About fifty miles inland of the Baltic Sea, on the shores of a tiny lake, sits one of the oldest companies in Sweden: Häfla Bruk, a metal factory founded in 1682. Häfla began as a foundry that made iron horseshoes and nails using hydroelectric power (eg, a wooden water wheel); today, Häfla experiments with new types of steel fabrication. One recent innovation--which they call “expanded metal”--punctures a sheet of steel with tiny holes, then deforms the holes by pulling them away from the main plate, creating a delicate mesh.
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