Resources

Thank you for visiting our Resources page, where you’ll find articles and information to help you better understand our custom wire basket products and how we work. If you have a question and you don’t find the answer here, please call us, email us, or submit your question through our Request Contact form, and we’ll respond within 24 hours.

Need a quote?

We can deliver your quote with a drawing within one week and we deliver a same-day response to customer inquiries.

Wire Mesh Glossary

Cross wires are laid on top of long wires and are resistance welded together at each intersection creating very even square openings. Welded mesh is more rigid (less flexible) than woven wire mesh. Typically welded wire mesh is 4 mesh or larger (4 wires to the inch or less), and is .047” diameter wire or greater.
Wires are woven, over-under-over-under, to create mesh that is more flexible than welded mesh. This flexibility allows woven mesh to be formed into one-piece bowls or pans. There is also an almost unlimited selection of woven wire mesh sizes and wire diameters.
All wire meshes are designated by a “Mesh Number” (number of wires per inch) and a “Wire Diameter” (the diameter of each wire).
Example: 4 mesh x 0.063″ woven wire has 4 wires per inch (in both directions) and each wire is 0.063″ in diameter.
The opening size of any mesh is approximately 1/(Mesh Number) minus (Wire Diameter).
Example: the openings in 4 mesh x 0.063″ woven wire are (1/4 – 0.063) or (.250-0.063) = 0.187

Need a quote?

We can deliver your quote with a drawing within one week and we deliver a same-day response to customer inquiries.

Stainless or Carbon Steel?

Selecting a Wire Basket Base Material

Selecting a base material for a custom wire basket design is a trade-off between different material characteristics: weight versus strength, cost versus corrosion resistance, etc. We strive to optimize these trade-offs by thoroughly understanding each material’s strengths and weaknesses to create the best balance for each application. Below is an overview of the design characteristics for some of the materials we typically use.

These are our most commonly used materials. Other options are available.

Strong and inexpensive, readily available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and easy to form and weld. Very limited corrosion resistance in natural finish. It can be plated or powder coated for some additional corrosion protection but is generally not recommended for wet locations or ultrasonic or aqueous cleaning applications. Carbon steel is a great choice for manual solvent cleaning, oil dipping, and indoor material handling applications.
The most common of the industrial stainless steel grades. It’s readily available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, relatively easy to form and weld. Good high temperature strength to 1200°F. Good corrosion resistance in wet and mildly caustic environments. Can be powder coated for added part protection. Electropolishing is recommended for all ultrasonic applications.
Slightly stronger, better corrosion resistance and better high temperature strength than 304 stainless. Available in most shapes. Still relatively easy to form and weld. Good high temperature strength to 1600°F. Good corrosion resistance in salt water and acidic and alkaline environments. Can be powder coated for added part protection. Electropolishing is recommended for all ultrasonic applications.
Better high temperature strength than 304 and 316 stainless. Limited selection of shapes available. Higher nickel content makes it more difficult to form and weld. Good high temperature strength to 2200°F. Good corrosion resistance in acidic and alkaline environments.
An unlimited number of other metals are available with enhanced properties for greater strength, lighter weight, better corrosion resistance, etc.

Need a quote?

We can deliver your quote with a drawing within one week and we deliver a same-day response to customer inquiries.

Wire Basket Linings

Wire Mesh, Perforated Metal, and Expanded Metal

Most wire baskets are lined with either woven wire mesh, welded wire mesh, expanded metal, or perforated steel. Each wire basket lining material has distinct advantages and disadvantages.

Wire Mesh

Wire Mesh is designated by a “Mesh Number” (number of wires per inch) and a “Wire Diameter” (the diameter of each wire). The opening size is approximately 1/(Mesh Number) minus (Wire Diameter).

Three M Tool Stainless Parts Cleaning Basket
Three M Tool Heavy Duty Wire Mesh Stainless Steel Basket
Three M Tool Heavy Duty Wire Mesh Baskets

Wire Mesh

Wire Mesh is designated by a “Mesh Number” (number of wires per inch) and a “Wire Diameter” (the diameter of each wire). The opening size is approximately 1/(Mesh Number) minus (Wire Diameter).

Perforated Metal

Three M Tool Stainless Parts Cleaning Basket

Perforated Metal is solid sheet metal with typically round holes punched in even rows. Hole diameters are rarely smaller than the material thickness. Perforated metals are designated by hole diameter, hole spacing, and material thickness. Readily available in carbon and 304 stainless steel, with limited sizes in other materials

This is the best lining choice for a very smooth surface, but typically has less open space than wire mesh or expanded metal.

Expanded Metal

Expanded Metal is solid sheet metal that is slit and pulled open (expanded) to create a sheet of diamond shaped openings. Designated by diamond size and material thickness. Expanded metal as an effective industrial basket lining should have supporting perimeter frames or protective U-edging on all exposed edges. Expanded metal is a low cost material, but quite often the added difficulties in basket fabrication will offset any material savings.

Need a quote?

We can deliver your quote with a drawing within one week and we deliver a same-day response to customer inquiries.

Surface Finish Options for Custom Wire Baskets

Custom wire basket designs have several surface finish options available to improve the performance of the wire basket. There are finishes to improve the corrosion resistance of the base material, and there are a range of coatings available to protect the parts from scratches. Below is an overview of design characteristics for some of the finishes and coatings we typically use in our custom wire baskets.

These are common processes used for wire baskets. Many other options are available.

Baskets have the natural condition of the base material with no additional processing. The baskets are generally clean to the touch but may have a very small amount of residue from the manufacturing process and there may be some discoloration around welds. Natural finish baskets are entirely appropriate for most industrial manufacturing applications. Natural finish Carbon steel baskets are suitable for solvent cleaning, oil dipping and indoor material handling applications. Stainless Steel baskets with a natural finish are still corrosion resistant.
(Stainless Steel Baskets only) Stainless Steel baskets are dipped into a tank of acid and an electrical charge passes thru the baskets to drive off all the free iron and other impurities from the top layer of material, leaving the surface very rich in nickel and chrome. The resulting surface is very smooth and hard, and very shiny. Electropolishing further improves the corrosion resistance of stainless steel baskets. Electropolishing is recommended for any ultrasonic cleaning applications.
(Stainless Steel Baskets only) Passivation is very similar to electropolishing, stainless baskets are dipped into a tank of acid but no electrical charge is used. Passivation is less aggressive at removing impurities than electropolishing and is rarely used as a surface finish for stainless steel baskets.
Electroplating with zinc, nickel or chrome adds some corrosion protection to carbon steel baskets. We make high volume zinc plated tote baskets but for most custom baskets Stainless Steel only) Passivation is very similar to electropolishing, stainless baskets are dipped into a tank of acid but no electrical charge is used. Passivation is less aggressive at removing impurities than electropolishing and is rarely used as as surface finish for stainless steel baskets

Need a quote?

We can deliver your quote with a drawing within one week and we deliver a same-day response to customer inquiries.

Special Surface Coatings applied Over Base Materials

Whenever custom wire baskets need to hold parts with polished or delicate surfaces, we protect the parts by using various coatings to “soften” the surfaces of the stainless steel baskets. We never recommend powder coating a mild steel basket hoping the coating will protect the basket from rust. At some point, the coating will develop a pinhole or small scratch exposing the mild steel which will rust very quickly and blister off the surrounding coating. We only recommend powder coating stainless steel baskets.
Nylon is an extremely versatile coating for parts washing baskets. Nylon 11 creates a soft surface to protect parts while still having good abrasion resistance. Nylon has good resistance to Salt water, Hydrocarbons, Solvents, Acids, Salts, and Alkalis. Nylon 11 coated wire baskets can withstand working temperatures up to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Typically, we use Black Nylon 11 for our custom baskets, but other colors are available.
In custom baskets that need to hold parts with sharp corners or baskets with high wear areas, we use snap on UHMW to cover the critical basket rods. The UHMW Snap up covers are thicker and softer than powder coating and are very easily replaced if they wear through. UHMW is not as chemical resistant as Nylon, and should not be subjected to sustained temperatures above 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
Several other powder coatings are commonly used on custom stainless steel baskets for more extreme applications, call us to discuss the best solution for your project.
Halar coating is actually the brand name for ethylene chlorotrifluoroethylene, or ECTFE. It has high impact strength, it is resistant to concentrated chemicals, and has a wide working temperature range (-105 degrees Fahrenheit to 300 degrees Fahrenheit). Halar is “better” than Nylon 11 for industrial baskets, but powder coating baskets with Halar is much more expensive than powder coating baskets with Nylon 11. We only recommend Halar coating stainless steel baskets for extreme applications.
Plastisol is applied to baskets by a dipping process that coats surfaces with a thick very soft vinyl coating. A wide variety of colors are available. In general, vinyl coatings have limited chemical, heat or abrasion resistance. Industrial baskets only get Plastisol coatings to improve the grip of handles, for process identification or cosmetic reasons only.

Need a quote?

We can deliver your quote with a drawing within one week and we deliver a same-day response to customer inquiries.

Send Us A Message

"*" indicates required fields

Name*