The term “wire cloth,” which is sometimes used interchangeably with “wire mesh,” though wire mesh is a little different, refers to woven, interlocking metal wires that are arranged to be useful for a variety of industrial, residential and agricultural screening, structuring, protecting and filtering applications. Wire cloth wires are welded together in rolls on a loom, while wire mesh wires are sintered or welded together with evenly spaced, regular openings. Wire cloth is commonly used to make products like filter screens and strainers, but is available in nearly infinite combinations of mesh gauges, weaves and materials, and so it is available for many other applications as well.
Plain dutch weaves, with warp wires and slightly smaller shute wires, provide a closely spaced, dense weave. The twill dutch weave offers structural integrity and support, as well as extra precision filtration. Both plain dutch and twill dutch weaves are good choices for fences and wire mesh conveyors, as well as precision screening and filtration of paint applications, automotive parts and liquids. Other patterns include the hexagon, or chicken wire, the square and the rectangle shapes. All three of these shapes are appropriate for applications in which goods can be visible but must remain inaccessible to unauthorized personnel. Read More…
Welded wire mesh or wire cloth tends to have a much larger gauge than its woven wire mesh counterparts. Wire cloth is welded at each wire intersection to strengthen it and keep it from unraveling when it’s cut, while both welded mesh and woven mesh frequently require galvanization other extra finishing for strengthening and corrosion resistance. Wire mesh that is both welded and galvanized is called hardware cloth. Hardware cloth has industrial, decorative and miscellaneous applications. Industrial applications include: building window screens, HVAC installations, the draining of pulp and other mixtures and sorting and sifting machinery.
Decorative applications include residential fireplace guards, residential and commercial kitchen cabinetry and the like. Hardware cloth can also be used to determine the particle sizes of a material by comparing them to the size of the openings in the mesh itself.
Wire cloth can be made from almost any metal or alloy, and the choices can easily be divided up into materials that are suitable for applications that require corrosion resistance and general applications. the most commonly used materials for applications that require corrosion resistance are stainless steel, steel, stainless and galvanized wire. Materials commonly used for general purpose wire mesh and wire cloth include titanium, nickel alloys and brass, while bronze is usually employed for decorative applications and copper for EMI shielding and conductive purposes.
In industries like petro-chemical processing, screen printing, pharmaceutical manufacturing and food and beverage processing select wire mesh materials on a case to case basis, depending on their application requirements. Some application require a specific weave pattern. The most common of these are are twilled square mesh weave, plain square mesh weave, plain dutch weave, reverse plain weave and twill dutch weave. Each weave pattern brings something different to the table. For instance, plain square meshes, which are made from shute wires or lateral wires and warp wires or longitudinal wires of equal gauge, are perfect for basic mesh operations.
Manufacturers refer to mesh count in the same way consumers refer to thread count and bed sheets. It refers to the size of the openings between parallel woven wires. The higher the mesh count, the finer the mesh weave. High mesh count screens, for example, are suitable for fine filtration, while low mesh count screens, also known as hardware cloth, are suitable only for applications with more breathable barriers, like animal cages, police vehicle barriers, fences, traps and more. Low mesh count cloth is sturdy and durable. Large gauge wire mesh may, in addition to being welded, be sintered. Sintering, though expensive, offers excellent structural stability and makes reliable mesh for bulk good and powder transportation.
From baskets to test sieves, wire cloth and wire mesh products are truly invaluable structures. Copper mesh screens, for example, can even be used for electromagnetic shielding, faraday cages, insect screens and papermaking. To find the perfect wire cloth or wire mesh for your application, consult a wire manufacturer or talk to the people at your local hardware store.