The flexible meshes made out of aluminium, galvanized wire and copper wire or stainless steel wire are only woven and therefore can be freely formed into three-dimensional shapes. Custom cutting of these meshes faces the danger of the borders fraying and the loss of its cohesion – a danger, however, that decreases as the delicacy of the mesh increases.
Wires, just like fibres, can be woven. This is done by interweaving the warp wires (wires running lengthwise) and the weft wires (running crosswise). Usually, the wires are thereby slightly bent around one another in order to produce a relatively stable connection. The most widely used wire mesh is the square mesh version employing the so-called linen weave. Each warp wire is attached to a weft wire and vice-versa.
The given dimensions for wire mesh are the mesh width “mw” and the thickness of the wire “wth”. When giving these dimensions, the first number is the mesh width and the second is the wire thickness. The wire mesh described as 1.6/0.3 has a mesh width of 1.6 mm and is made from a wire that has a thickness of 0.3 mm. The thickness of the whole mesh sheet is normally double that of a single wire.
The percentage of opening in relation to the entire surface (O) is not only important for technical uses. It is derived thus:
O = (mw2 x 100) / (mw + wth)2
Alternatives to the meshes made of metal include FIBREGLASS FLY SCREEN, EXPANDED METAL or FORMETAL
Applications: Wire mesh is manufactured for a variety of purposes: fine weaves as filters or sieves (e.g. in paper production), coarser meshes as conveyor belts, chicken wire or flooring reinforcement. But wire mesh also finds many uses in the field of design. It is a very popular material in model making for representing steel and glass constructions in working models. When covered with PAPIER-MÂCHÉ or plaster fascia, such things as masks, sculptures or landscapes for dioramas can be created.
Treatment: Wire mesh with a wire thickness of up to about 0.6 mm can be cut with a scissors; thicker versions should be cut with a wire cutter or a SIDE CUTTER. Depending on the intended use, the mesh can be soldered or bound with WIRE. Gluing work can be done with two component glue like, for example, those based on CYANOACRYLATE or EPOXY; in model making, UHU HARD or RUDERER plastic glue can also be used.