FAQs About Industrial Expanded Metal U-Edging at Bushwick Metals

February 13, 2023 in Blog / Expanded Metal & Grating
Expanded Metal U-Edging

Steel, an alloy of iron, can be as much as 1,000 times stronger┬áthan raw iron. The metal’s strength comes from the addition of carbon and other strengthening alloys.

For many applications, the most cost-effective type of steel is expanded steel. Expanded metal has holes that allow manufacturers to stretch it into a lightweight mesh.

To make the sharp edges of the sheared mesh safer, it’s common to order lengths of the material with expanded metal U-edging. U-edging is a type of metal framing produced by folding a thin strip of metal into a U shape.

Expanded metal grating has a wide range of uses for manufacturers in all industries. For many smaller applications, expanded metal can provide nearly the same structural integrity as sheet metal while reducing the weight and material cost.

Any shop manager considering expanded metal for their next project probably has a few questions. Read on to learn why U-edging for expanded metal is a great choice for metal fabrication!

Common Expanded Metals

Manufacturers can expand any metal with decent ductility. However, there are only a few types of metal that commonly get expanded.

Not only are less common metals often more difficult to expand, but the process can easily become expensive. The types of metal most often expanded for commercial use are steel, aluminum, and copper.

Metals can be expanded in a few different ways. Most commonly, manufacturers perforate sheet metal in rows and then pull the material apart to form a mesh.

Manufacturers can also flatten or otherwise finish the expanded metal depending on the application.


By far the type of metal most often expanded into mesh is steel. Steel is useful for many structural applications due to its low cost, weldability, and strength.

There are several varieties of steel that are used for expanded metal, such as:

  • Carbon
  • Galvanized
  • Stainless

Like with most kinds of expanded metal, expanded steel U-edging is an easy way to protect passersby from sharp edges.


Aluminum’s uniquely low weight and corrosion resistance make it a good choice for uses such as vent covers and power cables. Because aluminum is easy to work with at low temperatures, the expanding process is easier than with other metals.

Because aluminum resists corrosion, it doesn’t have to be painted even if it will come into contact with water.


Like aluminum, copper is also corrosion-resistant. It is also an excellent conductor of electricity, making it useful for electrical applications.

Copper’s rich color also makes it a popular choice for decorative expanded metal. If the material will be used decoratively, U-edging for expanded metal is a must.

Expanded Metal U-Edging: An Overview

Expanded metal is a lightweight alternative to sheet metal that can be used for many of the same applications. However, the sharp edges of unfinished expanded metal can be unappealing as well as hazardous.

Most structures that use expanded metal will come into close contact with people.

Whether the person handling the structure is a worker or an end-user, it’s essential to make it safe. When expanded metal is cut into sections, the process usually leaves sharp and unsightly edges sticking out.

Not only can these sharp edges cut and scrape the skin, but they can also get caught on clothes and become a trip hazard.

One solution is to sand down any sharp edges, but the process is time-consuming. You can use metal frames made from channel or angle beams, but this requires more welds and can have a high material cost.

The easiest and least expensive way to protect people from the sharp edges of metal mesh is to cover them with U-edging. U-edging most often consists of steel or aluminum.

Manufacturers can cover the edges of expanded metal with U-edging either with welds or pressure. While expanded metal with U-edging is safer and more visually appealing, it tends to come in a few set dimensions unless ordered custom.

Uses of Expanded Metal

Expanded metal is useful for home and industrial purposes, including grates, walkways, furniture, and fencing. Lengths of expanded metal with U-edging have just as many applications and are generally easier to handle and transport.

Other uses for expanded metal include:

  • Railing
  • Truck and trailer decks
  • Enclosures
  • Architecture
  • Ceiling and wall panels
  • Cladding
  • Shelving

Expanded metal also has several advantages over other materials. It weighs much less, making it a good choice for applications where solid metal isn’t necessary.

Additionally, expanded metal allows light, air, and water to pass through a barrier. This makes it a good option for filtration or applications where a structure needs good ventilation or drainage.

Another benefit of expanded metal is the lower cost of using it for manufacturing. Because the material is easier to cut, reshape, and transport than solid metal, it often costs less in material and labor.

Expanded metal with raw edges may be difficult to weld due to the thin structure and varied edges. U-edging provides a smooth and uniform surface to weld to other materials.

Find the Perfect Material for Your Project

Whether your project is a large-scale structural job or a light custom fabrication order, expanded metal U-edging is an excellent choice. Your materials will be safer to handle and the finished product will be more polished.

Expanded metal U-edging not only makes expanded metal safer to handle, but it also makes the material easier to weld. No matter what project you need expanded metal for, Bushwick Metals can help.

With over a century in the metal industry, Bushwick Metals is a supplier you can trust. Contact us today to learn more about the value-added services we offer!

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