One of the first essential steps of any industrial project is to consider what material works best for your needs. While sheet metal may be the right choice when building a car or aircraft, you will not want to use it in place of wire mesh when making a screen or cage where airflow is essential. When choosing between wire mesh, expanded metal, and sheet metal, it helps to know what things each of them does best. To learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of common steel construction materials, look at our breakdown below.
What Makes Wire Mesh Special?
Both lightweight and tough enough for many heavy-duty uses, wire mesh is a versatile construction material that is used in everything from lockers and storage cages to window mesh and machine guards. This material’s major benefit is that it allows air and water to flow through easily, making it perfect if you don’t want to halt drainage, block airflow, or disrupt a line of sight. And while it may be the least durable of the three materials on this list, it is still durable enough for various industrial uses. Plus, it’s corrosion-resistant.
Considering the Benefits of Expanded Metal
Expanded metal is an excellent option to consider when you want more structural stability than wire mesh but still want to allow some air flow or water drainage. This makes it a right choice for fences, grates, and walkways. Expanded metal medium weight, average durability, and in many respects can be considered a good middle ground between the other two options. One downside is that it may have sharp edges, which need to be sanded, polished, or coated to prevent injury.
The Pros and Cons of Sheet Metal
If toughness or durability is your top priority, sheet metal is the way to go. It doesn’t allow any airflow or drainage, but depending on the application you have in mind, this may be more advantageous. Its extra toughness also means it is also the heaviest of the three. Sheet metal is most commonly seen in cars or aircraft bodies, where structural stability is essential.As America’s leading source for quality woven wire mesh since 1948, Cal-Wire is here to serve your stainless steel wire needs. Get in touch today and let us know how we can help you with your next project.