Galvanized After Wire Mesh – Alloy Overview
Galvanized after wire mesh, also called hardware cloth, is manufactured by taking (usually) low carbon steel wire mesh and galvanizing (zinc coating) it following weaving or welding. This process differs from the galv before wire mesh production process where strands of low carbon steel wire are first galvanized and then woven or welded together into mesh. While galv after wire cloth is slightly more expensive than galv before, it offers better corrosion resistance, especially when welded material is used in outdoor settings. This is because the protective zinc coating is burnt off when galv before material is welded together, leaving its weld joints exposed and unprotected. When woven together, galv before offers similar levels of corrosion protection as galv after.
The two common processes used to apply the zinc coating to the low carbon steel wire mesh are electrogalvanizing and hot-dip galvanizing. Electrogalvanizing bonds a layer of zinc to the steel via electroplating, while hot-dip galvanizing requires immersing the steel in an ~850°F bath of molten zinc to form the bond. The benefit of the electrogalvanizing process is that it allows for thinner zinc deposits to achieve improved corrosion resistance. The benefit of the hot-dip galvanizing process is that it allows for a zinc coating 5-10 times thicker than the electrogalvanizing process, and thus offers superior corrosion resistance. As the hot-dip galvanizing process will fill-in the cloth openings in fine wire mesh, electrogalvanizing is the process of choice for galv after wire cloth with 10 or more wires per lineal inch.
Additionally, galv after wire cloth can be protected with epoxy coatings, PVC/vinyl coatings, and our electrostatic application of powder coating. Some characteristics of galvanized after wire cloth which dictate its use are:
- Usually low carbon plain steel alloy.
- Relatively low cost and high strength material.
- Magnetic in all conditions.
- Improved corrosion resistance vs. low carbon steels.
- Longer outdoor lifetime vs. galvanized before wire mesh.
- Protective coatings can be applied to further improve resistance.
- Can be cut, formed, and welded.
Industries & Applications
Galvanized after wire mesh is used across a wide array of various industries and applications due to its relatively low cost, high strength, and good corrosion resistance. Some of the industries and applications which commonly use galv after wire mesh include: