Wire mesh—also known as wire cloth or wire fabric—is a fabric-like material manufactured by weaving or welding thin strands of metal together in varying grid-like patterns. The strands are placed parallel and perpendicular to one another to create the patterns, forming openings that range in size—from a few microns to a few inches—depending on the intended use case. As these materials are versatile, durable, and affordable, they find application in many industries.
Below we provide an overview of wire mesh, outlining the key benefits, typical construction materials, common industrial applications, and products available at Lawrence Sintered Metals.
Benefits of Wire Mesh
As a construction material, wire mesh is ideal for use in industrial, commercial, and residential applications. The characteristics that contribute to the material’s broad versatility include:
- Wire mesh is available in numerous designs and styles, each of which comes with options for different base materials, finishes, opening sizes, and more. By selecting an appropriate variation, industry professionals can successfully incorporate wire mesh into virtually any project, ranging from concrete reinforcement to chicken fencing to sculptures and art installations.
- When chosen correctly, wire mesh offers the strength and flexibility needed for a given application. It is important to select a material capable of withstanding the operating and environmental conditions. For example, in applications involving corrosive materials, stainless steel is a viable option.
- Wire mesh offers reliable performance at a relatively low cost, making it a cost-effective option for countless applications. Combined with its customizability, it serves as a solution for filtration and separation to fencing and screening operations.
Construction Materials for Wire Mesh
As indicated above, wire mesh comes in several metals, each of which offers unique advantages and disadvantages that make it suitable for different use cases. Some of the materials often used in the manufacture of wire mesh are:
Compared to other material options, aluminum is available at a lower price point. Additionally, it offers an excellent strength-to-weight ratio (about a third of the weight of stainless steel with comparable strength) that makes it ideal for applications where high strength and low weight are critical, such as HVAC systems and personal electronics. Aluminum Alloy 5052 is common, while other aluminum alloys can be special ordered.
Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc. Brass wire mesh is commonly available in 270 yellow brass (65% copper and 35% zinc) and 260 high brass (70% copper and 30% zinc) variations.
While the resulting material is soft and malleable, it offers greater tensile strength and resistance than copper, making it better suited for use in filtration and separation applications. Its distinct golden-yellow color also makes it a popular option for decorative elements and art pieces.
Bronze is another copper-zinc alloy. Bronze wire mesh typically contains 90% copper and 10% zinc, but other compositions may be employed to enhance or add different material qualities.
Similar to brass wire mesh, it is often used in decorations and art pieces due to its distinct color. However, it offers even higher strength and resistance, so it also finds application in filtration and screening operations that require greater durability.
Similar to its alloys, copper has a distinct color that recommends it for use in architectural and artistic applications. It can also be used to create functional and decorative pieces, such as screens for fireplaces, gardens, and patios. Additionally, its high thermal and electrical conductivity makes it useful for the construction of RFI shielding and Faraday cages.
Stainless steel is one of the most—if not the most—commonly employed construction materials for wire mesh products. Typical alloys used include 304, 316, and 316L.
- 304 stainless steel—also referred to as A2 stainless steel or 18/8—is a steel alloy that contains at least 18 percent chromium and at least 8 percent nickel by composition with small traces of carbon and manganese. It is non-magnetic, corrosion resistance, and highly malleable.
- 316 stainless steel—also known as marine grade stainless steel—offers similar characteristics to 304 stainless steel but with even better corrosion resistance. This quality makes it suitable for use in marine and saltwater environments.
- 316L stainless steel is a low-carbon variation of 316 stainless steel. As such, it carries similar benefits with better performance in welding operations.
In addition to the above, typical wire mesh materials include other steel alloys (e.g., galvanized steel) and nickel alloys (e.g., Monel).
Wire Mesh Calculator
Understanding the mesh count, wire diameter and opening needed for your application is the first step. Below we have a wire mesh calculator to help you determine what specifications you may need.
Please enter two values you currently know to populate the third.
1 Mesh = 1 Strand Per Inch
Common Industries and Applications for Wire Mesh
As wire mesh is available in numerous varieties, its industrial applications are nearly endless. Some of the industries that regularly make use of the material include:
- Food and Beverage
- Gas and Oil
- Pest Control
- RFI Shielding
Specific examples of applications for wire mesh include:
- Automobile grilles
- Drain mesh filters
- Drying racks
- Fencing strips
- Fireplace screens
- Fry baskets
- Hardware cloth
- Insect screens
- Pleated filters
- Sand control screens for oil wells
- Security screen
- Splatter screens
Wire Mesh Products from Lawrence Sintered Metals
At Lawrence Sintered Metals, we have extensive experience in the manufacture and distribution of wire mesh, wire cloth, and sintered wire mesh. Our core wire mesh product offerings are:
- Woven Wire Mesh. Our woven wire mesh is available with a wide range of alloy, gauge, opening size (a few microns to a few inches), and weave (e.g., plain, twilled, and Dutch) options to suit the requirements and restrictions of different applications. It is used for everything from architectural sculptures to concrete reinforcement to security mesh.
- Welded Wire Mesh. Our welded wire mesh is regularly employed in industrial and commercial applications where strength and durability are critical. We offer it in galvanized steel, stainless steel, and plain steel, with options for various opening sizes and patterns.
- Micronic Dutch Weave Filter Mesh. These mesh materials are generally used in filtration operations. They come in plain and twilled variations depending on the degree of filtration required. Options for 304 stainless steel or 316 stainless steel and different meshes and weaves are available.
- Wire Screens. We maintain a stock of wire mesh screens for use in specific applications, including screening, screen printing, and insect repelling. Bolting filter cloths are available in stainless steel and 14 mesh to 230 mesh, stencil clothes are available in stainless steel and 105 mesh to 325 mesh, and insect screens are available in various alloys and 18×14 or 18×16 mesh.
Contact Lawrence Sintered Metals for Your Wire Mesh Needs
Lawrence Sintered Metals maintains a large inventory of wire cloth items in stock available for quick shipment. We carry a wide variety of alloys, including 304 stainless steel, 316 stainless steel, plain steel, rolls of 36″, 48″, and 60″ wide by 100 linear feet. Various size pieces may be cut to specifications.
Lawrence Sintered Metals has supplied high-quality wire mesh to domestic and international customers across a diverse set of industries.
By partnering with us for your wire mesh needs, you benefit from our industry certifications (including ASTM E2016-15), fast turnaround, and competitive pricing.
For additional information about our product offerings or assistance choosing one for your application, contact us today.