Stainless steel is one of the most widely used alloys in the wire mesh industry. It provides a balance between performance and affordability that most filtering and screening operations consider to be advantageous.
But sometimes stainless steel is not necessarily the answer. We've written the following article to determine how brass and stainless steel compare so you can better understand which alloy is best for your needs.
Brass is classified as a copper alloy, a wire mesh alloy known for its copper and zinc composition. Since brass is classified according to its copper to zinc content ratio, we used a special brass constant of 85% copper and 15% zinc when weaving the wire mesh. This special brass composition enables the wire mesh to resist rusting.
When wire mesh first gained attention as a general-purpose screening and filtration medium, it was much less expensive than stainless steel. However, over time, brass wire mesh started to outsell stainless steel and is currently more expensive.
That said, there are still some beneficial qualities that can outweigh the cost disadvantages if used properly. Brass is a softer material and easier to form. When using fabricated wire mesh assemblies, this can prove increasingly beneficial as part designs become more complex. For this reason, brass has remarkable corrosion resistance. More specifically, brass is made of copper and zinc to withstand the corrosive effects of oxidation. One of the more unique qualities of brass is its ability to kill certain bacteria when they come into contact with the surface of the alloy. Specific ions from Cooper that impart these capabilities can stand out when applications require the use of hygienic materials.
Stainless steel is a metal alloy defined by the carbon content in its composition. It also contains chromium, which is added manually because it's not present in steel. Stainless steel is one of the most widely used alloys for woven wire mesh. As such, you will typically see the form of 300-series or 400-series stainless steel wire mesh.
It has been determined that inclusions of chromium need to be treated as stainless steel. That is, the presence of chromium moieties in its composition gives stainless steel remarkable corrosion resistance. This is especially true when exposed to alkaline and acidic environments in industrial environments. The presence of chromium also enables stainless steel to perform at high temperatures. Chromium helps it resist oxidation that often occurs in high temperature applications. Most importantly, however, stainless steel's durability is one of the drivers for its widespread use today. This means that regardless of whether your application exposes the mesh to high shocks, changing temperatures, etc., the mesh profile will hold for longer than other materials such as brass.
When designing a wire mesh solution, the alloy you use should be based on the alloy that best meets your operational needs. Since brass is so much softer than stainless steel, it will likely deteriorate faster. This means that if you are screening or filtering rough or abrasive materials, stainless steel may be a better choice. However, if your industry requires a specific level of sterilization, the germicidal properties of brass may be a better fit for your process. Now, in order to ensure that your wire mesh provides long-lasting filtration and screening, you must understand the various alloys that can be used to make wire mesh solutions.
At GOLDFLOWER, we understand that designing the best wire mesh can be a daunting task. We strive to use our years of experience to help you feel confident in the performance of your wire mesh. Please contact us for advice.