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Mentex Expanded Metal a Top Performer in Automotive Industry Stillages

Mentex 43 expanded metal plays a key role in the manufacture of stillages for the automotive manufacturing industry by Pretoria-based SNS Engineering.

Stillages are generally used to convey parts and materials around manufacturing facilities. A stillage is like a pallet or skid but with a cage, sides or some form of support specifically tailored to the material it is intended to carry. Some stillages are designed to be stackable.

SNS Engineering’s stillages are used to transport automotive body parts around vehicle manufacturing facilities without the need to load and unload the product being carried, which saves time and decreases the chance of damage.

The company’s general manager, Gerrit Venter, says SNS Engineering has incorporated Mentex 43 expanded metal into its stillages since it first started manufacturing these products in 2009. To date, the company has purchased more than 5000 sheets of this product.

“When we decided to introduce this product line, we researched the market and found that Andrew Mentis offered the quality of expanded metal we were looking for at the right price,” he says. “To ensure the stillages are able to withstand the environment in which they have to operate, we needed to be confident that the metal was rigid enough to take heavy loads and be stepped upon by the personnel who pack and unpack the automotive parts.

“It’s also very important that the metal is non-slippery, to promote safety in the automotive manufacturing environment. And, in terms of working with Mentex 43, it’s quite easy to join and to manipulate into different sizes and shapes.

“We’ve been completely happy with the product and over the years we’ve found Andrew Mentis’ after-sales support to be first class.”

Increasing attention
The South African industrial market is paying increasing attention to the unlimited potential applications served by expanded metal, an interest being sparked by the confidence engendered by expanded metal’s inherent structural integrity, which is not compromised during the manufacturing process.

No material is lost during the manufacturing process, even though the original sheet of metal can be expanded into anything up to ten times its original size. The result is a mesh which is considerably lighter than the equivalent area of steel plate.

Elandsfontein-based Andrew Mentis was the first company to begin manufacturing expanded metal more than 60 years ago and is today the leading supplier of quality expanded metal in a variety of sizes and materials.

The expanding process creates a network of rigid strands which add strength, while allowing free passage of light and air. The raised mesh or Mentex®, as it is called, can be put through an additional process in which the raised meshes are flattened into the same plane as the sheet of metal expanded. This is known as Flatex®.

With extensive experience in the various applications of expanded metal, Andrew Mentis manufactures both the raised and flattened meshes and the selection of the appropriate mesh depends on the application at hand.

Typically, both Mentex® and Flatex® expanded metal is manufactured from high quality local mild steel, but can be manufactured from any other ductile metal. The product is normally supplied unpainted but readily lends itself to any of the normal finishing processes such as painting, stove enamelling, plating and galvanising.

Mentex® and Flatex® expanded metal is available in a comprehensive range of sizes, mesh sizes and thicknesses and can be fabricated in any form. The mesh can be bent, shaped to radii, angled or notched, while maintaining its inherent rigidity. It is also available in various mesh sizes, from mini meshes with small openings of 1.4 mm by 2 mm, and with a thickness of 0.4 mm, to larger meshes with 115 mm by 300 mm openings and a thickness of 6 mm.

Industries that have already recognised the benefits of this unique product and have successfully put it to work across a spectrum of applications include mining, construction and food. It is used for screens, grates, shelving, racks, protection guards, internal partitioning, burglar proofing, fencing, reinforcement, walkways, platforms and stairs, beds, garden furniture, braai grids, filters, dividers, scaffolding, truck bodies, tunnel and shaft linings, grain silos and even decoratively.

Category: Expanded Metal, News

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