Annealed vs Sintered Wire Mesh: Which Is Best for Me?
From medical devices to automotive transmission systems, woven wire mesh produces exceptional results in countless industries. In fact, the capabilities are virtually endless when annealed or sintered wire mesh is used.
Now, you may be curious as to when you should have your wire mesh annealed or sintered during the fabrication process.
With over 100 years of experience working with woven wire mesh, W.S. Tyler takes pride in having the know-how needed to help you make the best decision for your particular needs.
This article will dissect the differences between the annealing and sintering methods, the situations in which you may want one over the other, and how each process is executed.
Why Treat Woven Wire Mesh?
When wire mesh is initially woven, it does not go through any form of heat treatment. This is because there are dozens of applications that call for non-treated mesh.
At the same time, several applications require mesh to be formed into a particular shape in order to perform a specific task.
By nature, the wires that make up the mesh weave want to retain their original, straight profile. To ensure the weave retains a desired shape or form, heat treatment is required.
This is where annealing and sintering come into play.
If you attempt to implement formed mesh that has not been annealed or sintered, you run the risk of producing inaccurate results.
What Is Annealing?
Annealing is the heat treatment process that works to make the wires in the weave softer and malleable. During this process, the roll of mesh is exposed to tremendous heat (while staying well below its melting point) and pressure.
Annealing wire mesh reduces the internal stress and hardness of the weave, making it easier to form.
What Is Sintering?
Sintering takes the annealing process a step further. When sintering, the mesh is heated to just below its melting point while being subjected to tremendous pressure.
This bonds the individual wires within the mesh at each intersection, preserving the pore size of the mesh. We will dissect both methods later in the article.
What's the Sinter/Anneal Process Look Like?
It’s important to understand that annealed and sintered wire mesh can be fabricated using one of two methods: batch or continuous.
Batch Treatment Process
During the batch treatment process, one or more rolls of woven wire are loaded into the furnace at a time. As it provides the best quantity capabilities but is less controllable, the batch process will work best if you’re working with a coarser mesh or you need a full roll width of 48”-60”.
Continuous Treatment Process
The continuous process provides the operator with more control. During this treatment method, a single roll of woven wire is unrolled, run through the furnace or oven, and is then re-rolled once annealed or sintered.
Since it is not as harsh on the woven wire, the continuous process will be a better fit if you are working with finer mesh specifications or you need a roll width that is 24” or less.
When Should I Anneal My Mesh?
As stated above, annealing makes woven wire easier to manipulate. That being said, the annealing process is used when a project calls for the mesh to be configured into a customized form.
Annealing your mesh will ensure that the wires retain this shape. In most cases, it's all that's needed when forming woven wire.
A great example of annealed woven wire in use can be seen in pulp fiber molding manufacturing facilities. These facilities form annealed mesh into custom moldings in order to create various containers, such as egg cartons.
When Should I Sinter My Mesh?
Sintering is typically used to prevent the wires within the mesh weave from moving or falling out over time. It is perfect for filtration applications, such as oil filtration, that rely on the retention of the mesh pore size to filter out unwanted debris.
Sintering is also an ideal solution for bonding multiple layers together, as seen in our Porostar filters, and multiple layers of mesh to a perforated plate. It can also be used to bond a single layer as well.
What Are the Disadvantages of Sintering/Annealing?
Annealing and sintering are both heat treatment options that can be applied to woven wire that share the same disadvantages. Naturally, there are additional processing times and expenses associated with both methods.
So, for example, if you order a roll of woven wire that is neither sintered or annealed, you would have the roll at your facility in about a week and only pay the cost of the roll.
On the other hand, if you take that same roll of wire mesh and either sinter or anneal it, you would have to cover the cost of the roll as well as the additional costs of the treatment process. The time frame for delivery is also extended by a few weeks.
Learn More About Forming Mesh
In order to provide fabricated mesh solutions that are custom to the needs of our customers, W.S. Tyler offers annealed and sintered wire mesh options to ensure the solution you choose retains the desired form or shape.
Annealing is the heat treatment process that makes woven wire easier to work with and is used to make sure the wires do not flex back to their original profile.
Sintering is the heat treatment process in which the woven wire is heated to just below its melting point, causing the individual wires to bond to each other at each intersection. This method is used to preserve the pore size of the woven wire by preventing the wires within the weave from moving.
To learn more about W.S. Tyler’s mesh forming process, download our Woven Wire, Fabricated Parts, and Customized Filters brochure here.
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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.