Wire Mesh or Perforated Sheet Metal, Which is Better for Your Needs?

In Custom Wire Baskets

Drew Greenblatt on March 27, 2014

Mesh Basket 1107004Here at Marlin Steel, we have extensive experience with the manufacture of metal baskets for a wide variety of purposes, such as product display, material handling, washing, and ultrasonic cleaning, among others. While we have long been known for our wire baskets, Marlin steel is now able to make more than just wire mesh baskets.

In recent years, we have added new automation to our production facility that allows us to create items out of perforated sheet metal.

The question is, which material is better for your specific product: perforated sheet metal, or wire mesh? The answer is actually dependent on a few factors, so here are a few things to consider before ordering a wire mesh or perforated sheet metal product:

Welding

As you may know, more welding equals higher costs. A wire mesh product requires more welding than a perforated sheet metal product does.

A product made from perforated metal has much fewer points of contact that need to be welded in order to secure the structural integrity of the item compared to wire mesh. This is especially true if the item being made requires that the open space in it is minimal. It’s the difference between having to do one simple, large weld and dozens of precise spot welds.

Also, when you make more welds on an object, there is a greater chance that you will have multiple points of heat discoloration. However, this is easily remedied by putting the finished product through the process of electropolishing, which removes burrs, microscopic nicks, and sharp edges as well.

Open Space

With a wire mesh product, the open area is the space between the wires of the final product. Generally speaking, the open area of a wire mesh product can range anywhere from 20 to 80 percent of the surface area of the mesh basket. For a wash basket, Marlin Steel’s engineers aim for a 50 percent open area ratio to balance durability and flow.

With a wire mesh product, it is relatively simple to increase the amount of open area in the design when necessary. With a perforated sheet, adding more open space involves making more cuts in the sheet metal, which takes more time and results in more wasted metal (which can still be recycled, however).

When you need a product with a minimum of open space, however, perforated sheet metal may actually be the better option for your product. This brings us to the next point:

The Application

The intended purpose of the final product will probably be the single most important factor that influences your choice between using wire mesh or perforated sheet metal.

For example, if the ultimate purpose of the item you are ordering is for general handling, then perforated sheet metal might be your best choice. One advantage of perforated sheet metal is that the handles of the final product can be punched right into the sheet metal, making them integrated and speeding up the production process a bit.

On the other hand, wire mesh products are much more compatible with washing procedures thanks to their greater open area when compared to perforated sheet metal. Wire mesh baskets are particularly useful in ultrasonic cleaning applications, as they can be custom-made to hold individual parts and allow the contaminants that are being removed to leave the basket easily so that they do not become trapped within it and wind up being re-deposited on the item being cleaned.

Whatever You Need, We Can Help

Thanks to Marlin Steel’s advanced automation equipment, we are able to quickly and efficiently adjust our production to meet your needs, whether you need a wire mesh product or one that is made from perforated sheet metal. We have the technology, the tools, and the expertise to help you make the choice between these two useful items for your own project.

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Author: Drew Greenblatt
Drew Greenblatt
Drew Greenblatt bought Marlin Steel Wire Products in 1998 when it was a small maker of a commodity product. Since then, it has grown revenue seven-fold. In the face of challenges to the global economy, Marlin Steel has invested more than $3.5 million in robotics in a quest for quality and speed.

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