Spools The metal mesh begins as a 3-foot-diameter roll of stainless steel wire from a wire mill. The wire ranges from 4 gauge to 20 gauge.
Weaving The wire is threaded into a weaving machine. A crimp rod is produced by another machine and brought to the weaving area. At the machine, craftsmen hand-weave the crimp rod and wire together; they are responsible for the mesh assembly and for threading the machinery and keeping it running. Depending on the size of the job, this step can take days or weeks. Widths up to 120 inches can be produced in any length.
Trimming The mesh then moves to the finishing area where the stainless steel wire edge strands and crimp rods are meticulously hand-trimmed with power shears to prepare the woven metal for a welding process that results in a uniform edge. Because of the mesh variations and specificity required, this process cannot be done with a machine and can take several days, depending on the project’s size.
WeldingThe mesh is moved in rolls by forklift to a bullpen area where it is unrolled and placed between two drums in a long, uniform span. A craftsmanwho must be a certified welder with a technical degreethen welds the stainless steel wire and crimp rod together with a torch to create a smooth, permanent finish. Thousands of feet can be manufactured per day.
FasteningWhile the mesh is being woven and finished, the fabrication group builds the custom attachment systems used to mount the metal mesh on a building. These systems are engineered and built in-house based on structural and weight loads, and account for wind and ice. The two most common applications are metal fabric held in tension (common with flexible mesh), and panelized systems (common with rigid mesh).