Wire mesh has a long history. Ancient Egypt, where artisans made jewelry from woven wire, seems to be the birthplace. But it didn’t become popular until the Fifth Century, when it gained favor as body armor. Back then, it was pretty easy to check the quality of wire mesh: If the warrior survived, the mesh did its job.
These days, things are a little more complicated, although the quality of wire mesh can still be a life-and-death matter. If you perform a wire mesh test and find your wire mesh isn’t catching contaminants, for example, the consequences could be dire.
Checking the quality of woven wire mesh—or wire mesh cloth—isn’t a one-time thing. Both the manufacturer and the user have a role to play. It might be best to start with the user and circle back to the maker.
What wire mesh users should know up-front
There are some high quality checks that should be done before placing a wire mesh order:
- What is the history of the manufacturer when it comes to delivering high-quality mesh solutions? References are important.
- Does the manufacturer work to ISO standards? For example, is the company QS 9000-compliant. This standard is a management system that mandates continuous improvement.
- Does the manufacturer have experienced engineering and customer service staff? Are they willing to sit down and talk about your application and their product? The quality of the people is at least as important as the product.
What wire mesh users should look for
Nothing can substitute for a careful quality check by the end users of wire mesh products. After all, they could face severe business-related consequences—not to mention potentially tragic results—when the product isn’t up to standards.
Fortunately, a good quality check doesn’t have to be difficult. It can be performed in just two relatively simple steps, depending on which types of mesh and wire mesh sizes are under inspection.
- For space cloth: Use a rule to check the distance from the inner edges of two adjacent parallel wires. Deviations between the two should be a cause for concern.
- For coarse mesh: With a rule, count the openings in one linear inch, starting at the center of any wire.
- For medium mesh: Beginning about 20 mesh, use a counting glass to determine the openings per linear inch form wire center to center, both horizontally and vertically. An alternative is to count openings in ¼-inch slot and multiply by four.
- For space, coarse and medium mesh cloth: Measure both the warp and shute with a micrometer caliper. Use a magnifying glass to make sure warp and shute wires are parallel. Also, check the quality of the crimping.
What manufacturers need to do
Any stainless steel wire mesh manufacturer worth its salt will do whatever it can to make its customers happy. That goal can only be achieved by listening to what the customer wants. The best-quality products from the best wire mesh companies satisfy these questions:
- What is the application? What’s the environment, temperature, other processing conditions? What’s the best material for the job?
- What kind of wire cloth is needed? What are the openings per inch, opening size, wire diameter, type of weave?
- What width and length will work best?
Of course, these last items depend on the ability of the manufacturer and the customer to work together. And that might be the most important factor in effective quality control.
Ensuring the highest-quality wire cloth product for any application requires these quality-control steps:
- Analyze the manufacturer’s track record. Make sure others have been satisfied with their products and engineered solutions.
- Carry out a check of the product before installation. It’s relatively easy to judge the quality of the work.
- Answer the manufacturer’s questions as thoroughly as possible. Accurate and thorough specifications make all the difference.
For more than 107 years, Newark Wire has specialized in fabricating standard and custom wire mesh products. We’ve become experts in making the best quality wire mesh in the industry. Need wire cloth manufacturers that you can rely on? Contact the company for more information about wire mesh, its applications, and our quality control solutions!