Wire mesh is a screen consisting of rows and columns of metal that form a square-y shape. Due to its many uses, you can find wire mesh practically everywhere on a construction site. You’ll find it as a component in fencing, light fixtures, pillars, and even ventilation systems. You might even find wire mesh in industries other than construction, such as agriculture, transportation, or even mining.
Despite its ubiquity, not many people know the other types of wire mesh apart from its regular metal mesh variant. Each type consists of different properties, hence each of which has different uses. If you’re planning an upcoming project that requires tons of wire mesh, knowing what your choices are would be helpful.
On that note, below are four of the most commonly-used wire mesh types and a guide on how you can choose the most suitable for your project.
1. Welded Wire Mesh
As the name suggests, this wire mesh type is similar to the standard variant, except it’s welded, which results in interesting properties. For one, due to the welding process, it’s become more durable and stronger. Moreover, since it’s similar to the regular wire mesh, it provides excellent visibility, perfect for purposes where visibility is needed. For these reasons, you’ll often find welded wire mesh in security fencing, lockers, and animal cages.
2. Woven Wire Mesh
As you may already know, wire mesh can either be woven or welded. It’s welded when each thread pierces through other wires, while it’s woven when threads go over and under one another. It’s also relatively durable, but not as much as welded wire mesh. It’s most suitable for applications requiring aesthetics, which is why experts often use it for windows and door screens.
3. Stainless Steel Wire Mesh
Stainless steel wire mesh is a variant that differs in the material rather than its structure. It can either be woven or welded, depending on your goals. Stainless steel is known for its many valuable properties, such as corrosion resistance and high tensile strength. If something’s going to beat welded wire mesh in terms of durability, that would undoubtedly be its stainless steel variant.
4. Galvanized Wire Mesh
As the name suggests, galvanized wire mesh is the type that’s been through galvanization. For your reference, galvanization is the process of applying a zinc coating to the wire metal. It’s different from welding and weaving since they’re production methods, while galvanization is for pre- or post-production. By applying a coating to the welded or woven wire mesh, the material becomes more durable, long-lasting, low-maintenance, and, most importantly, hygienic.
That’s precisely why you’ll often find galvanized wire mesh as one of the main components of screening and fencing in many greenhouses, gardens, and other agricultural buildings. Also, note that experts may galvanize wire mesh before or after the welding or weaving process. This is the reason why most experts treat it as a pre- or post-production method.
How Do You Choose The Right Type Of Wire Mesh
When deciding on what type of wire mesh to use, you’d have to consider your purposes. However, it’s also advisable to look at the different factors of the wire mesh. These include: (1) the mesh count or size, (2) wire diameter, and (3) opening area. Of course, there are other things to consider, but taking into account these three things should do well in aiding your decision.
With that said, here’s a closer look at what these three factors are and how they work:
1. Mesh Count/Size
Mesh count/size pertains to the number of openings of square-y shapes per square inch of the wire mesh. This particular specification primarily affects the functionality of the wire mesh. If, for example, you want to utilize wire mesh solely for artwork, a higher mesh count would be ideal as it boasts great detail. The average mesh count is around 80.
2. Wire Diameter
Wire diameter refers to the thickness of the metal wire. It mainly affects the durability of the mesh and may also contribute to its cost since it determines how much material the manufacturer spent for its manufacturing. Wire diameter can go from 0.005 inches to 0.018 inches.
3. Opening Area
Finally, the opening area is the distance between each wire from the adjacent parallel threads. It typically comes in inches, but some experts measure it in percentages. Opening area measurements can range from 0.012 to 0.232 inches or 50% to 90%.
When ordering from a supplier, they’d usually provide these pieces of information. So, if you’ve already decided on these three factors, choosing a wire mesh type should be a breeze.
Wire mesh isn’t the most popular word in the construction industry, nor is it common among homeowners. Regardless, it’s one of the most common components in buildings, especially residential spaces. So, chances are, you’re only familiar with the standard variant of wire mesh and not the other more diverse types. If that’s the case, this article should open your eyes to wire mesh and possibly help you with your next project.