Wire mesh is a popular material used in construction, landscaping, and DIY projects. However, it’s not without its downsides. In this article, we’ll explore the disadvantages of wire mesh and help you make an informed decision about whether it’s right for your needs.
From limited flexibility to potential rusting, there are several factors that may impact the effectiveness of wire mesh in certain applications. Learn more about these drawbacks and how they could affect your project.
1. What is a wire mesh
Wire mesh is an incredibly versatile material used in a variety of industries in both commercial and residential applications. It is a type of metal wire structure that consists of crisscrossing wires held together by weaves or ties. The size and shape of the openings between the wires can vary greatly, depending on the desired purpose.
The main feature of wire mesh that makes it so useful is its strength and durability. Because the individual wires are woven into each other, they create an immensely strong structure that can withstand immense amounts of pressure, weight, and wear and tear over time.
This makes it extremely useful for applications such as fencing, reinforcement, insulation, and protection. It also has a high level of flexibility; it can be bent or cut without breaking to fit any particular application. Wire mesh also has excellent weather resistance properties due to its metal composition; it will not rust or corrode under normal conditions.
The construction process for wire mesh involves weaving together individual strands of metal wires into a pattern that creates an interlocking lattice design. By varying the size and shape of the openings between the wires, one can control which objects are able to pass through them while still maintaining their structural integrity.
For example, larger holes may be required for materials with bigger particles like rocks or gravel while smaller holes may be needed for finer particles like dust or smoke.
One of the most common uses for wire mesh is in fencing and reinforcement applications. Fences made from wire mesh provide high levels of security since they cannot be cut easily nor can animals climb over them due to their height and tightness between each strand.
Additionally, they are highly visible which deters potential intruders as well as provides clear boundaries to protect property lines from encroachment by others.
As mentioned earlier, wire mesh can also be used in reinforcement applications such as reinforcing concrete structures like buildings or bridges against extreme external forces like windstorms or earthquakes thanks to its strength and flexibility characteristics.
2. The disadvantages of wire mesh
Susceptible to Bending
Wire mesh is weak in tension and may easily be bent or distorted if it is not sufficiently supported. This can be a problem when using wire mesh for structural support, as it will not be able to bear the weight of the material it is intended to hold up.
Additionally, due to its malleability, wire mesh may become misshapen when heavy loads are placed on top of it or when it is exposed to high winds or other environmental factors.
Accumulation of Rust
Wire mesh contains an iron alloy, meaning that it is prone to oxidation over time. This oxidation leads to rust accumulations, which can degrade the structural integrity of the wire mesh and make it more prone to collapse under pressure.
Exposure to water and moisture will increase the rate of rusting, while protective coatings can help slow down this process by blocking out moisture and oxygen from reaching the surface.
Get Corroded Easily Without Surface Treatment
As mentioned above, without any kind of surface treatment applied to wire mesh, corrosion can occur at an accelerated rate due to air exposure. To combat this problem, galvanizing or painting should be used in order that a protective layer can form on the surface of the wire mesh and inhibit corrosion from forming.
Additionally, this protective layer also adds strength and increases durability so that the wire mesh does not suffer from bending or distortion too quickly.
Wire mesh is much more expensive than other types of fencing and security systems due to the labor-intensive process of weaving the wire mesh together. For mesh galvanized after weaving, and for stainless steel wire mesh, the cost can be even higher.
Whereas a typical chain link fence or other type of fencing system could run anywhere from $2 to $8 per foot, a comparable wire mesh system could cost upwards of $20 per foot. Additionally, because most wire mesh systems are custom made, it can also be difficult to predict how much the installation will cost overall.
Although this feature of wire mesh can be desirable in some cases, its transparency also presents a disadvantage for many applications since it does not provide privacy or protection from rain or sound.
The openings in the weave allow light and sound waves to pass through unimpeded, meaning that any activities on either side would still be visible and audible with relative ease.
This lack of privacy and protection from the elements may make it impractical for certain applications such as residential use or industrial workspaces where safety and security are paramount.
As mentioned above, because the openings between wires are relatively large compared to other materials such as sheet metal or plywood, it can be quite easy for water droplets to pass through them when exposed to heavy rains or storms. This can lead to issues with rusting if not adequately cared for in wet climates and further reduces its effectiveness as an effective barrier against the elements.
In addition to allowing light through, due to its design wire mesh is also ineffective at blocking out sound waves which makes it impractical in many applications where noise reduction is desired such as near airports and other industrial settings.
Even though there are ways to increase its acoustic performance by adding additional layers or using specialized materials there are far more soundproof fencing options available that can provide superior results without sacrificing visual appeal like that of wire mesh fences do when used in these situations
While wire mesh has many advantages, it’s important to carefully consider any potential disadvantages before incorporating it into your project. By understanding these limitations, you can make an informed choice about which materials will best meet your needs.