This article provides a detailed look at wire cloth.
Read further to answer questions like:
- What is the difference between wire cloth, metal mesh, perforated metal, and expanded metal?
- What do mesh size and percent open area mean?
- What metals, alloys, and materials are used to construct wire cloth?
- What types of wire cloth are available from leading manufacturers?
- Where are wire cloth and metal mesh used?
- How easily can I convert and fabricate wire cloth into finished products?
- How do I specify wire mesh when ordering or submitting an RFQ?
- And more…
Chapter 1: What is Wire Cloth?
Wire cloth is a woven (or nonwoven) sheet or web material with a series of openings across the surface.
Wire cloth is also known as:
- Metal Fabric or Metal Cloth
- Wire Mesh, Metal Mesh, or Alloy Mesh
- Weldmesh or Welded Wire Mesh
- Nonwoven Wire Cloth
- Woven Wire Cloth
Some specialized or application-specific wire mesh types include:
- Architectural mesh
- Bolting cloth
- Market cloth
- Metal screen or wire screen
- Remesh or Reinforcing Wire Mesh
- Sieve cloth or micron grade mesh
- Space cloth
- Steel cord or metal belting
- Wire fencing or chain link fencing
Chapter 2: Wire Cloth Materials of Construction
What is wire mesh made of?
Wire mesh and metal cloth are manufactured from a variety of starting materials:
- Metal and Alloy
- Metal or alloy sheet
- Metallic Fibers
- Monofilaments, Strands, and Yarns
Metal and Alloy Wire
Metal and alloy wire is manufactured in a wire drawing process. In wire drawing, a metal rod or larger wire is pulled through a series of progressively smaller dies to reduce the diameter and produce a smaller diameter wire.
While the process is similar to metal extrusion, the metal is pulled instead of pushed, which limits the reduction in area or diameter. The wire would yield at excessive reductions. Area reductions of 15% to 45% are typical in industrial wire drawing.
Wire drawing imparts a great amount of cold work and strain hardening. The cold work can produce high carbon steel wire with extremely high strengths of 580 Ksi (4000 MPa).
Metal wire is typically round in cross section, but other wire cross section shapes can be produced. Wire can be rolled with smooth rolls after drawing to produce flat wire with rounded edges. Contoured rolls can produce square, rectangular, oval, hexagonal, and triangular shaped wire.
Metal Sheet and Foil Manufacturing
Metal sheet and foil can also be used to make a mesh or screen like material. Metal sheet is produced by cold rolling or squeezing an alloy between steel rolls to thin and cold work the metal sheet. Hot rolling can perform the annealing or recrystallization process during reduction, but the surface finish and tolerance of hot rolled metals are not as good as cold rolled alloys. Depending on the alloy and reduction in area, intermediate annealing steps can be required.
Metal sheet and foil can be slit narrowly to produce ribbons or flat wire like shapes. Metal sheet is also perforated and expanded to produce nonwoven metal cloths such as mesh or screen.
Metallic or Metal Fiber Manufacturing
Metal or metallic fiber are defined as any manufactured fiber consisting solely of a metal or alloy as well as metal coated plastic fibers and plastic coated metal fibers. Metallic fibers are another raw material used to produce wire or metal cloth.
Metallic fibers are finer than most metal wires. Metallic fibers typically have diameters ranging from 1 to 100 microns (0.00004 to 0.004 inches). American Wire Gauge (AWG) sizes range from 40 to 0000 (4/0 or “four aught”) gauge (0.0031 to 0.46 inches).
Metallic fibers are manufactured using several processes:
- Bundle drawing - Several thousand wires are packed into a tube. The tube is drawn through a die. The tube is removed by acid etching to extract the metallic fibers. Octagonal fibers are produced with diameters as small as 200 nanometers.
- Foil Shaving - Fibers as small as 14 microns are produced using a foil shaving process. Steel wool is cut from wire in a shaving process. Steel wool fibers have a triangular cross-section, which improves cutting and cleaning.
- Machining - The machining process can produce stable fibers as small as 10 microns.
- Melt Spinning - A stream of molten metal is poured on cooled, spinning copper roll to produce fiber in the range of 40 to 250 microns.
- Metallic Coating - Carbon or polymer fibers can be coated with a metal using electrodeposition, electroplating, and thin film deposition (PVD or evaporation).
Monofilaments, Strands and Yarns
In most industrial applications, wire is used as monofilament to weave or weld a wire cloth material. Wires can be twisted together to produce strands or multiple wire bundles.
Strands are also bundled together to produce wire rope. Strand and wire rope are structural elements used to hold up suspension bridges. Some architectural applications use wire cloth constructed with strands and/or wire in areas requiring higher strength or the look of strength.
Metallic fibers can be used directly to make metal cloth. Metallic fibers can also be twisted together to form metallic yarns. Metallic yarn is then woven to produce metal fabrics with a much finer weave than wire cloth. Metallic fiber textiles can provide filtration of finer micron particles. They are also used to make electrical cable, fuel cell electrodes, fire protection, high temperature insulation, EMI/EFI shielding, and composite reinforcement.
Blends or Hybrid Weaves
Blends or hybrid weaves have one metal wire or metal fiber component interwoven with non-metallic fibers, yarns, strands, or monofilaments. Blends or hybrid weaves are utilized in specialized applications where metal or synthetic alone will not suffice. The non-metallic component can include natural fibers (cotton, silk), glass fibers, ceramic fibers, carbon fibers, and synthetic fibers such as polyamide (nylon), polyester, polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), and polyetheretherketone (PEEK).Blend or Hybrid Weave of Metal Wire and Non-metallic Fibers from GKD-USA, Inc.
Wire Metal and Alloy Types
Aluminum is one of the lightest structural metals available. Aluminum is 35% lower in density than steel. Aluminum has high ductility and is easily formed.
Aluminum is more corrosion resistant than steel, especially in the anodized condition. However, aluminum does not have the corrosion resistance of stainless steel. Aluminum is soft and easily abraded or worn.
Aluminum can be useful for architectural or aerospace applications, but the alloy is not useful for filtration or screening powder or solids.
Copper has very high electrical and thermal conductivity. Of the pure metals, only silver has higher conductivity. The high conductivity makes copper useful for conductive braids, electrodes, and other electrical and shielding applications.The softness and lower tensile strength limit the applications of copper in filtering and screening.
Copper has antimicrobial and anti-fouling properties. Hospitals and medical devices are making increased use of these properties to ensure surface contact by patients and healthcare professionals is safer.
In seawater, copper wire mesh screens will not “foul” or collect barnacles and marine growth. Copper root barrier screens are used to prevent tree roots from digging under sidewalks and pavement. The roots will grow up to the screen and stop.
Copper can be treated to acquire beautiful patina colors for consumer product designs and architectural applications.
Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc. (Zinc additions strengthen copper as well.) Brass is easier to cast and machine than copper and can be easier to work with than pure copper.
Bronze is an alloy of copper with tin, silicon, aluminum, lead, chromium, zirconium, and other metals. The alloying additions strengthen and impart specific properties depending on the alloying element. Bronze can be easier to work with than pure copper.
Phosphor bronzes contain tin and a small amount of phosphorus. Phosphor bronze wires are easily woven into very fine mesh screens. Phosphor bronze is stronger and can withstand cold working better than brass. Very fine Fourdrinier wire screen materials for papermaking are typically made from Phosphor bronze.
Bronze can be treated to acquire beautiful patina colors for consumer product designs and architectural applications.
Galvanized steel has a coating of zinc metals to protect the underlying steel wire. Wire is galvanized by a plating process called electrogalvanization or molten zinc dipping. Zinc dip galvanization imparts a thicker layer onto the steel, which can protect the steel for a longer period of time. Woven wire cloth can be made from galvanized steel. Welded wire cloth cannot be made with galvanized steel wire because:
- The zinc coating will evaporate during welding, resulting in porosity in the weld.
- The steel in the weld zone and surrounding metal will not have a protective zinc coating. The weld joint must be recoated with zinc.
- The zinc vapor generated during welding can cause zinc chills when inhaled by welders.
Welded wire mesh is usually galvanized after welding to overcome these problems.
Nickel or Nickel Alloy
Nickel and nickel alloys have outstanding high temperature strength and oxidation resistance properties even at red hot temperatures. Nickel alloys also have excellent corrosion resistance in acid and chemical environments where other metals fail. Nickel alloy mesh, filters, and strainers are used in chemical process and aerospace applications. InconelⓇ and HastelloyⓇ are common nickel based alloys.
Monel is an alloy of copper and nickel, which has excellent corrosion resistance. Monel retains some of the antimicrobial properties of copper. Nickel and monel wire mesh materials are often used in food processing applications.
Stainless steel is an alloy of iron with at least 10.5% chromium. Stainless steels from a passive oxide film immediately after the alloy is cut or ground. The passive chromium oxide layer prevents further corrosion. Nickel additions to stainless steel stabilize the austenite phase, which makes stainless steel highly ductile and formable. Nickel also improves corrosion resistance.
Austenitic stainless steel alloys must have at least 12% chromium and low carbon levels to maintain passivity and corrosion resistance after welding. Welding grades include 304L and 316L stainless steels as well as Columbium stabilized 347 stainless steel. 304L or 18-8 stainless steel has about 18% chromium and 8% nickel. 316L has higher levels of nickel (10–12%) and additions of molybdenum (2–3%). 316L is better for environments with chlorides like saltwater.
Stainless steel wire cloth and metal mesh have applications in chemical processing filters and strainers as well as architectural fabrics for diffusing light and providing ornamentation.
Low carbon steel is highly formable and is not hardenable by heat treatment. High carbon and alloy steel can be hardened to high strengths and hardness. High carbon steel can be drawn through dies to create ultrahigh strength wire.
Titanium or Titanium Alloy
Titanium has far better corrosion resistance than stainless steel. Titanium’s density is 60% of steel’s density. Titanium has outstanding fatigue strength and a high strength to weight ratio, which makes the metal and its alloys extremely useful for aerospace components.
Titanium’s outstanding corrosion resistance makes the alloy useful in chemical process applications where stainless steels fall short: seawater and other chloride salt solutions, hypochlorite, wet chlorine, nitric acid, and even fuming acids.
Titanium has better biocompatibility than stainless steel. A woven titanium mesh would be a better choice for implant applications.
Chapter 3: Wire Cloth Manufacturing / Construction Types
How is wire mesh made?
The two major construction types of wire cloth, metal cloth, and wire mesh are:
Woven Metal Cloth Woven metal cloth is made by interlacing two or more sets of wire together, typically at right angles. Warp wires or yarns run parallel to the length of the wire cloth web. The perpendicular or crosswise wires or yarns, called the weft, fill or shute wires or yarns.
If a metal fiber yarn is used in place of the wires, then the metal cloth will have a fiber texture and a higher density of fibers with an appearance similar to conventional synthetic fiber cloth. Woven wire mesh has a coarser and more open appearance.
Nonwoven Wire Cloth Nonwoven wire cloth is made by knitting, stitch bonding, welding, expanding (punching + stretching), perforating, electroforming, chemical milling, photochemical etching, and simply laying metallic fibers into felt mat.
Nonwoven Wire and Metal Cloth Types
Welded Wire Cloth or Mesh
Welded wire cloth or mesh is a nonwoven metal cloth or mesh where the wires are welded together. One set of wires runs perpendicular or at an angle to the other set of wires. Welds are formed at the contact points where the wires cross. Welded wire cloth or mesh is sturdier than woven wire cloth.
A particle or object can push through a woven screen by moving the wires asides. With welded wire cloth, the openings cannot be widened without breaking the welds. This makes them perfect for applications that feature high pressure and conditions that could damage a woven mesh.
Sintered Wire Mesh
Metal wire and metal fibers can be bonded together using a solid state welding or diffusion bonding process. First, the wire is woven, knitted, braided, or laid into a nonwoven batt. The metal mesh or fabric is loaded into a furnace with a protective atmosphere to prevent oxidation during sintering. In the sintering process, surface energy drives diffusion processes, causing a rearrangement of metal atoms.
Braided Metal or Wire Cloth
In braided metal or wire cloth, strands, yarns, or wires are interlaced in an alternating zigzag pattern. Three-strand braid patterns are very common and are used to make rope. A wide variety of complex braid patterns are utilized in industry. Braided cloth has a higher degree of flexibility and is more stretchable than woven fabric.
Metal strands are often flattened or calendered after braiding. Braiding is used to make metal rope, cord, flexible conductive straps, and protective sleeving.
Protective sleeving is typically braided into a tubular shape. Protective braided metal fiber sleeving is used on the outside or in outer layers of hose, data cables, and electrical cables to provide cut resistance, abrasion resistance, and EMI/RFI shielding.
Braided copper conductors or copper braids are used to connect conductive electrical power components in applications where there is movement between the conducting parts. Braided copper can handle repeated flexing with work hardened and breaking. Braided copper is also employed when a flexible grounding strap.
Knitted Metal or Wire Cloth
Knitted metal cloth is constructed with a series of interlacing loops of wire or yarn. Knitted cloth has a higher degree of flexibility and is more stretchable than woven fabric because the interlaced loops can slide. Warp knitting, weft knitting, and stitch bonding are types of knitting processes.
Stitch bonding is utilized to make high strength industrial textiles and composite reinforcements for aircraft and wind turbine applications. Stitch bonded fabrics have multiple plies joined or stitched together with a knitting thread.
Metal Felt and Metal Wool
Metal wire or fibers can be laid down to form a nonwoven metal fiber batt or mat. Since there is nothing holding the wire or fibers in the mat together, nonwoven metal fiber mats are often entangled with needle punching. In needle punching, a u-shaped forked or barbed needle pierces the nonwoven metal fiber web, then pulls back, resulting in mechanical entanglement. Needle plates with over 100 needles per inch punch fiber batts at 2,000 strokes per minute.
The processes or metal cloth products described above start with metal wire or metallic fibers to form a mesh or cloth. Expanded metal, perforated metal, and chemically milled mesh are all manufactured from sheet metal as the raw material.
Expanded metal is manufactured by shearing small slits into a metal sheet, then stretching the material to expand and the slit into openings. Expanded metal tends to have diamond shaped openings. Little to no scrap is generated in making expanded metal.
Perforated metal has holes punched using a steel or carbide punch and die set on a high speed punch press. Punching and blanking are low cost methods to rapidly generate holes in metal sheets and plates. The plug cut from the sheet is waste or scrap from the process. Perforated sheet metal has a lower profile (or thinness) than expanded metal, woven wire mesh, and welded wire cloth.
Chemically milling and electroforming come into their own in producing extremely fine mesh or small hole size products…
When the wire diameter of wire cloth or hole size of perforated metal becomes too fine or small, these products become difficult to manufacture by weaving and punching. Extremely fine diameter wires and punches would break too easily.
Chemically Milled Mesh
Chemically milled mesh is made by coating sheet metal with a masking material. The masking material can be selectively applied through a screen printing process or through photolithography techniques. The areas not protected by the masking material are then chemically etched or removed in an acid bath. Chemical milling can create holes, slots, star-shaped holes, and perforations with complex patterns.
Electroformed mesh is manufactured by electrochemically depositing the mesh material onto a conductive pattern, mold, or mandrel. The pattern or mold materials are later removed by melting, etching, or chemical dissolution. Mesh openings as small as 5 microns are possible with electroforming.
Electroforming has unique starting raw materials, electro deposition or electroplating chemicals, when compared to other metal mesh or cloth products. Electro deposition or electroplating chemicals consist of ionic aqueous solutions or dissolved salts from the metal being deposited.
Electroforming can produce more detailed patterns in metals than chemical milling or etching, stamping, and machining. Electroforming has fantastic edge acuity. For instance, edges are almost completely burr free and typically have a variance of less than 0.5 microns.
The molds or patterns are often produced using photolithography methods. Since electroformed parts are made with a reproducible pattern or mold, the highly detailed complex mesh patterns can be consistently replicated. Electroforming can create intricate shapes impossible to manufacture by other means.
Woven Wire Cloth Weave Types
Woven Wire Cloth Weave Types
Woven wire cloth can employ a wide variety of standard weaves. Many metal cloth manufacturers have proprietary weaves as well. In addition, custom weaves can be designed to meet the needs of demanding industrial applications as well the aesthetic needs of architectural projects.
The four most common wire cloth weaves are:
- 1. Plain Weave
- Plain weave or square weave adjacent parallel warp wires alternate running under and then over the cross, fill, or shute wires. An interlacing pattern of plain weave wire cloth is the simplest and most common weave.
- 2. Dutch Weave
- Dutch weave or plain dutch weave is a similar weave pattern to plain weave. However, the warp wire has a much larger diameter than the shute or cross wires. The fill or shute wires are also packed closely together, which make dutch weaves a dense and excellent filtering material.
- 3. Twill Weave
- Twill weaves have two adjacent warp wires running under the shute or fill wire followed by two adjacent shute wires running under the twill or parallel wires. The twill weaving pattern can accommodate large wire diameters for a given wire cloth mesh size. Twill weaves are more flexible than plain weaves using the same wire diameter.
- 4. Dutch Twill Weave
- Dutch twill weaves combine both twill and Dutch weave patterns.
Some of the less common weaves include:
- 1. Rectangular, Broad, and Oblong Weaves
- Broad and oblong weaves have rectangular openings. They are also known as off-count mesh because the mesh count is not the same in either the parallel warp and crosswise shute directions. Broad weaves have fewer warp wires. Oblong weaves have fewer shute or weft wires.
- 2. Optimized Weaves
- Optimized weaves increase the number of warp or weft wires until they come into contact. They increase filtration efficiency by making smaller apertures while increasing flow rates.
- 3. Reversed Weaves
- Reversed Dutch twill weaves and reversed plain Dutch weaves are examples of reversed weaves. Reversed plain Dutch weaves have more warp wires and fewer shute or weft wires. Reverse weaves have higher strength, which makes them useful for demanding applications where backwashing, filter cake removal, and cleaning processes put mechanical stress on the wire weave.
- 4. Braided or Stranded Weave
- Stranded weave has several strands of wire for each warp and shute wire. The surface of stranded weave looks like Parkay wood flooring.
- 5. 5-heddle or 5 Shed Twill Weaves
- 5-heddle weaves or 5 shed twill weaves have warp wires passing over four shute wires and under one shute wire. 5-heddle weave patterns have a smooth surface on one side. Filter cakes are easier to remove from the smooth surfaces of 5-heddle weaves.
- 6. 3D Weaves and Volumetric Weaves
- 3D weaves and volumetric weaves utilize special proprietary weaving technology to provide a 3D-like mesh. 3D and volumetric weaves can have very high volume porosity compared to a conventional media using the same wire diameter, which is excellent for filtration applications. Pressure loss can be reduced in filtering applications as well.
- 7. Multi-Layer Wire Mesh Laminates
- Multi-layer wire mesh laminates have several different mesh layers bonded together through sewing, welding, sintering, fastening, or adhesive bonding. A finer mesh woven cloth can be bonded onto the top of a large diameter wire mesh screen. The larger screen supports the fine mesh during filtration processes, which prevents the fine screen from bowing and breaking.
- 8. Ribbon or Cable Weaves
- Ribbon weaves or cable weaves can refer to warp metal ribbons or flattened wires woven with shute or weft round wires. Weaves with ribbons are useful for facade and wall cladding applications requiring security, privacy, and light diffusion as well as wind and sun protection.
- 9. Cable Mesh Weaves
- Cable mesh is stranded wire woven into a square or diamond pattern. The intersection points can be locked with ferrules, cross clips, bolts, interweaving, and welding.
- 10. Spiral Weaves
- Spiral weaves are woven with wires crimped or formed into a spiral shape. The V-shaped wires are spiral threaded or woven into each other. Spiral weaving is used to make endless process belts and chain link fencing. Spiral woven endless belts can have the interconnected spiral wires as well as additional “shute” rods. Hexagonal wire netting or “poultry netting” is also made through a spiral winding process where the series of spaced wire are twisted at a point, stepped forward, and then reverse twisted. Spiral weaves are also utilized in architectural applications for light diffusion or decorative facades.
- 11. Combination Weaves
- Specialized weaves are made by combining two standardized weave patterns.
Many additional proprietary and custom weave and woven metal cloth types are possible by varying weaving patterns, wire sizes, wire shapes, and wire materials.
Woven Wire Mesh Crimp Types
Woven wire cloth can also use crimped or non-crimped wire. The crimping process makes bends, undulations, or kinks in the wires, which helps to lock the parallel and crosswise wires together. Crimped wire has a wave-like or sawtooth profile. The crimping of wire is typically done before weaving.
The crimping reduces movement of the wires, which maintains more consistent and accurate openings. A sharp point or awl can be pushed through non-crimped wire mesh more easily than crimped mesh.
Several types of crimping are possible:
- 1. Non-crimped
- No crimping or pre-crimping of the wire. The wires are free to move. The wire cloth may have more flexibility or give than crimped or welded mesh.
- 2. Pre-Crimp
- Coarser diameter or gauge wire cloth typically uses pre-crimped wire. Pre-crimped mesh is more rigid than non-crimped mesh.
- 3. Lock Crimp
- Lock crimp provides a refined crimp shape, which tightly holds or “locks” the wires at their intersection points.
- 4. Intercrimp, Intermediate Crimp, or Multiple Crimp
- Intercrimp, intermediate Crimp, or multiple crimp wire cloth has more frequent crimps with the intersection of wire at every 3rd, 5th, 7th, etc. crimp. Wire in intercrimp mesh has extra bend or corrugations between intersections. Intercrimping increases rigidity and accuracy when weaving large opening wire mesh with fine wire gauges.
- 5. Flat Top Mesh
- Flat top mesh uses downward crimps or corrugations alternating between the warp and shute wires to provide a flatter surface with less undulations.
Chapter 4: Wire Cloth Size and Opening Specifications
Metal alloy types, mesh count, wire diameter, percent open area, and weave type are the most common characteristics used to specify metal cloth or wire mesh.
The main considerations when specifying wire cloth or metal mesh are:
- Application typically determines the selection of key specifications such as spacing, opening size, and mesh count. In some applications, wire cloth is specified by mesh size, and in other applications, by opening size.
- The construction method, woven versus welded, has the greatest impact on metal cloth strength and durability, with welded wire cloth having superior properties.
- Within woven wire cloth types, the weave determines strength and durability.
- Metal or metal alloys selection is mainly determined by:
- The operating environment (temperature, humidity, wet vs. dry, flames, marine salt spray).
- Media being processed (wet slurries, dry non-corrosive powders, acids, corrosive chemicals).
The importance of certain specifications is dependent on the end-use for specific industrial applications. For example:
- The light transmission properties are important in architectural ceiling and facade applications where the wire cloth is used to provide shade and reduce cooling costs.
- The weight per unit area (lbs/sq.ft) and strength of the wire cloth can be important in architectural applications where the wire mesh is part of a structure. The structure has to be built to support the weight of the wire mesh architectural fabric.
- Linear breaking strength can also be a selection factor in filtration applications. The wire cloth must be able to withstand the pressure applied to the cake and wire cloth filter during filtration operations. If the wire cloth is too weak, then filter distortion or breakage can occur.
- The open area, pore size, percent porosity flow resistance, pore size distribution, water permeability, or air permeability of the wire cloth are selection criteria for wire cloth filters or wire mesh to be used to fabricate filters.
- If the wire cloth is being employed for EMI or RFI shielding applications, then the magnetic and electrical conductivity of the wire mesh are key selection parameters.
Wire Diameter or Width
The diameter of round wire or the width of flat wire or ribbon are one of the key specifications of wire cloth. While some wire cloth manufacturers may specify wire size in terms of “wire gauge” size, this can cause confusion because many different wire gauge systems are used. The wire diameter should be specified using a numerical inch or micron value to eliminate confusion.
Mesh Size or Wire CountThe mesh size, wire count, or mesh count is a measure of the number of wires across a unit length, usually a linear inch. Mesh count is measured from wire center to center. Wire mesh cloth with very large openings are specified by the distance between two adjacent wires - 1 inch mesh, 2 inch mesh, ⅝ inch mesh, etc.
Percent Open Area
The percent open area of a wire mesh cloth is calculated from the opening width or dimension (W1) between adjacent parallel wires. If the wire cloth has square openings, then the opening area is equal to W1 X W1. If the mesh has a rectangular pattern, then the area is calculated based on W1 x W2.
The percent open area is calculated by dividing open area by the total area of the wire cloth. In summary:
- Open Area = Opening Width1 x Opening W2
- Open Area + Wire Area = Total Area
- Open Area (%) = Open Area / Total Area
The opening size of wire cloth, mesh, or screen is the dimension between two wires. Opening size is measured from wire edge to wire edge, unlike mesh size, which is measured from center to center.
Wire cloth openings range from 20 microns to 5 inches. Electroformed mesh openings as small as 5 microns are available as standard catalog products. Finer opening size mesh, sieves, screen, and wire cloth are specified in micron opening size.
The opening shape is a specification that has importance in decorative and architectural applications. Opening shape can be a selection factor in applications using wire cloth screens to generate elongated particles in powders or granular materials. Opening shape include:
- Custom or complex patterns
Chapter 5: Wire Cloth Grades and Industrial Applications
How is mesh size utilized in industry?
Wire cloth can be divided into two main application fields:
- Architectural & Construction
Chapter 6: Wire Cloth Fabrication, Secondary Processing or Value Added Services, and Accessories
Another factor in selecting a supplier for wire cloth is their secondary processing capabilities. Wire cloth has different forming and fabricating characteristics than sheet metal. If you need to fabricate components from wire cloth for your application, then selecting a vendor skilled in processing, treating, cutting, forming, and joining wire cloth would be a wise choice.
Post weaving or welding value added processes can include:
- Calendered or Flattened - Calendering is a finishing process where fabric or other material is passed under rollers at high temperatures and pressures to reduce the thickness of the material, increase its bulk density, and/or create a smoother surface.
- Cleaning - Wire mesh can be cleaned or degreased after processing to remove any oils, greases, dirt, grime, soils, and debris from the manufacturing and secondary fabrication processes.
Converting / Cutting
- Die Cutting - Die cutting press or rotary die machine
- Sheeting / Cut-to-Length
- Slitting or rotary blade cutting
- Laser cutting
- Plasma cutting
- Coating - Metal wire mesh can be coated with a protective plastic coating such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC, vinyl) or a zinc dip coating.
- Deep Drawing
- Straightening or Stretching
- Solution Treating
- Stress Relieving
Joining and Sealing
- Adhesive Bonding / Gluing
- Sintering or solid state bonding
- Mounting - Mounting the wire cloth into a frame or adding edging or channels onto the edges of a sheet of wire mesh. The wire cloth edges can be sharp. Channels and edging can protect workers and allow the wire cloth to be more easily inserted into end-use equipment such as screening machines.
- Over Molding Plastic Injection Molding
- Wire cloth and metal mesh are manufactured in a wide range to provide a variety of industrial and architectural applications.
- Specific properties can be engineered by adjusting the weave type, crimp or weld type, opening size, mesh size, wire diameter, and wire alloy type. NEMA enclosures are available in a wide range of shapes, configurations, mounting styles, and NEMA ratings.
- Many wire cloth manufacturers are familiar with the nuances and unique requirements of specific industry applications. They can provide products specialized for different industries.
- Wire cloth can be designed and manufactured to meet additional ratings such as ASTM, FEPA, and ANSI standards for sieving or particle classification test sieves.
- Wire cloth products can be purchased as:
- Standard or catalog product
- Customized designed product for specialized products such as a custom weave or a woven wire cloth made with a unique alloy or cross-sectional shape to meet design needs.
- Fully custom fabricated wire cloth product such as screen, sieve, filter, or basket with additional metal frames - built to print or designed by the wire cloth manufacturer