Wire mesh and wire cloth are highly versatile products made from a network of interlaced wires.
Wire cloth is generally flexible with a smooth cloth-like consistency. Most specifications use thinner wire diameters that create very small to small micronic openings. As a result, this material is a perfect medium for screening and filtration applications.
Wire mesh on the other hand incorporates larger openings and thicker wire diameters. These materials are ideal for cages, fencing, and ventilation covers.
By changing the opening size and wire diameter a variety of specifications are available to accommodate many applications.
How Is a Woven Wire Mesh Made?
Woven wire mesh is made using special weaving equipment.
Typically, wire cloth utilizes a plain weave construction meaning the wires just pass over one another at each intersection.
For mesh with larger openings and thicker diameters, there is an entire crimping process prior to configuring the weaving loom. This process pulls coiled wire from a rack into the crimping machine. The wire is first straightened and then crimped to a specific profile using a set of toothed wheels. The wire is then accurately cut to the desired length and width ready to be woven.
Depending on your requirements, these special weaving looms can construct various woven wire mesh specifications.
Types of Materials Used to Make Woven Wire Mesh
Stainless steel wire mesh has many attributes, making it highly desirable for a number of applications.
Besides stainless steel, other materials are available to create woven wire mesh, including:
- Plain (Mild) Carbon steel
- Galvanized steel
- High Carbon steel
The Three Fundamentals of Woven Wire Mesh
Individuals looking to get woven wire mesh must know the three fundamentals to get the right product for their needs.
You may hear terminologies such as 4 or 100 mesh count when shopping for wire cloth, which refers to the number of openings in an inch.
Knowing the mesh count will help you get a solution that allows you to have control over what passes through the mesh. For example, if you’re working at an oil rig, you would need a mesh with 100 openings or more, depending on what you want to filter out.
Typically, for finer filtration, oil rigs use meshes with many small opening sizes to filter out sand and other impurities when pumping out oil from the ground.
For heavy-duty wire mesh, this might be a measurement in fractions of an inch to determine the opening or mesh centers. This is ideal for aggregate sizing and sifting applications.
Wire diameter is the thickness of each wire which determines the following:
- The available space between the wires or the open area
- The strength of the weave
If the wires are thicker, there will be a smaller open space, making the weave durable and more resistant to harsher conditions. However, thinner wires may allow for more open space but could result in more wear and tear depending on the application.
There are different specifications of wire meshes depending on the wire diameters. For example, working with coarse aggregates, you would likely want a thick wire diameter better suited to withstand material processing. However, a slightly thinner wire diameter would be ideal for as machine guard to protect the operator and equipment while allowing for ventilation.
The opening size is the distance between the wires.
Knowing the mesh count and opening size can help determine your required micron rating. For filtration, micron rating is crucial as it gives the user more control over the medium.
Types of Woven Wire Mesh
The following are some common types of woven wire mesh:
- Plain crimp
- Lock crimp
- Flat top crimp
Each type has its unique properties. For example, the lock crimp offers greater stability, while the flat top crimp features a smooth top allowing for a better flow of materials. Besides the types mentioned above, you can also find various architectural patterns for your creative installations.
Woven Wire Cloth Types
There are many woven wire cloth types you can choose from, including:
- Plain Square Woven: A simple pattern with the same diameter shute and warp wires that go over and under each other.
- Twill Square Woven: Each wire goes over and under two warp wires.
- Plain Dutch Woven: A simple over-and-under pattern using thin wires to create a tight weave.
- Dutch Twill Weave: It is similar to a Plain Dutch weave but uses even thinner wires to create a tighter weave.
- Reverse Dutch Weave: Similar to Plain Dutch, except the wires here are reversed.
- Stranded Weave: A bunch of small diameter wires go over and under each other.
The warp wires woven into a mesh gives the mesh a uniform design. With many different crimp styles available to choose from, woven wire mesh is perfect for industrial and architectural applications.