Expanded metal is sheet metal that has been slit and expanded into a network of uniform diamond-shaped openings. None of the material is lost in the manufacturing process. The individual strands and their connections are continuous and remain part of the parent metal, removing the need for joins or welds at the junctions.
Because it is formed in one piece, expanded metal cannot ravel or fray and its distinctive pattern is both decorative and structural. In many cases, the mesh is more rigid than the parent sheet.
The unique shape of the apertures in expanded metal can be used to admit light or to obscure vision. The apertures also admit airflow for ventilation, while forming an effective barrier against physical entry.