How to Weld Expanded Metal
Expanded metal, also known as metal mesh, is created by cutting slits in sheet metal and stretching the metal up to ten times its original size. Once expanded, mesh metal becomes flat, with equal diamond-shaped openings, similar to the pattern of a chain-link fence. Welding metal mesh is often used to create backyard outdoor tables, fences and barriers, wastebaskets and even metal artwork. And also, it is mainly usde for filter element, it is the raw material of stainless basket. Due to its thinness, working with expanded metal will take some getting used to before you gain confidence in your project.
1 Place the expanded metal on top of the metal that you are going to weld it to. Since expanded metal is extremely thin, it needs to be welded to a thicker metal frame. Attach the expanded metal to the thicker metal with C-clamps.
2 Tack the expanded metal to the thicker metal using a TIG welder and a welding rod. Hold the TIG welder in one hand and perform a series of small welds evenly around the perimeter of the wire mesh. Weld just enough to pinch the two metals together, and remove the clamps. The tacking will keep the expanded metal flat and will prevent warping.
3 Weld the entire perimeter of the expanded metal slowly, focusing the heat on the thicker part of the metal. Putting too much heat on the thin metal mesh will burn it away, so use the welding rod to protect the thin metal from the direct flame.
4 Hold the welding rod in the hand that is not holding the welder, and allow molten metal to build up on the end of it. This melted metal, known as the puddle, will be used as filler metal. Catch the puddle with the tip of the welding rod and spread it evenly across the edge of the thicker metal. Keep the welder at an angle, so that the thicker metal continues to receive the direct flame. Use the welding rod to smooth out any jagged or protruding edges.