What Is a Mesh Filter? (Definition, Benefits, and Cost)
The proper filtration of various substances helps make the world go round, from automotive filters to the filters found in medical devices. This leaves engineers responsible for identifying filter media that will deliver the perfect balance of durability, accuracy, and cost-effectiveness.
Here at W.S Tyler, we understand that failure to implement an adequate filter media can lead to inconsistent pressure loads in your filter system, increase energy costs, and allow unwanted particles to pass through. This is why we strive to educate system operators and engineers on the capabilities of metal mesh, particularly when used as a mesh filter.
So, what exactly is a metal mesh filter?
W.S. Tyler has been a prominent manufacturer of metal mesh products for over 140 years and is here to help you better understand if it is suitable for your filtration operation.
To that end, this article will cover:
- What metal mesh is
- What a mesh filter is
- The benefits associated with metal mesh filters
- How much mesh filters cost
What Is Metal Mesh?
Metal mesh, also referred to as woven wire mesh, is a calculated array of individual metallic wires interlocked together, forming pore openings with an exact size. Prior to the centuries-old weaving process used to fabricate the mesh, specifications, such as the mesh count, wire diameter, weave pattern, layer configuration, and alloy, are all predetermined.
Now, metal mesh can be molded and formed without compromising the integrity of the mesh openings. This allows it to deliver desirable filtration for a wide range of industries.
What Is a Mesh Filter?
Filters are known to be porous materials designed to remove impurities and miscellaneous particles from liquids and gases. In the world of filtration, there are various materials used as filter media, such as metal fiber felt and wedge wire.
Mesh filers are a network of metallic wires that forms a pliable filter cloth with precise, rigid pore openings that engineers can customize to accommodate most filter systems. Additionally, because metal mesh filters are one of the most durable filter media available, they can be used in applications, such as sanitary pipe systems, to remove contaminants or in applications, such as nutsche filters, to extract a filter cake.
Why Use Metal Mesh?
There are many benefits associated with metal mesh filters. This includes the filter's ability to be cleaned, accuracy, flow rate, and durability.
Let's look into how metal mesh can deliver the listed benefits.
One of the most significant advantages metal mesh has over most filter media used today is its ability to deliver an adequate flow rate. This is achievable as the wire diameter and mesh opening can be customized to perfectly match the contaminants you are filtering out, providing you with an enhanced level of filtration surface area.
This is especially true when a three-dimensional metal mesh filter is used. This is because three-dimensional mesh filters offset two layers of filter cloth, doubling the achievable flow rate.
While alloys such as Alloy 310, Inconel 600, Super duplex, Duplex, Hastelloy C22, and Titanium can be used to construct metal mesh filters, 300 series stainless steel is predominantly used. This helps create a filter that can withstand a wide range of impurities, pressure variations, and extreme temperatures without hindering the filter's accuracy.
In addition, stainless steel is a very pliable material, allowing the filter to be formed to fit your filter system and hold its shape after several uses.
The weaving process used to construct mesh filters is heavily monitored from start to finish. As a result, the pore openings of the filter are exact and uniform throughout the filter.
These precise pore opinings ensure that the end product, whether a filtered substance or a filter cake, is consistent and complies with industry standards.
As metal mesh features accurate pore openings, blinding and plugging are significantly reduced. This, combined with the enhanced flow rate, means system operators can clean the metal mesh easily.
These two properties allow the mesh filter to be backflushed and purged of any unwanted debris with minimal pressure.
What Limitations Are Associated With Metal Mesh Filters?
The most notable limitation associated with metal mesh filters is the limitation as to how much metal mesh can be drawn when being formed into a filter. In fact, there is a ratio that must be followed to ensure the mesh is not drawn deeper than its diameter, damaging the mesh.
So, for example, a direct fuel injection automotive filter with a 5-inch diameter can only have a depth of five inches or less.
It's also important to know that a wide variety of metal mesh weave patterns can't be woven past 5 microns. This can be problematic when working with various gases, as gaseous particles can typically pass through 5-micron screens.
How Much Does a Mesh Filter Cost?
From extruder screen packs to sanitary pipe sock screen gaskets, the price of a metal mesh filter is dependent on the parameters of the filter. This includes the layer configuration, mesh specifications, and amount of fabrication needed to form the desired size and shape of the filter.
Additionally, the quantity of filter being acquired plays a major role in the overall price of a mesh filter. This is because most mesh filters are made to order, which requires several hours to set up the tooling needed to construct any particular filter.
A good rule of thumb to follow when designing metal mesh filters is higher purchase volumes reduce the overall cost.
Understanding Two-Dimensional Mesh Filters vs. Three-Dimensional Mesh Filters
Metal mesh filters are a network of metallic wires interlocked together to form precise pore openings that can be used to decontaminate a substance or extract a filter cake. The cleanability, accuracy, flow rate, and durability that metal mesh offers make it stand out when compared to other filter media, such as metal fiber felt and wedge wire.
As you continue to pursue metal mesh filters, it's essential to understand the differences between two-dimensional mesh filters and three-dimensional mesh filters. This will help to ensure you achieve efficient filtration.
With over 140 years of metal mesh experience, W.S. Tyler strives to ensure you understand everything you need to know about mesh filters.
Review the following article to gain insight into how two-dimensional filter mesh and three-dimensional filter mesh differ:
About Ronnie Brown
Ronnie is the Content Writer for W.S. Tyler and has four years of experience as a professional writer. He strives to expand his knowledge on all things particle analysis and woven wire mesh to leverage his exceptional writing and graphic design skills, creating a one-of-a-kind experience for customers.