Have you ever wondered about the wire meshes that are used in everyday items like window screens, air filters, and fences? These versatile materials are used in many industrial and domestic applications and come in different types, sizes, and materials.
In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about metal wire meshes, from the different types and their applications to maintenance, sustainability, and more.
The Different Metal Wire Meshes Available
You can divide metallic nets into several types based on their physical properties and component materials. These determine whether the metal fabric can suit its intended use. Some common kinds include:
1. Galvanized and Welded Meshes
These metal wire meshes are made from wires that have been welded together at their intersections. This type of mesh is durable and tolerant to high temperatures, making it ideal for use in industrial settings. They can be welded prior to galvanization, or after galvanization, depending on the properties you’re seeking.
2. Woven Wire Fabrics
You can create these by weaving the metal in a criss-cross pattern. The three most common types of weaves in these wire fabrics include the following:
- A plain weave involves a plain criss-cross pattern.
- If you want a more complex pattern, go for a twill weave, where the wires are woven in a diagonal pattern.
- Dutch weave is a tight pattern that produces a solid and durable mesh.
These three woven meshes have multiple applications in many filtration and separation processes. In addition, you can also use them to reinforce fences.
3. Mesh Screens
Mesh screens are a type of metal wire mesh you can use to screen and filter applications. They are typically made from stainless steel wires woven in a specific pattern.
These screens are commonly used in the food processing, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries. The mesh size of these screens will vary depending on what you want to filter using them.
4. Industrial Hardwire Mesh
An industrial hardwire mesh is manufactured by weaving heavy-duty metal wires. These meshes are primarily used in industries, like mining, construction, and agriculture, due to their strength and durability.
5. Hex Netting Mesh
Hex mesh is made from thin wires woven in a hexagonal pattern. It is commonly used for fencing small animals or protecting gardens from pests. You can also refer to it as chicken wire.
6. U-Edging Mesh
U-edging mesh is a metal wire reinforced with a U-shaped frame around its edges. This enhances the structural stability of the net, making it sturdier. U-edging mesh is commonly used in the mining, construction, and agriculture industries.
Uses of Metallic Wire Mesh
- Filtration: A wire mesh’s uses in filtration include separating solids from liquids or gasses. They are used in industries like oil and gas, chemical processing, and food and beverage.
- Screening: Wire mesh is used for screening applications such as sieving, sifting, and grading in industries such as agriculture, mining, and construction.
- Fencing: They are used in agriculture to create boundaries around crops and farms where they protect animals, crops, and buildings.
- Reinforcement: Here, they are used in construction as a medium for reinforcing concrete structures and foundations. This improves the durability and strength of construction components.
- Decoration: Wire mesh is used for decorative purposes in architectural designs such as building facades, room dividers, and furniture.
- EMI/RFI Shielding: Wire mesh can provide electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio-frequency interference (RFI) shielding in electronic devices.
- Safety: The safety nets made out of metal wire meshes serve as fall protection, debris, and rockfall protection in industrial settings. They are also used as protective fencing around dangerous machinery.
- Heat treatment: Wire mesh can be used in heat treatment applications, such as furnace linings and heat shields.
How to Choose the Right Wire Mesh for Your Use
Choosing the correct type of wire mesh for your application is essential to ensure that it performs optimally and meets your specific requirements. You must consider some factors:
Wire mesh can be made from various materials, like some resistant steels, copper, brass, and aluminum. The material you choose will depend on the application and the environment you intend to use it in. For example, stainless steel wire mesh is commonly used in food processing and pharmaceutical industries because of its corrosion resistance and hygiene-related properties.
2. Wire Diameter
The diameter of the net’s component wires can affect its strength, durability, and flexibility. Thicker wires are more robust but less flexible, while thinner wires are more flexible but less strong. So, the size you choose will affect the strength and flexibility required for your use.
3. Mesh Opening
The size of the mesh opening will change depending on the size of the particles you want to filter with your wire mesh. The mesh opening size can range from some microns to several inches.
4. Weave Type
The weave type affects the strength, stability, and filtration efficiency of the mesh. Generally, plain weave and twill weave are considered the most stable weave types because they have a simple and consistent pattern that is easy to maintain. These weaves provide a uniform structure less likely to shift or deform over time, making them a good choice for applications where stability and durability are essential.
Wire nets can be coated with materials such as polyurethane or epoxy for additional corrosion resistance or to make them more durable. The coating chosen will depend on the type of environmental conditions faced by the wire mesh.
6. Operating Conditions
The application’s operating conditions, such as temperature, pressure, and exposure to chemicals, will also affect the type of wire mesh required. It’s essential to consider the operating conditions to ensure the wire mesh can withstand the environment it will be used in.
How Metal Wire Meshes are Industrially Made
Here are the basic steps involved in the manufacturing process:
- Material Selection: It’s crucial to select the right material for your needs. The most common ones include stainless steel, galvanized steel, copper, and aluminum.
- Diameter Adjustion: In this step, you have to pull the metal wire through a series of drawing plates. This reduces the wire’s diameter to the desired size.
- Weaving: This step involves weaving the wires into the net.
- Cutting and Shaping: Once the wire mesh is woven, it is cut and shaped to the desired size and shape using specialized cutting tools.
- Finishing: After the wire mesh is cut and shaped, it is finished using specialized techniques such as galvanizing or coating to improve its corrosion resistance or other properties.
- Quality Control: The final step in wire mesh manufacturing is quality control, where the finished product is inspected for defects, size, and other specifications.
The Feasibility of Using Wire Meshes
Metal wire cloths have several benefits and limitations, as summarized below:
Maintenance and Care of Metal Wire Mesh
Proper maintenance of metal wire meshes is essential to ensure they perform optimally and have a longer lifespan. Here are some general maintenance steps for metal wire meshes:
1. Regular Cleaning
You must clean metal wire meshes regularly to prevent the buildup of dirt, debris, moisture accumulation, and other contaminants. Use water soap and a mild cleaning solution for this purpose, and avoid harsher chemicals and rough materials, as they can damage the mesh.
Regular inspection of your mesh is vital to detect any signs of wear, damage, or corrosion. Repair damages as soon as possible to prevent further damage to the mesh.
If your metal wire meshes are subjected to frequent movement or friction, you should frequently lubricate them to prevent wear and tear.
4. Avoiding Rust
Materials like iron and steel are prone to rusting, which is why meshes made out of these materials must be maintained properly for rust prevention. Applying a rust inhibitor or coating to the steel mesh can help prevent rust formation and extend the lifespan of the mesh.
5. Proper Storage
When not in use, you should store your metal wire meshes in a place away from moisture, heat, and sun.
6. Professional Maintenance
For large or complex wire mesh systems, it may be necessary to seek professional maintenance services. Professional maintenance can ensure the wire mesh operates optimally and detect potential issues early on.
Sustainability of Metal Wire Meshes
Metal wire meshes are eco-friendly, sustainable, and recyclable due to the following reasons:
- Material Sustainability: The material used to manufacture wire nets is remarkably sustainable. The component materials, like aluminum, copper, and stainless steel, have high recycling rates. This reduces any by-product waste and makes the product more eco-friendly.
- Reusability: Metal wire meshes are durable, and you can reuse them in various applications, which reduces the need for new materials and waste. This makes them an eco-friendly alternative to single-use materials.
- Recyclability: Metal wire meshes can be easily recycled at the end of their life cycle, reducing waste in landfills. Recycling involves melting the metal wire into its original form, which can be reused in new products.
- Energy Efficiency: Metal wire meshes are lightweight. This means you need less energy to manufacture and transport than heavier materials, reducing the carbon footprint.
In conclusion, metal wire meshes are a versatile and essential component of many industrial and domestic applications. There are multiple types of wire meshes, including welded, woven, mesh screens, hardwire cloth mesh, hex netting mesh, and U-edging mesh. Much of the properties of these metal cloths depend on their construction, so make sure you get them made by a quality manufacturer.
If you want high-quality metal meshes, don’t hesitate to contact us for a quote!