Woven wire mesh fences are strong and reliable.

Durable security: Making your mesh fence last longer

With its combination of strength and flexibility, woven wire mesh is a great material to use in fence projects whether they're commercial or domestic. However, you need to make sure the result is lasting.

Here are some tips on materials, designs and installation that will make your woven wire mesh fence more durable.

Locker Group has a variety of woven wire mesh products.Our fencing materials can be used for a variety of applications.

Why woven over welded?

Woven and welded wire mesh may look similar, but there is a key difference that comes in the manufacturing stage.

  • Woven wire mesh – Here the strands of wire are woven over and under each other, creating an interlocking sheet.
  • Welded wire mesh – In this instance, the criss-crossing wires are spot welded together where they intersect.

In a direct comparison, the joints on welded wire mesh fences make them stronger, so why are we advocating woven in this article?

The weaving process creates high tensile strength in the mesh, but crucially allows for a greater degree of bending than welding would. This means that woven wire is often favoured in applications such as animal or aviary enclosures, where it's handy for the fencing to have a bit of flexibility when withstanding pressure.

Finding the perfect metal

To get the longest life out of your woven wire fence, there are some important decisions to make regarding base materials.

At Locker Group, the most common metals we work with to create woven wire products are stainless steel, galvanised steel and brass. Let's have a look at how each would stand up to an outdoor application such as fencing:

  • Galvanised steel:

Here, steel is coated with a layer of zinc. This actually creates two extra layers of protection for the steel – the zinc itself, and a zinc oxide layer that forms naturally when this metal is exposed to air.

  • Stainless steel:

Stainless steel also has a reputation for being slow to rust. This is mainly thanks to a thin oxide layer that forms on the metal's surface, which acts as a barrier to the elements.

  • Brass:

As an alloy of copper and zinc, the corrosion resistance of brass depends on the ratio of these two elements. Generally, as the amount of zinc increases, the corrosion resistance decreases. Overall, brass is rust resistant, but will turn green when it reacts with air.

Of these options, brass is more likely to be used in decorative fencing, whereas galvanised and stainless steel tend to have more functional uses.

Animal fencing requires a degree of flexibility, which makes woven wire a great option.For external uses, such as animal fencing, you need to ensure your fence will stand up to the elements.

Are there different types of weave?

Yes there are, and choosing the right one is a key part of making your woven wire fence durable.

The most common type for fences and gates is known as a crimped screen. Crimping is a straightforward process in which the individual wires are specifically shaped to fit tightly together when weaving takes place.

This results in a particularly strong wire screen.

Installation tips

Even after thorough research, a rushed or poorly thought-out installation can make a woven wire fence far less effective than it should be.

Here are a few recommendations when it comes to erecting your fence:

1.Prepare and plan

Don't just head out with your posts and wire and start knocking things together at random.

The spacing of your posts will depend both upon the area in which you're working, and the purpose your fence will serve. Consulting with an expert is advisable, but a useful rule of thumb is that higher tensile strengths often call for greater spacing of posts.

2. Put some effort into the corner posts

Corner posts are integral to the overall strength of your fence, so make sure yours are pushed deep enough into the ground. This is especially true if you're working in soft soils.

Again, the exact depth will depend on the size of the post you're using, but some experts go as far as to say that the depth in the ground should be the same as, or greater than, the height of the top wire.

3. Build a strong brace

The brace is the diagonal post that helps prop up your fence, and takes a lot of the strain. Ensuring that yours is sturdy and properly placed will go a long way to helping your fence last.

Once your fence is up, that isn't the end of the story. Regular maintenance to the wires, posts and braces will greatly extend its overall life span.

Electropolishing can take your stainless steel products to the next level.

Why you should consider electropolished stainless steel

Stainless steel is one of our favourite metals to work with. It goes into some of our most popular products, including expanded metal, and its combination of strength, pleasing aesthetics and durability make it a great option for a wide range of different projects and applications.

However, if you want to take your product to the next level, you should consider investing in electropolished stainless steel. Let's have a look at how the electropolishing process works, and what it does to metals.

Electropolishing removes bumps and contaminants from the surface of metals.Electropolishing can be used to create a smooth surface on stainless steel.

A guide to electropolishing

Electropolishing, also known as reverse plating, works by removing material from the surface of a metal using an electrical current. It's important not to confuse this process with a similar one known as passivation – this technique also removes materials from the surface of metal, but does so using citric or nitric acid, rather than electricity.

To explain how electropolishing works, we'll use a sheet of stainless steel as an example. Here's the process, step by step:

  • Preparation – Before the electropolishing procedure begins, the sheet is prepared through degreasing/cleaning using an alkaline or other solvent, and heat oxides.
  • Immersion – The sheet is then plunged into a bath of electrolytes. The electrolytes themselves are usually phosphoric acid and sulphuric acid, and it's worth noting that the temperature of this bath is carefully monitored to achieve the desired results. A typical temperature could be anywhere between 40 and 76 degrees Celsius.
  • Electrification – An electrical current is then passed through the solution. The sheet metal itself acts as the anode (the positively charged electrical conductor), and the cathode (the negatively charged electrical conductor) is usually made from a material like titanium, which will not dissolve during the process.
  • Dissolving – As the current passes through the sheet metal, part of the surface of the metal is dissolved into the electrolyte bath.

The usual treatment time runs between two and 20 minutes, however the current will naturally become focused on rough edges or other projections, which leads to a smooth and even surface.

One of the benefits of electropolishing is that it allows very close control over how much of the metal surface is removed. This is achieved by altering the runtime of the process and the amp-minutes (how much electricity is passed through the sheet).

One of the benefits of electropolishing stainless steel is increasing its corrosion resistance.Electropolishing stainless steel improves its corrosion resistance.

The advantages of electropolishing stainless steel

1. Corrosion resistance

We highly recommend that any stainless steel products you plan to use for outdoor applications are electropolished to make them more resistant to corrosion. Because electropolishing removes the outer most layer of metal, it also removes embedded contaminants that can break up the surface and become hotspots for corrosion.

2. Aesthetic value

If you're thinking of using stainless steel perforated metal, there's a good chance this is because of its reputation for having a strong visual impact. However, electropolishing can take this a step further. Not only do you remove visible imperfections from the metal, by electropolishing you increase the reflectivity and smoothness of the surface.

Any stainless steel products placed outdoors should be electropolished to increase corrosion resistance.

3. Deburring

A burr is a ridge or edge created by the action of a machine or tool, these can become hindrances when working with the metal at later stages, and so should be removed.

As we mentioned earlier, protrusions become high-density areas for the electrical current in the electropolishing process, and so will be worn away quicker than other areas. This levels the surface and creates a smoother product for you to work with. Due to the fact that electropolishing isn't a mechanical process, removing burrs in this way doesn't risk distorting the product as a whole.

In a similar vein, if creating a uniform size is the priority, then the close control that comes with electropolishing can help to craft your products to your specifications.

4. Ease of cleaning

As well as contributing to the aesthetics, the superior microfinish that results from electropolishing can reduce adhesion to your product. This means you're likely to have less of a build up of scum and dirt, resulting in a surface that is easier to keep clean and hygienic. This is one of the reasons why electropolished stainless steel is often used in medical and food preparation scenarios.

Whatever use you have in mind for your stainless steel product, electropolishing can enhance the qualities of this already versatile and popular material. For more information on the process, or general metal enquiries, reach out to our team today.

What makes perforated metal environmentally friendly?

What makes perforated metal environmentally friendly?

Architects and industrial firms alike love to work with perforated metal. For the former, the control over perforation patterns can give a truly unique aesthetic to a building, while the anti-slip properties of perforated metal flooring means that it has all the bases covered when safety matters most.

But did you know that, in addition to the visual and practical advantages of this product, perforated metal is also environmentally friendly?

Let's find out how.

The materials and procedures used in manufacturing perforated metal are environmentally friendly.Perforated metal is an environmentally friendly product.

1. The materials

At Locker Group we can perforate just about any substrate presented to us, but two of the most common we use are aluminium and stainless steel. Both of these are great for the green manufacture of perforated metal.


This material is widely popular due to its high strength-to-weight ratio and versatility. However, other features of aluminium make it a great choice for the environmentally minded:

  • Its resilience – aluminium naturally reacts with oxygen and water to produce an oxide layer. This acts as a second skin on top of the aluminium itself to protect the metal from corrosion, which means products made from this material have a long life expectancy.
  • Its reusability –  aluminium is one of the most recycled materials in use today, according to The Aluminium Association. In fact, 75 per cent of the aluminium ever produced in the United States is still in use now. What's more, when aluminium is recycled it doesn't lose the properties that make it such a great construction material.

Aluminium and stainless steel are great for the green manufacture of perforated metal.

Stainless steel

Stainless steel also has a long life span, and again is easily recyclable. In any given stainless steel object, roughly 60 per cent of the mass comprises recycled materials, according to the British Stainless Steel Association (BSSA). This figure is only likely to continue to grow as stainless steel usage expands.

Even if stainless steel products do end up in landfill, the fact that they're not coated in any toxic material means there's no dangerous chemical runoff into the soil.  

Locker Group uses mainly aluminium and stainless steel for producing perforated metal.Aluminium and stainless steel make for eco-friendly base materials.

2. The manufacturing process

Machines involved in the mass production of perforated metal can punch at rates of 120 to 500 hits per minute, and so have the capability to make thousands of holes in next to no time.

All of the metal punched out of the sheet during perforation is melted down and used again.

You may be thinking, for a process that claims to be green, that's a lot of metal being pushed out that doesn't go into the finished piece. Fear not, at Locker Group, we hate waste.

We collect all of the metal removed from the original sheet and take it to a foundry where it's melted down so it can be used again. In the past, a significant amount of this recycled metal went into the manufacture of car parts, but now that's not such a big sector in Australia there are a multitude of other homes found. 

3. The finished build

One of the main reasons that architects in particular like to use perforated metal is that it gives buildings a natural feel. Perforated metal sheets from Locker Group simultaneously provide great shielding from strong rains and wind while enhancing natural light and air flow.

This can be seen at the Learning and Teaching building on the Clayton campus of Monash University. Here we supplied perforated metal with three different perforation profiles to create different visual effects, but also to allow those within the buildings to profit from the impressive windows that line the facade. 

However, this wasn't the only effect. By making the most of natural light and air flow in this way, you also take the pressure off lights and HVAC systems. 

Over 69 per cent of Australian households believe that air conditioning is the single largest contributor to their electricity bills, according to a survey by Canstar, so you can imagine how much power is consumed trying to keep commercial sized premises cool during the height of the Australian summer. By letting nature take care of some of the work for you, perforated metal will make your finished build more environmentally friendly. 

If you're interested in using perforated metal in your next architectural or industrial project, or want to know how you can make your processes more environmentally friendly, Locker Group is here to help.