Batch Annealing vs. Continuous Annealing: Which Works Best?
Are you looking to implement wire mesh components and looking to understand how you can ensure the mesh maintains its form after dozens of uses? If so, you may want to instruct your wire mesh supplier to anneal your mesh before being fabricated.
As there are two primary forms of wire mesh annealing, we understand that determining which one is right for you can sometimes be challenging. This is why it's crucial that you understand both batch annealing and continuous annealing.
W.S. Tyler has been a leading manufacturer of woven wire mesh and fabricated wire mesh components for over 140 years and is here to help you to unlock the full potential of your wire mesh solution.
That's why in this article, we will be discussing:
- What batch annealing is
- The benefits and drawbacks of batch annealing
- What continuous annealing is
- The benefits and drawbacks of continuous annealing
- The cost differences between batch and continuous annealing
What Is Annealing?
Annealing is best defined as a heat treatment technique used to soften the individual wires of a wire mesh roll to increase the overall pliability of the mesh. After being annealed, you are left with a wire mesh roll with a lowered internal stress which allows it to be formed in various profiles and maintain its shape.
That said, annealing is broken down into two processes: batch annealing and continuous annealing.
What Is Batch Annealing?
The batch annealing furnace process is a heat treatment technique in which several rolls of wire mesh are loaded and dropped into a furnace at once. Once the mesh is placed in the furnace, it is sealed, and a vacuum is created.
At this point, the mesh is heated to a specific temperature and left to bake for a calculated time. To that end, batch annealing is typically left for 10 to 30 hours, but all depends on the customer's requirements.
What Are the Benefits and Drawbacks of Batch Annealing Your Mesh?
Batch annealing tends to make the metallic wires of the mesh softer than if they underwent the sintering process. This, in turn, results in a wire mesh roll that has enhanced drawing characteristics.
For this reason, the batch annealing furnace process is typically used when the wire mesh roll will be applied to low-end automated processes and various wire mesh components.
To that end, it should be noted that because the several mesh rolls are heat-treated simultaneously during batch annealing, it is not uncommon to detect inconsistencies throughout the mesh.
What Is Continuous Annealing?
The continuous annealing process is a heat treatment technique that calls for the unrolling of the wire mesh roll and running it through a furnace as a single layer. To ensure the wire mesh is effectively treated, the mesh is typically run through several times depending on the customer's requirements.
What Are the Benefits and Drawbacks of Continuous Annealing Your Mesh?
As continuous annealing is a progressive process with little to no disparity, it proves to be the quicker of the two annealing processes. The increased level of physical characteristics makes the continuous annealing process for wire mesh intense automated processing.
Additionally, as continuous annealing is more controlled, it typically is less harsh on the mesh being treated, thus making it ideal when finer mesh specifications are being used.
How Do the Two Compare in Price?
The most significant factor the divides the cost of continuous and batch annealing is labor. In other words, the more labor needed to heat-treat your mesh, the most it will cost.
To that end, there is typically more labor required during the continuous annealing process, especially considering only one roll can be heat treated at a time. This, in turn, makes it more expensive.
That said, the fact that several rolls of mesh can be heat treated during a single heat treatment reduces the labor needed to conduct a batch annealing process. This is why batch annealing is typically cheaper.
Having said that, the price of the heat treatment should not be the deciding factor of what annealing process you select. It should be the desired hardness level of the mesh.
For a softer, more malleable mesh, batch annealing should be applied. For a mesh that is pliable while still maintaining a higher level of stability, continuous annealing is the ideal annealing process.
Ensure Maximum Performance With Value Added Services
Having your woven wire mesh annealed is an ideal heat treatment process when molding your mesh into a customized fabricated component. Whether you have your mesh batch annealed are continuous annealed depends on the hardness and pliability you want your mesh to have.
But heat treatment is just one of many value-added services you must explore when implementing woven wire mesh. Having said that, understanding what can be done you mesh once it's woven is key to maximizing its effectiveness.
After 140 years of weaving wire mesh, W.S. Tyler continues to find innovative ways to help customers make the most out of their wire mesh solutions and achieve optimal results.
Read the following article to learn everything you need to know about what value-added services you should consider applying to your wire mesh solution:
About Eric Himes
Eric is the sales manager of industrial woven wire mesh goods with a passion for helping customers leverage the many capabilities of woven wire mesh. As he continues to learn the ins and outs of wire mesh he is determined to help you implement a solution that is tailored to your exact needs.