Guide to Woven Wire Mesh (Cost, Weave Types & Vocabulary)
Everything we do at W.S.Tyler is based on woven wire cloth. We sell particle analysis equipment like the Ro-Tap and test sieves. We also specialize in Architectural Woven Wire Mesh, like on the outside of stadiums and parking garages.
But, the one thing that all of our products have in common is woven wire mesh.
There are a lot of technical terms and information that goes into woven wire mesh. We get a lot of questions regarding opening size, wire diameter, weave patterns, alloy options and of course, cost.
When it comes to cost, the short answer is that it depends. We know this isn’t what you want to hear, but it's the truth. There are so many factors and choices that you have to consider before we can pinpoint what exactly you need and how much it will cost.
What we can do, is talk about all of those factors and decisions you have to make to help you become a more educated buyer so that we can help you find your exact cost.
We wrote this article to act as your introduction and guide to all things wire mesh. Some of this you might already know, or maybe it will all be new and informative for you.
Regardless, we hope that after reading this article you have a better idea of what you need, how much you can expect to pay, and how to find what is right for you.
When it comes to wire mesh there are some vocabulary/technical terms that you just have to know to be able to order wire mesh.
We are going to talk about the three most important terms: Mesh Count, Opening Size and Wire Diameter.
Even if you call us and only know two of those three terms, we can still help you find the wire for you with our own spec charts. But you have to know at least two of them to be able to get the right product.
We run into a lot of situations with our customers where they aren’t sure what these terms mean or how to figure them out, so we are going to start with the basic terms you need to know.
1. Mesh Count
The mesh count is the number of openings in a linear inch. Let’s take a look at the photo below. This is a 2 Mesh. If you count from center to center of wires, you will count two inside of one linear inch.
2. Opening Size
When it comes to buying woven wire mesh for industrial or functional purposes (as opposed to for design, like with architectural wire mesh) opening size is probably what is most important to you.
The opening size is measured as the clear opening between each wire. This is what determines what passes through the material and what doesn't.
Regardless of the pattern or weave of the mesh, opening size is still there. Mesh can be so finely woven that you can’t see the openings with the naked eye.
Regardless of whether you can see the openings or not, they are there and they are extremely important to your filtration process.
Here are two photos of wire mesh. Figure A has large openings that you can see, and Figure B is woven non-traditionally.
The openings in Figure B are still there, you just can’t see them with the naked eye. This pattern is woven in a non-traditional way so that the openings are in a different location than Figure A.
3. Wire Diameter
This one is pretty self-explanatory, this is the thickness of each wire.
So, here are some examples of calls we get from people looking to buy wire mesh from us:
“Hi, I need a 20 mesh with a .0340 inch opening size”
“Hello, I am looking for woven wire mesh that is 35 mesh and has a wire diameter of .011 inches”
At W.S. Tyler we sell two different weaves when it comes to woven wire mesh: Square Mesh and Minimesh.
We consider them all “woven wire mesh” but for the sake of this article, we can lump them into two groups because there is a big cost difference and engineering difference between the two.
We are going to break down each type of mesh so that you can decide which group you think you fall into.
Square opening wire mesh is woven wire cloth that has a clear opening that you can see through. You can think of this type of weave as your standard “over-under” pattern that you may have woven with yarn in your art class when you were younger. There are some variations in these patterns as well. For instance you can have two overs and one under when weaving.
Generally speaking though, these are much more "simplistic weaves" than Minimesh patterns and are usually easy to recognize when looking at the mesh.
Here are some photos of some square mesh.
You can see that the photo on the right is more the traditional over under pattern. The photo on the left is a unique pattern, but the openings are still visible.
Square mesh is available from 4 mesh down to 325 mesh
Square mesh can be used for filtration like minimesh, but it isn't as robust as minimesh would be.
Square mesh is designed for filtration just like minimesh but the square opening mesh isn’t always as durable in terms of filtration products or creating customized products. It isn’t as easy to bend and mold while maintaining its shape and quality characteristics.
These are a group of weave patterns that are what we would call, more engineered and more technical than square mesh.
When looking at these weaves, you may not be able to see the openings without turning it or looking at it from different angles.
Minimesh is typically used to create smaller micron openings, often times for use in the in filtration of fluids or other industries that require very accurate filtration.
These types of woven wire mesh are much more specialized and complex than the regular standard weave patterns as we mentioned above. In these patterns, there is a higher degree of certainty and consistency, because the wire cloth is woven in a district pattern much more complex than just the wire cloth above.
Minimesh is generally more expensive than square mesh. There is more engineering, more material, more time, and really just a more complicated weave pattern.
Here are some photos of some of our Minimesh weaves. We have included a top view of one weave and a side view of another. You can see that the holes are there in each photo, but they are woven and created much differently than in the square mesh like above.
There are a ton of advantages that come with using Minimesh in your filter or application, but we find that it is usually best fit for the more technical application or for a filtration customer.
If you want to check out all of the Minimesh weave types you can view them all in our 3-D Minimesh Viewer on our website.
In a lot of cases, the material used to weave the mesh is a big cost driver. At W.S. Tyler, we weave all of our woven wire mesh using 300 series stainless steel wire. We use stainless steel because it is durable and cost-efficient.
304 Stainless steel is the most commonly used alloy.
Ways to Buy Wire Mesh
This is by far the cheapest, easiest, and sometimes the fastest way to purchase wire mesh.
If you are going to be fabricating the mesh yourself and do not need any services or engineering done to the mesh, this is the way you will probably want to buy your material.
You will specify what spec you need and how much of it you need, and it will be shipped to you in a roll for your use.
A roll of mesh can be purchased up to 5 feet wide and 100 feet long.
Value Added Services
If you need your mesh fabricated or cut in any way, we would consider this an added value service.
Here are some of the added value services we offer:
- Cutting of any kind (pieces, strips, coils)
- Pressing/Deep Drawing
- Straightening or Stretching
- Plastic Injection Moulding
These services are additional procedures or processes that need to be done to the mesh by us before we ship it to you. These services are specified by you, and we will do this to fit your needs.
These are an additional cost on top of your material cost.
Customized Filtration products
The last level of wire mesh is customized filtration products. This can be any type of filter. We have created transmission filters, filters for medical devices, downhole tubes for the oil industry, and tons more.
This is also the most cost heavy type of wire mesh.
This type of customer is someone who has very specific needs and also has their own engineered drawings or documents that our team of engineers works from, to provide a suitable solution.
Some of our customized filter projects will spend a long time in the engineering phase. We work with your team to develop a product that is completely customized for your needs.
For more information on customized filtration products check out our website.
To Sum It All Up
If you have made it this far, we hope that you now have a better understanding of all things woven wire mesh.
Wire mesh is extremely customizable and there are tons of options out there. It can be a bit overwhelming.
If you have any other questions about, send us a message and we'd be happy to discuss it with you.