Afrimat set for a grind

Durbanville based aggregates and building materials supply giant Afrimat is bracing for a tough financial year ahead. Afrimat, since listing on the JSE in 2007, has been the envy of the building sector with an unblemished profit track record – thanks mainly to smart acquisitions, an unrelenting focus on costs and flexible production capability.


Expanded metal remains an economical and cost effective material

Durable, dependable and incredibly versatile, Mentis Expanded Metal continues to be an economical and cost effective material. The manufacturing process ensures optimum material integrity and strength and allows it to be used for a wide range of applications.

Elaine van Rooyen, marketing manager at Andrew Mentis, one of the country’s foremost engineering and manufacturing companies based in Elandsfontein, explains that the material is made by slitting and expanding a solid sheet of metal into a web of diamonds.

“The metal sheet can, in fact, be expanded up to ten times its original size, losing no material in the process and resulting in a remarkably light mesh,” she says.

“And expanded metal offers flexibility because it is available in a variety of sizes and materials.”

One of the most important features of expanded metal is its inherent structural integrity and strength. Van Rooyen says this facilitated by the network of rigid strands which also permit light and air to pass freely through it. The material is also lighter than the original equivalent mass.

High quality local mild steel is used in the manufacturing process, but any other ductile metal is also suitable. The finished product can be painted, stove-enamelled, plated and galvanised. The company produces expanded metal with a raised mesh, known as Mentex, and with a flattened surface, known as Flatex. Van Rooyen says that the most appropriate type of expanded metal is selected depending on the application ion which the material will be used.

The range of mesh sizes and thicknesses of both Mentex and Flatex is extensive and the expanded metal can be bent, shaped to radii, angled or notched. Customers can select a broad spectrum of mesh sizes, from the smallest mini-meshes with openings of 2mm by 4mm and a thickness of 0,3mm to the larger versions with openings of 75mm by 200mm and a thickness of 6mm.

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