Stainless steel is one of the greatest metal products ever made. It’s relatively lightweight, strong yet easy to work with, and the chromium content gives it a higher level of corrosion resistance than in other iron-based alloys. However, the process of changing iron into stainless-steel wire mesh is not a simple one! A lot goes into that bit of wire you’re buying.
Stainless-Steel Wire Mesh – How Is It Produced
Stainless steel starts as iron, carbon, chromium, and usually some trace materials such as nickel or manganese. These are melted together in an electric arc furnace, often taking 12+ hours of intense heat to fuse them into a single alloy.
Afterward, there will be significant carbon buildup, and the excess needs to be removed. This is done through Argon Oxygen Decarburization, a process where an oxygen-argon mixture is injected into the raw alloy. It binds with and removes the carbon. Extra alloying elements can be added at this time if desired.
This mixture will then be stirred for a necessary period to further improve consistency and ensure the chemical composition is correct.
Once the chemical properties are in place, the steel is formed into a basic shape. For creating wire, it’s converted into either round or square billets. These are then re-heated and sent through a hot rolling process. For creating mesh, these rollers turn the steel into wire. Stainless-steel has excellent ductility and can maintain its strength even when rolled into extremely thin wires. This is one of the reasons it’s an excellent material for creating wire mesh!
During the rolling process, it may be necessary to anneal the steel. This means heating and cooling the steel under controlled conditions, to relieve any internal stresses within the metal – preventing it from becoming brittle in its final form.
However, the annealing process also causes scale to form on the outer surface of the steel, and this must be removed before final processing. This is accomplished with a bath in nitric-hydrofluoric acid or, occasionally, electro cleaning. Either way, once the steel is de-scaled, the process is effectively over. The stainless steel is created and can be shaped or rolled into its final form.
Then, it’s just a matter of weaving the wire to create stainless steel wire mesh.
Cal-Wire Can Handle Your Wire Mesh Needs