Micro Expanded Metal Mesh for Aerospace & Wind Power Fields

Micro expanded metal mesh is a metal material manufactured using an expansion and stretching process that offers many advantages. Compared to a metal sheet of the same size, micro expanded metal mesh is considerably lighter, which makes it widely used in many fields. In addition, micro expanded metal mesh has a stronger structure of its own, which allows it to withstand greater pressures and loads.

In the aerospace field, micro expanded metal mesh is widely used in the manufacture of satellites, spacecraft, and other space equipment. Its excellent shielding performance can effectively prevent electromagnetic interference and radiation and protect the equipment from damage. In addition, in the field of wind power generation, micro expanded metal mesh is also widely used in the manufacture of wind turbines, and its excellent heat transfer performance can effectively improve the efficiency of wind turbines.

An airplane is traveling in thunder and lightning.

Due to the altitude at which airplanes and wind turbines fly, they are easy targets for lightning strikes. However, aircraft fuselages and blades are very expensive and can cause huge financial losses when struck by lightning. To solve this problem, micro expanded metal mesh provides excellent lightning protection. It can be embedded in composite materials to provide dissipation channels for electrical currents, thus protecting them from lightning strikes.

In composite aircraft structures, micro expanded metal foil is the preferred material for lightning strike protection. In the event of a lightning strike, while the aircraft is in the air, the micro expanded metal foil dissipates the lightning and prevents damage to the fuselage composites. Engineers can select different materials to minimize overall weight depending on the specific areas of the aircraft that could be struck. A common requirement is that the selected material must be able to withstand currents of up to 200,000 amperes from a 1A zone strike. Such a design can effectively protect aircraft and wind turbines from damage caused by lightning strikes.

Wind Power
Wind turbine blades at work in thunderstorms.

When a wind blade is struck by lightning, the unprotected blade experiences an electrical arc from the point of contact through the conductive components to the root of the structure, which can cause component temperatures to reach up to 30,000 °C (approximately 54,000 °F) and potentially cause the blade to explode. To avoid this, micro expanded metal foil mesh can be used to protect these composite structures, ensuring that the functionality of the component is not compromised.

Copper foil mesh and aluminum foil mesh are two common materials used in composite materials for wind turbine blades:
  • Copper foil mesh is widely used due to its excellent electrical conductivity and good corrosion resistance performance.
  • Aluminum foil mesh is favored for its light weight and high cost-effectiveness.
Measure the width of micro expanded copper mesh with measure tape
Micro expanded copper mesh
Aluminum foil mesh with multiple rectangular layers
Aluminum foil mesh top view
Aluminum foil mesh detail
Aluminum foil mesh detail

Lightning strike mesh, on the other hand, is made of copper and aluminum foils that are cut and stretched (expanded) to form a single, uniform, precision nonwoven structure. The manufacturing process is tightly controlled to meet weight, conductivity, and open area requirements. This design provides higher conductivity and a smoother surface than woven mesh, which improves component moldability and adhesion to the composite structure.

Lightning strike mesh is manufactured with great precision to ensure consistent weight, conductivity, and open area. This design provides higher conductivity than traditional woven wire mesh and a smoother surface, which improves the moldability of the component and enhances its adhesion to the composite structure.

Reference Specifications of Popular Materials for Lightning Protection
Item LWD
Strand Width
Open Area
Overall Thickness
Material Width
Area Weight
AL66 2.540 1.235 0.32 55 45 0.300 927 ≤ 5.708 ≤ 1.520 66
AL78 2.540 1.310 0.16 55 45 0.224 927 ≤ 4.120 ≤ 1.232 78
AL137 2.540 1.380 0.28 60 40 0.344 927 ≤ 5.770 ≤ 1.800 137
CU73 2.540 1.250 0.11 80 20 0.176 930 ≤ 10.080 ≤ 2.920 73
CU142 2.540 1.240 0.16 80 20 0.079 930 ≤ 5.500 ≤ 1.470 142
CU195 2.540 1.340 0.24 65 35 0.280 930 ≤ 3.600 ≤ 1.100 195
CU815F 3.000 1.500 0.35 45 55 0.254 610 ≤ 1.000 ≤ 0.340 815

Boedon is constantly developing new technical equipment to provide better products for more applications and industries. You can browse our current applications and industries. If you can't find what you are looking for, please contact us. We are willing to cooperate with our clients to develop the micro expanded metal mesh you need.