Ronnie Brown

By: Ronnie Brown on May 3rd, 2024

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Understanding the Benefits of Calendering Screen Printing Wire Mesh

Wire Mesh | screen printing

Screen printing, known to some as silkscreening or serigraphy, can be traced back to ancient China, where it was used to decorate luxury fabrics. Today, it is used to fabricate solar panels, labeled bottles, circuit boards, and much more.

Now, countless screen media can be used to facilitate the screen printing process. As time goes on, woven wire mesh is becoming more prominent in the industry as it offers a list of benefits that stand out amongst smiler materials.

However, to achieve accurate and repeatable prints, you must take the time to explore the technicalities of the various post-weaving techniques, such as calendering.

W.S. Tyler has had a hand in helping customers perfect the way they use woven wire mesh for over 150 years and is here to help you leverage the material to print perfection.

This is why we wrote the following article highlighting the impact calendering your screen printing wire mesh can have on your operation. It covers:

  • The definition of screen printing wire mesh
  • How wire mesh fits in the screen printing process
  • The definition of calendering
  • The benefit of calendering your screen printing wire mesh
  • The drawback of not calendering your screen printing wire mesh


What Is Screen Printing Wire Mesh?

Screen-Printing-MeshScreen printing wire mesh is a woven wire mesh consisting of hundreds of metallic wires woven in the vertical and horizontal directions. A heavily monitored weaving technique is applied to ensure precise mesh openings that facilitate accurate and repeatable prints.

Parameters including mesh count, wire diameter, weave pattern, alloy, and thickness can all be customized, creating a tailor-made experience. That said, screen printing wire mesh is predominantly classified by its mesh count, as this will control how well it performs.


The Importance of Mesh Count

In the world of wire mesh mesh count refers to the number of openings in a linear inch of the weave. It is critical that this particular parameter is methodically calculated based on your operation, as it directly impacts the flow of ink.

Higher mesh counts imply that the pore openings are much smaller, granting the ability to transfer fine and highly detailed imagery. Naturally, lower mesh counts have larger pore openings that host the ability to lay bold designs with thick layers of ink.


For more information about selecting the right mesh count for your screen printing wire mesh, read the following article:


How Does Wire Mesh Benefit the Screen Printing Process?

Creating a high-performing screen printing process requires you to focus on three main areas: screen longevity, ink flow, and heat/chemical resistance. Known for its enhanced durability, optimal consistency, and environmental sustainability, woven wire mesh offers substantial benefits to screen printing.

For example, wire mesh can be woven using a wide range of metallic alloys. Regardless of which alloy you choose, the metal composition makes it more resistant to everyday wear than materials like nylon and silk.

This, in turn, allows wire mesh to last longer, even when working with more abrasive inks or increased print volume. The metallic makeup of woven wire also means it can withstand harsh environments, combating ill effects from varying temperatures and harsh chemicals.

As wire mesh is meticulously woven to ensure precise and uniform pore openings, ink flow is controlled and consistent. With refined precision, you can achieve accurate and repeatable print, capturing every detail.

Additionally, the characteristics of wire mesh enable it to maintain the tension needed to produce consistent prints, more so than other screening materials used within the industry. The material's conductivity also works to prevent static interference.

Not to mention, wire mesh can be recycled, helping you create a more sustainable operation.


What Does It Mean to Calendar Screen Printing Wire Mesh?

As stated above, woven wire mesh is created by interweaving hundreds of metal wires, forming one of many weave patterns. As a result, slightly protruded knuckles are created at each wire cross-section.

These knuckles can cause kinks in your screen printing process, so calendering may be required.


Calendering is a post-weaving process used to flatten the cross-section knuckles throughout a given weave. It involves running your wire mesh through two heated rollers that compress the knuckles as the mesh passes.

The resulting effect is a weave that feathers a smooth surface and a uniform mesh thickness.


Take a deep dive into the calendering process in the following article:


Why Calendar Screen Printing Wire Mesh?

Calendering your screen printing wire mesh can significantly improve your screen printing process. First and foremost, by compressing the knuckles, you create a mesh surface that is vastly smoother and uniform.

This ensures an even distribution of ink and reduces the squeegee's wear and tear. The improved ink distribution also allows for the capture of finer details, aiding in the creation of sharper imagery.

The smoother surface also enhances ink flow, which works to reduce waste.

When it comes to mesh thickness, calndering wire mesh creates a more uniform thickness. By creating a more uniform thickness, you create a wire mesh screen that holds uniform tension for consistent prints.

In other words, calendering screen printing wire mesh makes a notable impact on the efficiency of your process.

Learn everything you need to know about woven wire mesh

What Happens if I Don’t Calender My Screen Printing Wire Mesh?

Calendering screen printing wire mesh has a handful of benefits, but pitfalls are naturally associated with skipping this process.

One of the more concerning pitfalls is the risk of uneven ink distribution. Failing to calendar your mesh can cause blotchy prints that become more prominent as the imagery gets more detailed.

Neglecting to calender your screen printing wire mesh can also lead to an increased consumption of ink. The rough surface created by the unflattened knuckles demands more ink to be used to achieve quality prints.

With that in mind, screen printing with wire mesh that has not been calendered can affect print clarity.

And lastly, the uneven surface of uncalendared mesh can subject both your mesh and squeegee mechanism to premature wear and tear. This will ultimately result in increased maintenance costs and downtime.


Ensure You Are Using the Right Screen Printing Techniques

Calendering is post-weaving process used to flatten the knuckles at every wire intersection throughout a piece of woven wire mesh. When applied to screen printing wire mesh, calendering works to create wire mesh with a smooth surface, enhance print quality, improve ink flow, and ensure the mesh thickness is uniform.

Once you iron out the details surrounding the design of your screen printing wire mesh, you will need to focus on what screen printing best suits your needs. It is critical to understand that there are several ways to carry out the screen printing process, each with its own designated purpose and a set list of pros and cons.

With over 150 years of wire weaving experience, allow W.S. Tyler to serve as an extension of your team that helps you develop a seamless screen printing process that allows you to focus on improving other aspects of your organization.

Read the following article to learn everything you need to know about the critical screen printing techniques and how woven wire mesh plays a role in each one:

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.