Wire gauze is a woven type of wire fabric with a weave structure where warp and weft yarns cross each other by going beneath and over the top of each wire like a wave in a repetitive order. The pairs of yarns keep each other firmly in place while still remaining an open weave, still rigid but also flexible. This leads to various advantages for particular applications and industries where wire gauze is a crucial part within the manufacturing process or end product.
Wire gauze uses
The wire gauze uses can vary a great deal depending on the type of market, industry and application. Various common wire gauze purposes and industrial applications are distinguished below:
- Filtration: Wire gauze can be utilized as a filter for a wide range of liquid substances to separate contaminated liquids from the to be processed liquid products. This enables manufacturers within e.g. the food-, chemical-, waste- and pharmaceutical industry to end up with a clear product. Generally filters look like (round) screens, socks and cylindrical shapes.
- Sieving: The less dense type of wire gauzes can be utilized as sieves to separate the required elements from the unwanted particles. Strictly a sieve can be considered as a large coarse filter, only the particles which need to be separated are a lot bigger in size compared to fluids. Typical markets for wire gauze sieves are for instance the mining-, food- and minerals industry. Most of those wire gauze sieves looks like big (vibrating) screens and nets.
- Filter belts: Wire gauze materials can also be manufactured into finished conveyor belts for filtration, dewatering and draining purposes. The porosity of these type of filter belts determines the output of the belt in terms of liquids and solids. Some types of filter belts are used in filter belt presses for water purification purposes to separate sludge from liquids at municipal water treatment plants. Other types of filter belts are wire gauze belts which are applied in the food industry to drain food products like soft cheeses or to squeeze fruits between two filter belts to gain fruit juice for instance. Most wire gauze filter belts are made out of synthetics like polyester and polypropylene.
- Drying belts: Wire gauze materials can also be converted into drying belts for various types of industries within the food and non-food sector. The filtermat spray dryer is an example of an application with a synthetic wire gauze drying belt in the food industry. This type of installations dries foods like milk powder, fruit powder but also pet food for instance. Metal wire gauze belts are usually used in furnaces at higher temperatures where stainless steel is the common standard to withstand local severe circumstances in the drying installation.
- Vacuum belts: Many wire gauzes are manufactured into vacuum belts to transport goods through the factory for conveyance purposes or to process various goods. Some examples of processed goods on those type of wire gauze vacuum belts are hygienic disposables and packaging products. Wire gauzes are very efficient when utilized as vacuum belts since the under pressure secures the products firmly on the belt due to the high air permeability, goods can then be processed at high speeds.
- Faraday cage: Wire gauze can also function as a Faraday cage. This is a wire mesh enclosure made of electrically conductive material (like copper). A Faraday cage is used to block electric fields from the outside environment, such a cage is mostly applied in situations where sensitive electronic equipment needs to be protected from external radio frequency interference.
- Architectural: Stainless steel wire gauze can also be applied as architectural wire mesh for façade decoration. This material can be mounted on walls to give buildings a sleek design.
Wire gauze characteristics
Wire gauze has several beneficial properties which are difficult to replace by other/substitute goods and is sometimes even irreplaceable, so wire gauze determines the outcome of many manufacturing processes. Some important characteristics are:
- Air permeability
- The air permeability of wire gauze is a very important property for manufacturers for drying belts (the porosity of the belt is used to push an air flow through the belt) or creating a vacuum under the wire gauze to process goods at high speeds on vacuum belts.
- Liquid permeability
- The liquid permeability of wire gauze is important for filtration or dewatering purposes, this enables the manufacturer to separate solids from liquids.
- Strong, thin and flexible
- Wire gauze can be manufactured with very thin wires but the strength will still be significant. Some polyester wire gauze belts are even able to go over nosebars/pulleys of approximately 10mm in diameter, thus those type of materials can also be very flexible.
- Chemical resistance
- The chemical resistance really depends on the type of material used. For instance: stainless steel wire gauze is corrosion resistant and polypropylene wire gauze is resistant to highly aggressive chemicals and acids.
- Copper wire gauze and polyester wire gauze with carbon wires can function as an anti-static conveyor belt.