Would You Rather Get What You Want Or Search ‘Close Enough’ Alternatives?

Source: www.mcmaster.com, Sept. 8, 2020

 

Have you ordered from an industrial supply site, such as Fastenal, McMaster Carr, or Grainger?  Do you use these catalog sites to purchase your wire mesh baskets?   If you do, you are most likely accepting an alternative to what you really want and spending way too much valuable time searching for that ‘ok fit’ alternative to what you need.

As an engineer or production leader, you understand your application and process, knowing best the dimensions, material, and mesh sizing you need!  Why would you use that specific knowledge to then go to a bulk listing website choosing the closest thing that fits!

Don’t choose the best alternative, choose what you need and get your basket made to your specifications from AnySizeBasket.com  Our website was designed to simplify searching multiple sites to compare and hope to find what you need.  AnySizeBasket.com offers you your basket in the material and size you need.

Workmanship is core to our Made in the USA baskets.  We take pride in using quality materials and producing each basket to specification using good manufacturing best practices.  Some of the inventory that you find on the large catalog sites could come with an attractive price but for what cost on quality.  Squared, matching, and correct dimensions are expected from any basket – as seen below, this may not be the case.

Source: ww.GlobalIndustrial.com, Sept. 8, 2020

 

You may need to wait for up to two-weeks to get the exact basket, but it will be what you need built to be a durable product for years.    If you need it right away, our site does offer limited sizes ready to ship!  When using the catalog sites, we warn not to believe that ‘in-stock’ means you are getting it next day… One of our customers bought from us after having this negative experience when buying a basket from a large catalog site which was said to be in-stock.  There is experience was that shortly after ordering the catalog website sent another email stating that their ordered in-stock product would be delayed almost two-weeks – not exactly, in-stock.

Source: Client email from Global Industrial, May 2020.

 

In short, ensure you get what you want and not what ‘might fit’ your need… Go with AnySizeBasket.com.

Keep Your Parts Safe – Understanding Mesh Size options

It is probably a good assumption that you are looking to buy a wire mesh basket to hold some sort of part.  The most important aspect of the basket is to hold and protect those parts through your operations and therefore, the Lining or Mesh option selection is a critical step to accomplish part protection.

Wire mesh can come in almost infinite combinations.  But thankfully, we at AnySizeBasket.com have used our many years of manufacturing experience and only made available selections that best match industry standards, commonly-used, and application specific mesh for each style of basket.  Use the info (?) pop-up button on each page to get to a link or bring up a picture of each available mesh/lining option on this site. Mesh lining

We can do other mesh options/sizes as a custom basket, contact us if you need such an option.

How To Decode Wire Mesh Nomenclature

First, we need to understand the mesh construction. There are two constructions: welded and woven.

Welded Wire Mesh: Cross wires are laid on top of long wires and are resistance welded together at each intersection creating very even square openings.

    • Welded mesh usually has larger opening sizes
    • Welded creates one even surface size, as all wires are straight and on the same plane
    • Welded can have heavier wire gauge and typically the more rigid mesh option

Woven Wire Mesh: Wires are woven, over-under-over-under, to create the mesh.

    • Woven is much more flexible
    • Woven is great for one-piece construction of pans, bowls, or frame-less baskets
    • It woven construction creates a bumpy surface feel, but allows for smaller openings.

Next we need to understand the numbers in the mesh naming: Let’s take 4 Mesh x 0.047″ woven.
The first number, “Mesh Number”, outlines the number of wires per inch.  Thus, 4 Mesh has 4 wires per inch, in both directions.
The second number, “Wire Diameter”, states the size or diameter of the wire used to construct the woven or welded pattern.  In our example, our wire has a diameter of 0.047″.

Lasting, the Mesh Opening Size (the holes) can be calculated by understanding the mesh size numbers listed above.  So, with some simple math you can get to your opening size.  Opening size of any mesh is approximately 1 inch / Mesh Number minus Wire Diameter.
                   Opening size = 1/(Mesh Number) minus (Wire Diameter).
In our example, the opening size is 1/4 – .047″ or .25-.047 =  0.203″. 

Now…

What Size Mesh should I use?

Consider the following factors to make the best choice for your application:

  • Opening Size: This is the approximate size of the square hole between the mesh wires.  The opening size should be slightly smaller than the smallest part dimension.  Obviously, if the mesh opening size is bigger than the parts, the parts will poke thru or fall out.  On the other hand, if the mesh opening size is needlessly small, flow thru the basket will be diminished.
  • Open Space Percentage: Wire mesh is used to keep something on one side while letting something else flow thru.  Open Percentage measures the portion  of surface area that is open, not blocked by the wires.  The higher the Open Percentage, the better the flow.  In general, wire mesh is more open that perforate metal for the same opening size (because the wires between the holes are thinner than the web in perforated metal)
  • Wire Mesh Size Designations:  Let’s take a deeper look at the effects of the mesh construction.
    • Design Effects of Mesh Number (wires per inch): The Mesh Number describes how close the wires are to each other.  A higher Mesh Number means the wires are tighter together, the Opening Size is smaller and the Open Percentage is lower (assuming the same wire diameter).  Tightly spaced wires (higher Mesh Number) using large diameter wires creates a mesh that is extremely rigid and heavy, but expensive and difficult to work with.    The opposite is also not desirable.  Widely spaced wires (lower Mesh Number) using small diameter wires creates a mesh that can be difficult to work with because it’s too flimsy and the wires shift within the weave.
    • Design Effects of Wire Diameter: The diameter of the wire used in the mesh contributes to the strength, rigidity, and weight of the mesh.  Large diameter wires (over 0.080″) make very strong mesh, but can make a basket very heavy.  Smaller diameter wires (under 0.020″) are light and very easy to work with, but can tear easily if parts are heavy with sharp corners or points.

Selecting a Mesh Size: A good rule is to start by looking for an Opening Size that will properly contain your parts, then search for the largest Open Percentage near or slightly smaller than that opening size, keeping an eye on the wire diameters of the mesh (larger is stronger but heavier)

American Manufacturing – Any Size Basket Made In The USA.

US ManufacturingOur baskets are all made in York, Pennsylvania, USA.  Three M Tool, the parent company for AnySizeBasket, was established in 1946 and has been proudly employing US workers for over 70 years.  The manufacturing history of York, PA and Three M Tool is one of strength and adaptation to customer needs.

Our Heritage

Three M Tool was established as a result of the manufacturing expansion that took place in the early 1940’s in York, PA due to the founding of The York Plan by many manufacturers.  The York Plan become a national model on how manufacturers could work together to solve customer demands, in this case a need for ammunition, vehicles, and supplies for the Allies of WWII.  This growth in manufacturing allowed our founders to establish a stamping company.  A main early product were stamped metal spools supplied to the local chain manufacturing companies in the area such as American Chain and Cable Company (ACCO).  Since this time, Three M Tool has been innovating and responding to customer demands, which has lead us to add the capabilities to make wire mesh baskets since start of the 2000’s.

Our Workmanship

Any Size Basket made from this site is manufactured from the highest quality US steel and mesh.  Our workers are trained and tested in the certified weld practices, with standardized settings and testing during the weld process.  We guarantee our workmanship.

Our Process 

All wire mesh baskets start from a spool of wire rod.  This rod is straightened and formed into the base size frame for either your round  or rectangular shape.  The rod frame and handles are formed on computer-controlled bending machine allowing us to fabricate the unique size you require.  Each wire frame and support rods are TIG welded together to form the outer rod construction of the basket.  Rod size is determined base on the overall width and length of the basket, heavy wire sizes for longer spans.
Once the external wire frame is welded, the mesh lining is formed and resistance welded onto the frame.  To ensure no sharp edges and a good usable finish, the entire basket is completely deburred to remove sharp edges and weld spatter while blending smooth the edges.   At this point the basket would be quality checked to the print and either shipped or sent to get final finishing options.   Want to learn more on our process and capabilities, watch this video.

AnySizeBasket.com and Three M Tool are proud to supply USA made basket and jobs.

 

Metal Finishing – It’s Not All About The Look.

Choosing the base material for the construction of your wire mesh basket is a great start, but for each base material, whether stainless steel or carbon steel, there is a choice of finishing options.  A finish is usually a coating or chemical process which changes the surface and look of your basket.   Although, the finish does have a visual effect on each product, the coating or finish is more about function then look.  In most cases, a finishing adds greater protection or enhanced properties to the base material to best effect the durability and increase the usable life of your wire baskets.

In reviewing the environmental conditions which helped to determine the base material construction, if your basket is going into a corrosive environment it may be best to further protect the metal with a finish.  The two main finishing options on AnySizeBasket.com are Natural and Electropolished.  For a few of our products, there is a third option of Zinc plating as used on our Tote Baskets (our totes are a great economical basket line for heavy-duty part storage).

metal finish on baskets

Natural Finish

Sometimes you need a finish and other times you don’t – natural is your choice if the base qualities of the metal is sufficient protection for your application.  Go natural for bare metal.   Stainless steel has great corrosive protection and resists rust or pitting, thus it is a great option for a natural finish as it holds up in function and look.

Natural Finish is the natural condition of the base material without any second processing. The baskets will be generally clean, but may have a slight brown discoloration around welds and/or very light process oils remaining on the surface.

Electropolished Finish

Electropolishing is a finishing process that is about removal of material instead of addition of a coating.  Electropolishing is a process that removes surface impurities by stripping away a uniform layer of surface material.  Electropolishing is done on our stainless steel baskets. It is a process where the entire fabricated basket is immersed in electrically charged acid to drive off any surface impurities and any “free iron ions”. With the free iron removed, the top molecular layers of the stainless steel are very dense with chrome and nickel. This makes the surfaces very smooth, very clean, with improved corrosion resistance. The process leaves the part smoother and visually brighter, but again the main reason for electropolish is function not look.  After processing the part is free of contaminants, heat marks, scale, machine burrs or weld impurities.

The main benefits to electropolishing are improved corrosion resistance and a clean surface less susceptible to attract bacteria or impurities.    These benefits are why electropolished baskets are recommended for any ultrasonic cleaning and vapor degreasing applications.   Industry uses for electropolished wire mesh baskets include but not limited to medical, biochemical, pharmaceutical, and food and beverage.

If you are all about the look, Electropolished is the shiniest and brightest finish offered. The finish will stay bright and last through the life of the basket.

Zinc Plating

The finish option of zinc plating is offered on carbon steel to protect the surface from rust.  The only baskets on AnySizeBasket.com which are offered with zinc plating are our Tote Baskets.  This coating is an economical way to better protect carbon steel.

Other Coatings

For part protection and look, some baskets may need to be coated with Black Nylon or Teflon to avoid metal contact.  Three M Tool, the parent organization of AnySizeBasket.com, offers these coatings on our engineered solutions.  Please contact us to discuss your specific coating or finish needs.

Material Selection – Which Metal Do I Need?

Selecting the base material for your wire mesh basket

Material selection will be a core decision in designing your specific wire mesh basket.  AnySizeBasket.com offers three base materials: Carbon Steel, 304 Stainless Steel, and 316 Stainless Steel.   The Material selected dictates the base material for the entire construction of the basket including all mesh and rod for the basket, handle(s), and any attaching lid.  So, which material do you choose?

Least expensive:
Carbon Steel, Natural Finish is the cheapest material.  316 Stainless Steel is the most expensive.

Best value:
304 Stainless gives good strength and corrosion protection with clean rust-resistant finish.  The cost of the material gives you greater life and aesthetic longevity.

Strongest material:
316 Stainless Steel is slightly stronger than 304 Stainless Steel.

Most corrosive protection:
316 Stainless Steel has more resistance to corrosion in acidic, chemical, and saltwater environments.

Most commonly purchased:
304 Stainless Steel is the material chosen on the majority of baskets purchased on AnySizeBasket.com.

The best material for your basket will depends most on the use environment of the wire basket.  Every basket on AnySizebasket.com is made with top workmanship and high-quality materials producing a durable basket.   However, the working environment will have a great effect on the baskets longevity if the wrong material is chosen.

Carbon Steel, Natural Finish:
Strong and inexpensive.   Very limited corrosion resistance in natural finish. Baskets made from carbon steel are a great choice for manual solvent cleaning, oil dipping and indoor material handling applications where light rusting will not stain or contaminate parts.

Carbon steel wire mesh baskets should not be used without a surface coating for any long-term outdoor applications, in any aqueous (water-based) dipping or cleaning applications, or in any caustic environments.

304 SS, Natural Finish:
304 Stainless Steel is the most common of the industrial stainless steel grades with properties of:  good corrosion resistance in wet and mildly caustic environments, high temperature strength. The accepted service temperature is up to 1700°F (925°C).  304 SS is slightly stronger than carbon steel.

80% of basket made by AnySizeBasket are 304 Stainless Steel.  This is a common choice since the metal resists rusting and does not need a surface finish to protect the life and look of the basket.

316 SS, Natural Finish:
316 Stainless Steel provides superior corrosion resistance.  This is the better choice for use in acidic, chemical, and saltwater environments.   The Melting point of 316 SS is slightly less than 304 SS although it has the same generally accepted service temperature range, up to 1700°F (925°C).