The term “wire cloth” refers to metal wires that are weaved in an interlocking pattern with evenly spaced and uniform openings. Also known as screen cloth or wire mesh, wire cloth is made in rolls on a loom.
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Purpose of Wire Cloth
The purposes of this material most often include structuring, protecting, filtering and straining, and some of the industries in which it may serve one or more of these purposes include: food and beverage processing, fencing and border creation, architecture, construction, appliance manufacturing and material handling.
Application of Wire Cloth
Within these industries, wire cloth serves a variety of applications, which include but are not limited to: tea strainers and food strainers, chicken wire and other fencing for livestock, humane animal traps, mosquito netting and wire window screens that prevent the entrance of other insects and debris, vandal screens, RF (radio frequency) radiation shields in microwaves, park bench production and waste baskets.
In addition, a type of wire cloth called hardware cloth is used in a variety of industrial, commercial and residential applications. These include: draining pulp or other mixtures, determining the particle sizes of a material, use with sifting and sorting machinery, use as window screens in buildings and HVAC installations and decorative use as fireplace guards or in kitchen cabinetry.
Materials Used for Wire Cloth
Wire cloth can be manufactured from virtually any metal or metal alloy that can be drawn into a wire, most frequently including aluminum, copper, magnetic alloys, nickel, steel and stainless steel. In addition, if and when an application calls for it, manufacturers will galvanize the metal material they use. This is because galvanized wire mesh is better protected from the elements than ungalvanized wire mesh. Using whatever metal material wires they have chosen, manufacturers complete the wire cloth fabrication process by weaving these wires into patterns that are known as weave types.
Design of Wire Cloth
Wire cloth weave type, along with other factors such as mesh count (the open area between wires), determine the application for which a piece of wire cloth will be used. Note that, the larger the mesh size, the smaller the opening in between the weave of the crosswise wire. Sometimes, mesh count can be used to determine the size of material particles, because the size of the particles can be judged against the size of the wire cloth openings.
In the same way that mesh count and weave type help determine the application for a piece of wire cloth, the way in which a piece of wire cloth is made is largely determined by its intended usage and the specifics of the requirements of strength and durability that go along with that intended usage. For example, in the food service industry, a wire cloth product must be made of a sterile material, or a material that is easily cleaned. In addition, all applications require that the wire cloth be made of material(s) that allow it to withstand those elements with which it will come in contact. Elements such as these may include: extremely high temperatures, extremely low temperatures, abrasive or chemical substances and moisture and other corrosion-causing elements.
Types of Wire Cloth
The three weave types that are most often chosen for this are: plain woven, twill woven and Dutch woven.
- Plain Woven
- Very simple and traditional; its wires are woven together using a traditional over/under technique at 90 degree angles.
- Till Woven
- More complex. It requires that wires running lengthwise and wires running crosswise go over and under one another in pairs of two.
- Dutch Woven
- Not to be confused with the Dutch plain woven type, involves criss crossing wires that have different weights. Typically, the wires that run lengthwise are heavier than the wires that run crosswise. Other than this, the Dutch woven weave type is the same as the plain woven weave type in that they both use an over/under pattern.
Things to Consider When Choosing Wire Cloth
Find out more about how wire cloth can benefit your application by reaching out to an experienced wire cloth manufacturer today. A good manufacturer will not only offer wire cloth in different weave types, materials and mesh counts, but also different shapes. Different shapes are particularly useful for use with application in which the cloth must allow goods to be seen while preventing unauthorized access to them. Common shapes for applications like these include simple squares, simple rectangles and hexagons (chicken wire). Some of the best manufacturers you can find are listed on this page. To find out more about these manufacturers, browse their respective websites and reach out to one or more of them today.