanded metal products for certain security applications in gold mines. We are very proud to have supplied our expanded metal products to these projects, as this demonstrates that the Vital Engineering name and our expanded metal brand Vitex have become synonymous with product innovation and versatility.”

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