Lawrence Sintered Metals offers two ways in which wire mesh is typically manufactured: woven or welded. Considering the entire list of possible wire mesh specifications in commonly used metals and alloys, woven wire mesh is the more frequently produced type of manufacturing process. This are some limitations associated with the welded process.
Some diameter wires are too thin and some opening sizes are too small to effectively produce a welded wire mesh. And of course, certain metals, including copper and aluminum, cannot be effectively welded into wire mesh. Woven wire mesh is usually woven on looms, very similar to the looms that are commonly used to weave cloth and rugs.
Different patterns such as plain weave, twilled weave, and plain Dutch weave are made on these types of weaving looms. Usually, any specification that is 5 x 5 Mesh and finer is a woven wire mesh.
When the wire becomes too heavy for these looms, the wire must be pre-crimped. Wires travel through a crimping machine that crimps individual wires into the preferred style; these pre-crimp wires are then fed through the loom to assemble the mesh. The material remains stable and rigid by virtue of the mechanical properties of the wire, the space between the wires, itself, and the crimp style. Pre-crimp mesh can be woven in many different crimp styles, including plain crimp, intermediate crimp, lock crimp, and flat top crimp.
Over the past three decades welded wire mesh has become very popular and highly demanded in the industry. Because the pre-straightened individual wires are welded at the intersections, relatively thinner diameter wires can be used over larger spaces.
The wire mesh itself will remain strong and stable with a high percentage of open area. Stainless steel welded wire mesh has become very popular due to its clean appearance, uniform grid pattern, and attractive price point. T-304 stainless steel, T-316 stainless steel, plain (or carbon) steel, and galvanized before (pre-galvanized) are the most commonly utilized materials when welded wire mesh is manufactured.