Wire mesh is an industrial product of weaved interlocking metal wires welded or sintered into a wire mesh with evenly spaced, uniform openings that is used as a material for a wide variety of filtering, screening, structuring and protecting in industrial, agricultural and residential applications.
Woven wire meshes like diamond mesh are the most common type of wire mesh however welded wire mesh, or hardware cloth, is also commonly used to produce filter screens and strainers for applications requiring strong wire cloth. Finer wire cloth can be used for screen cloth or other barrier purposes. Available in an almost limitless combination of weaves, mesh gauges and materials, wire cloth is a highly versatile product. Steel mesh, stainless steel mesh and galvanized wire mesh are common types of wire mesh used in wire screens and strainers requiring corrosion resistance. Other materials used in the fabrication of wire mesh include bronze, usually for decorative purposes, copper for conductive or electromagnetic shielding applications or brass, titanium and nickel alloys for other general uses. Industries such as food and beverage processing, petro-chemical processing, pharmaceutical manufacturing, screen printing all use various forms of wire mesh as it can be manufactured to meet specific needs and offers a diverse number of fine filtering, structural and support capabilities.
Welded wire mesh, such as consumer hardware cloth, is typically of a much larger gauge than most woven meshes, and welding is applied at each wire intersection in order to strengthen the mesh and to keep it from unraveling when cut. Woven mesh is typically transported and stored in large rolls which are then cut to the desired size when the application for a piece has been determined. Welded mesh, or crimped wire mesh is able to resist unraveling as the ends are connected to each other. Most wire cloth and screens are fabricated for applications which require corrosion resistance and so are often galvanized for purposes of further strengthening and to protect metals such as brass and iron which are not naturally corrosion resistant. Wire cloth made from finer weaves for screens or screen cloths may also require extra finishing such as galvanizing to prevent the woven wires coming undone. Metal screening is often used in consumer industries as window screens, flour sifters and cooking strainers used in both residential and commercial kitchens, while industrial manufacturers use fine-gauge wire mesh as wire strainers, sieves and screens in food and beverage, pharmaceutical, petro-chemical processing and screen printing.
While mesh often refers to a woven material, it also refers to the number of clear openings between adjacent parallel wires per linear inch. Mesh count is used by wire mesh manufacturers to communicate how fine of a weave a wire mesh or wire screen has based on the size of the openings between the woven parallel wires. Screens with high mesh counts are finer, and are used for fine filtration, while screens with low mesh counts are not considered wire mesh at all, but wire mesh suitable for fabricating breathable cages and other barriers, such as in police vehicles or aviaries. Often referred to as hardware cloth, wire mesh with a lower mesh count is commonly used for animal cages, fences, traps, barriers and more. It is typically sturdy and durable and is able to be welded into the desired shapes or objects. Large gauge wire mesh with large openings is also often welded together to increase overall material integrity, but wire screens and filtering meshes may be sintered. Sintered wire mesh, although more costly than welded or woven wire mesh, has high structural stability and is excellent for the transportation of bulk goods and powders.
The type of wire cloth and wire mesh weave is also important for precision applications as some uses will require a particularly fine weave, or a specific shape of mesh opening. The most common weave patterns are plain square mesh weave, twilled square mesh weave, plain dutch weave, reverse plain weave and twill dutch weave. Plain square meshes are made from shute wires, or lateral wires, and warp wires, or longitudinal wires, of equal gauge, and each mesh opening is square. This is used for many generic operations which require a basic mesh. In plain dutch weaves, warp wires are slightly larger than shute wires, which are closely spaced to provide a dense weave. In twilled weaves, each wire passes over two wires at a time rather than one; reverse weaves contain lateral shute wires which are larger than warp wires, and dutch twill weaves combine twill weaving with larger warp wires, as with plain dutch weaves. Wire mesh mesh with larger gauges and openings are sometimes crimped to add structural stability and strength and to provide load bearing strength. Specialty weaves, such as dutch and twill, also add structural strength and support for applications such as fences and wire mesh conveyors. Dutch and twill weaves can provide extra filtration for precision screening applications such as precision filtering in automotive parts, paint applications and liquid filtration.
Assortment of Wire Mesh Products - Langley Wire Cloth Components, Inc.
Wire Mesh Filter Products - Langley Wire Cloth Components, Inc.
Wire Mesh - Dexmet Corporation
Wire Mesh Cylinder - Dexmet Corporation
Wire Mesh - CPI Wire Cloth & Screens, Inc.
Architectural Wire Mesh - Universal Wire Cloth Company
For different applications, wire cloth is weaved in different ways. The way a wire is woven influences many characteristics of wire cloth, such as strength, flexibility, the total amount of open area, and openings per inch-which is called mesh count. All these attributes determine whether a metal mesh will be used for inclusion or exclusion purposes. For inclusion applications, wire cloth gives liquids or processed fluids passage, whereas for exclusion applications, a wire cloth restricts the passage of particles.
Different types of weaves:
When a wire is pre-crimped, it can have one of the following weaves:
In this type of weave, each warp wire-the wire that runs vertically-passes over and under two weft wires-the wire than horizontally. As wire moves under and over two wires alternatively, it is called double weave.
The crimps in wire are deep, which are used for locking the wires in place tightly. Typically, the weaving style is plain, where each warp wire moves over and under weft wire.
This type of weave gives a smooth surface to wire cloth. The standard weave is used; however, the weft wire is crimped heavily, which locks the wires securely, whereas the warp wire is not crimped at all.
When a wire cloth has more open area than a standard cloth, this type if weave is used. Since the space in between is larger, extra crimp is added to a wire to hold the wires together tightly and securely.
When a wire is non-crimped, it can have either of the following weaves:
It is the simplest weave, where each warp and weft wires alternatives over and under each other; the metal screens fitted in windows and doors to keep flies away has this type of weave.
In this type of weave, each warp wire passes over and under two weft wires. Alternatively, for a staggered configuration, a weft wire goes over and under two warp wires. Twill weave is used when the diameter of a wire is larger.
It is a plain weave; the warp wire is oriented in a standard way, but the weft wire is spaced closed to each other, as close as possible. The diameter of the weft and warp wire varies, typically, the warp wire has larger diameter. There is also an alternative to the plain Dutch weave, known as reverse Dutch. In this weave, the diameter of the weft and warp wire varies, typically, the warp wire has smaller diameter.
As the name implies, this type of weave hybridizes Dutch and twill weave together. However, there is an exception; unlike twill weave, each warp wire does not alternate over and under weft wire. The resulting weave has a double layer, where weft wires are packed tightly and securely. Just like the plain Dutch weave, in this combination weave, the weft wires are thinner than the warp wires. The weave does not have openings, thus, wire clothes with this weave are for filtering of non-particulate fluids.
Wire cloth, a woven wire mesh, is a versatile, adaptable, and durable building material, which has application in a multitude of industries. These characteristics of wire cloth, which have made wire cloth a preferred product in filtering and processing industry, are directly proportional to the metal used for fabricating it.
Wire cloth can be made from virtually any kind of metal. However, there are certain metals with specific properties, such as ductility, conductivity, rust resistance, and tensile strength, which are considered suitable for fabricating wire cloth. Selecting a metal majorly depends on the end use, as well as the above mentioned properties.
The most common metals and alloys used for making wire clothes are:
Based on the application, different types of steel are utilized for fabrication, including low carbon, high carbon and stainless. Low-carbon steel, also known as plain steel, is marginally resistant to corrosion and abrasion. Wire cloth made from it is considered low quality for application in a moist environment. However, low carbon steel has high impact resistance and tensile strength, which makes it suitable for most applications, including metal mesh and hardware cloth. Moreover, with galvanization, low carbon steel is covered with resistant materials to make it appropriate for a number of uses. The other variation of steel that is used in wire mesh fabrication is high-carbon steel, which is more naturally resistant to abrasion and corrosion. With this type of steel, galvanization is not necessary. High-carbon steel is used for making vibrating filter screens for sorting and sifting of abrasive materials, such as stone, gravel and coal. For making high-quality wire cloths, stainless steel is used, since it is virtually resistant to a variety of corroding elements. If application demands, stainless steel can be preprocessed to be magnetized or non-magnetized. Moreover, metals like titanium, chromium, nickel, and molybdenum are added to stainless steel for custom-made manufacturing material, as these metals can change properties, such as heat and moisture resistance, shock absorbency, for a given need.
When wire clothes need good heat and electrical conductivity, copper is used. Copper naturally has high conductivity and shows resistance to salty and briny environments, which makes it suitable for making wire cloth that will be used in a chemically corroding environment. However, copper is a soft metal, thus, shows poor resistance towards abrasive materials and has poor tensile strength. To supplement the abrasion resistance, copper is alloyed with zinc; however, the resulting material has low heat and electrical conductivity.
When an application needs wire cloth to be light, aluminum is used. Since aluminum has natural anti-corrosion properties and high strength-to- weight ratios, aluminum is used for making wire cloth, which is used in marine environment. However, usually, alloys of aluminum, such as 5056, are utilized rather than a standard aluminum.
Pure nickel is rarely used for making wire screens or wire forms, since it shows low resistance to corrosion; a layer of oxide develops over the surface over time. Therefore, alloys like monel, hastelloy B, hastelloy C and Carpenter 20 CB-3 are preferred.
Wire cloth, as the name implies, is manufactured by weaving individual wires into a mesh, just like standard cloth. The weaving process of wire cloth, however, varies based on the product. Wire cloth, because of its versatility and adaptability, is utilized in an array of industries for filtering and processing purposes. Wire cloth has also been used as an architectural element for a long time. However, wire cloth has largely been an invisible element, but it plays an important role in the function of complex and sophisticated machineries and equipment.
What makes wire cloth important is its strength and accurate aperture size, which makes it an appropriate material for manufacturing a range of fluid, gas, and particle cleaning equipment. Wire cloth is also versatile, since based on the applications wire cloth can be fabricated into a soft silk like fabric to stiff and robust stainless steel mesh.
Clearly, wire metal mesh is utilized in making innumerable things, and here we are compiling some of them.
Manufacturing Wire Cloth
With the use of modern looms, a right-angled pattern- a metal wire is weaved at 90-degree angles-is woven. Based on the application, for interlocking segments a number of crimping patterns are utilized. The weave in a wire cloth can be plain or twilled. In plan weave, each weft wire-the wire that runs crosswise-is weaved over and under the warp wire-the wire than runs lengthwise. Alternatively, in twilled weaving, weft wire goes over and under two warp wires.
When rigid and robust structures are needed, metal wires are welded together electrically at the intersecting points. Additional steps, like bending cutting, are also needed to give the final shape in welded wire cloth. The welding is done in such a way that the wires do not fall apart under pressure.
When making wire cloth products, any kind of metal wire can be used. The metal is chosen usually based on its characteristics, such as resistance to corrosion, conductivity, ductility, and malleability.
Wire cloth is made by weaving individual wires into mesh, which is used for different purposes. The first noted use of wire cloth was recorded in ancient Egypt, when precious metals, such as gold and silver, were hand woven into cloth as jewelry for elites.
For a number of centuries, wire cloth had no other use other than the jewelry in various forms. However, in the 5th century, wire cloth transformed into armor. The crafts men of the century had ingeniously fabricated metals, including iron, into chain mail, which acted as a protective shield for fighters and soldiers. The fluidity of chain mail gave soldiers flexibility, which metal body suits lacked. Chain mail was considered a coveted possession, since only highly ranked or established warriors had access to them. Manufacturing and distribution was under the direct control of kingdoms, and many kingdoms regulated the sale and export, since in many battles chain mail was the difference between the victory and loss.
As chain mail was embraced all over the western world, the precursor of wire working and wire drawing industry was established. The industry evolved and started to make wire forms; birdcages, mousetraps, windows, chains, hooks, and many other similar things.
However, manufacturing was not done at large scale, like in modern times. With the advent of industrialization, modern weaving looms first appeared in the late 18th century. Steam powered looms automated wire weaving, marginalizing handcrafted wire cloth. The industry was stimulated with the use of wire in sails, wire gauge in mining, and with the rise of paper industry, where fine wire mesh is used in paper manufacturing.
Wire cloth reinforced sails, and sail manufacturers used it extensively. Since the maritime trade was at an all-time high, the wire cloth industry received enough orders to grow exponentially.
Moreover, by that time, flame-arresting wire cloth gauze started to be used in mines. The gauze was designed to prevent explosions in mines. Wire cloth gauges were also used to detect the presence of carbon monoxide.
Processing paper pulp became a lot easier and faster with the advent of fine wire cloth. With this, the wire cloth started to be used for sieving and screening purposes on a large scale. It is not an overstatement to say that wire cloth helped the paper and publishing industry just like what the assembly line did for the automotive industry.
In the 20th century, wire cloth application expanded; an array of wire mesh products, like filters, are used on a large scale for making military equipment, ranging from, tanks, military vehicles, and even aircrafts. In the First World War, when chemical warfare was used extensively, wire cloth was utilized for making gas masks, which saved the lives of thousands of soldiers.
- Steel, galvanized steel or stainless steel material that is used to reinforce the screen edge.
- A test in which wire is bent over a specified diameter through a certain angle and for a preset number of cycles, in order to determine its relative ductility, soundness and toughness.
- The blocking of apertures of wire mesh caused by particle entrapment of the process material.
- A method used to test the average aperture size. The pressure needed for air bubbles to pass through the mesh, which is covered by a test liquid, is measured, and surface tension, liquid density, temperature and immersion depth are taken into account in the calculations.
- Also known as "rolled," it is the process of passing wire cloth between two rollers to reduce the thickness or flatten intersections of wires and to supply a smooth surface.
- To stamp wire cloth in order to prevent unraveling and to shape or compact the wire mesh.
- A term used only in reference to mesh wire cloth, referring to the amount of openings per linear inch as measured from the center of the wire.
- Corrugations in the wires for the purpose of securing the wire in place when perpendicular to each other.
- Crimping of wires prior to weaving. The shute and warp are in each crimp.
- Non-crimped, straight wire edges sticking out all around a section of screen cloth on the same plane.
- The diameter of the wire prior to weaving.
- A screen surface that is heated by a screen cloth, which is used as a heating element and is typically made of stainless steel material.
- Shute and warp wires occurring in every other crimp.
- The most commonly utilized sizes of industrial wire cloth specifications chosen for general-purpose work and typically ready for shipment upon order from companies.
- The number of openings between interlocked wires per linear inch. Mesh count indicates the size of the weave, therefore indicating filtering capabilities.
- Excess wire screen material that, in the slitting or fabricating process, is cut from a standard roll.
- The proportion of open space to the total area of a wire screen, expressed as a percentage.
- The finishing of edges along the length of a roll of wire mesh to prevent unraveling.
- Also called "weft," "shot," "shoot" or "fill" wires, they are the wires going across the width of the woven cloth. Shute wires are moved back and forth by the shuttle.
- Wires going lengthwise across the wire cloth. In the weaving process called "warping the loom," the warp wires are placed first at the preferred spacing.