Woven Wire vs Welded Wire Mesh: What’s the Best Molded Fiber Screen?
With an undeniable focus on going green all over the globe, the molded fiber industry is absolutely booming. From protective packaging for electronics to recyclable clamshell food containers, molded fiber is the unsung hero that will lead us to a cleaner, safer world.
Now, there are a handful of tools and materials that go into forming molded fiber products. Among these, screening materials, such as woven wire and welded wire mesh, are critical to the quality and performance of molded fiber.
This leaves us questioning what the differences are between the materials and which one makes more sense for you.
Here at W.S. Tyler, we leverage our 150 years of woven wire experience to create tailor-made solutions that will elevate the success of your molded fiber operation.
With that, we wrote the following article to compare and contrast woven wire mesh and welded wire mesh so you are better equipped to make the decisions needed to revolutionize your process. It will cover:
- The definition of woven wire mesh
- The definition of welded wire mesh
- The benefits of both woven wire mesh and welded wire mesh
- The disadvantages of both woven wire mesh and welded wire mesh
- Which material you should choose
What Is Woven Wire Mesh?
Woven wire is a versatile screening material created after hundreds of metal wires are interwoven using a weaving process similar to how fabrics are made. The grid-like profile of the material works to deliver a desirable balance of strength, flexibility, and precision, which makes it perfect for a wide range of applications.
What Is Welded Wire Mesh?
Welded wire mesh is a screening material created by laying metallic wires in a grid-like pattern and welding them together at each intersection. Outfitted with uniform openings, welded wire mesh is known for its increased strength, allowing it to excel in heavy-duty applications.
Something that stands out with welded wire mesh is that it is widely available coated or galvanized. This, alongside its durability, allows it to maintain its stability long-term.
Why Use Woven Wire Mesh?
When forming woven wire screens for molded pulp production, its flexibility is key. It allows the mesh to be manipulated to take on the form of intricate, detailed molds with ease.
This can be done while still delivering a smooth, high-quality surface.
Because of the profile of woven wire mesh, it has an increased percentage of open area. As a result, it offers efficient water drainage, which translates to a decreased amount of energy needed during the drying stages.
When you combine the flexibility of the mesh as well as the increased number of open area, you will find that woven wire mesh prevents the fibers of the pulp from blinding the mesh. Naturally, this means a reduction in costly maintenance and downtime.
Not to mention, customization options allow woven wire to be integrated into a wide range of applications.
The Disadvantages of Woven Wire Mesh
No matter what your operation looks like, finding materials that accommodate your budgetary restrictions is imperative. That said, one of the bigger concerns associated with woven wire is that it tends to be more expensive than welded wire mesh.
Another key disadvantage is that, while favorably flexible, it can be seen as less rigid than welded wire mesh. This becomes more true the finer the mesh specifications become.
This flexibility can also cause wire mesh screens to move in high-pressure molded pulp applications, especially if fabricated from low-quality alloys or using an unreliable weaving process. Additionally, this screen movement can cause faults in the woven wire much quicker than welded wire as well as mold inconsistencies.
It should also be noted that, because less durable and more flexible than welded wire mesh, woven wire can be more difficult to handle and install.
Why Use Welded Wire Mesh?
Welded wire mesh is dramatically more rigid than woven wire. This allows the material to maintain peak structural integrity in particularly taxing operations.
This rigidity is also translated into superior durability, ideal for high volumes of mechanical stress.
Another key advantage is its price point. Welded wire mesh is noticeably cheaper than woven wire mesh, making it a very budget-friendly option.
Because the welds create a permanent bond and the sheer rigidity of the wires, the mesh openings are, for the most part, fixed. This helps maintain consistent product quality, especially in high-volume production lines.
Something else of note is that the nature of welded wire mesh makes it easier to both handle and install. It won't require your staff to exercise extensive care, and its ability to hold its shape well means it should be relativity plug and play.
The Disadvantages of Welded Wire Mesh
The superior rigidity of welded wire mesh vastly limits its flexibility. This subsequently makes it extremely hard for the material to take on complex molds with intricate details and limits how far it can be deep drawn.
Deep drawing is a critical step when forming a molded fiber screen. Learn what the process entails in the article below:
The lack of flexibility can also make it easier for the pore openings to become clogged, hindering the drainage capacity of your operation. You will find that this causes an increased amount of time spent maintaining and cleaning your screens between cycles.
And while fundamentally more durable than woven wire, welded wire mesh can be vulnerable at each weld point. This is particularly true in more corrosive or humid operations.
The effect can be corrosion or even disconnects at the weaker wire intections.
Which Should I Use for My Molded Pulp Process: Welded Wire Mesh or Woven Wire Mesh?
The material you use to fabricate your molded pulp screens should be determined based on the needs of your process. Factors like budgetary restrictions, product thresholds, and operational capacities are things that should be taken into consideration.
If you require a material that delivers the flexibility to capture and transfer intricate designs with smoother finishes, woven wire mesh will best suit your needs. On the other hand, if your process favors cost-effectiveness and structural integrity over detail, welded wire mesh may be the better option.
Of course, if you are still undecided and need guidance, you can reach out to W.S. Tyler to receive insight into the ins and outs of how the different mesh variants impact the molded pulp industry.
Take Your Process to Greater Heights With the Right Wire Mesh Alloy
Woven wire mesh and welded wire mesh are both materials prominently used as molded fiber screens. Woven wire provides superior flexibility and is great for detailed molds, whereas welded wire mesh offers peak durability at a competitive price.
No matter what material you choose, it is critical that you take the time to understand what alloy to fabricate it out of. This knowledge will allow you to implement a solution that can provide longevity and results you can proudly stand behind.
Having been in the woven wire business for over 150 years, W.S. Tyler understands just how important quality screening material is to maintaining quality molds that will help keep the global green initiative moving forward.
Read the following article to gain insight into the different alloys used to fabricate modeled fiber screens:
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.