How fence wire is made

Wire mesh, which can be used for fencing material or for window screens, can also be used for industrial purposes (e.g., sifting fine particulates, shaking dirt loose from vegetables, etc.). Before you buy multiple rolls of mesh, however, you should know that there are three ways in which wire mesh is made. You should also know why this is important.

Extruded and “Stamped”

Mesh can be poured into a mold and extruded into a flat sheet. Right before the metal cools completely, another machine “stamps” out the openings in the mesh. The machine simultaneously cuts numerous little openings. Then the mesh is dipped in cold water to speed the process along. Finally, the mesh is cut into strips, squares, and/or rolled before being packaged and shipped.

Woven

It is not easy to weave wire into a metal mesh, but the machines designed to do this can handle the job. Thin wire is quickly woven together to create a screen. Woven mesh is made to be certain lengths and widths, and it cannot and should not be cut to prevent unraveling. 

Cut, Soldered and/or Welded

For wire mesh with much larger openings, the wire is cut, and each strand is laid perpendicularly until you have a grid. Then the grids are carefully soldered by hand, or welded via CNC machine. It seems like a lot of trouble to go through to create larger openings in mesh wire screens, but it does serve a purpose.

Why the Method of Mesh Construction is Important

Given the ways in which wire mesh is constructed, you would have to assume that each type of mesh construction serves a purpose, and it does. For example, the extruded and stamped variety makes it easier to produce a tighter mesh, one that does not let go, break, or unravel under pressure or when accidentally cut.

The cut and soldered or welded mesh produces larger mesh openings that can hold really large items but allow smaller particles through. So if you wanted to carry and hold boulders aloft, but you wanted smaller rocks and sand or soil to slip through you would use the cut/soldered/welded variety of mesh. Finally, woven mesh is ideal for screens for sorting and sifting machines used to separate rocks, dirt, and sand, and/or to separate these earthen materials from freshly harvested produce. Each type can withstand specific amounts of weight and force, making them a better option than others for certain jobs.    

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