Are all chain-link fences the same?
You probably think chain wire fences are best suited for commercial premises and institutions such as schools, hospitals or even public parks. Though sturdy and durable, when compared to pickets or board fences, they lose the beauty pageant hands down and cannot therefore replace the trusted wooden fence at your home.
That’s where you’re wrong. Did you know that chain wire designs are now much more versatile, giving way to new styles that turn a plain metal fence into an eye-catching addition to your property?
It is actually worthwhile to find out the different types of chain wire fences that are available in the market to help you make a more informed choice the next time you are out shopping for a perimeter fence.
Types of chain wire fencing vary depending on the type of coating used on the wires, the gauge of the wire and the mesh diameter and shape.
The chain wire materials you can choose from are basically four: stainless steel wires, zinc-coated wires, aluminium wires, and PVC coated wires.
Zinc is the most commonly used coating as it is quite effective in preventing rusting of the metallic inner layer of the fence. Chain wire coated with zinc can last more than 12 years with minimal upkeep. This makes it ideal for residential and private property compounds.
Stainless steel wires have the highest durability amongst all chain wire materials, which makes them more pricy as well. They have a high resistance against alkali elements, such as water softeners, and can withstand harsh weather conditions. They can also withstand high temperatures and are able to retain their shape over a long time so they do not sag or break easily. Chain link wire of this type is most suited for high value enclosures or barriers usually found on airports, railway lines, highways and other utilities which place higher demands on the performance of the fence.
Aluminium wires are good for resistance against corrosion, harsh weather and have the added advantage of being lightweight, durable, and having a high tensile strength. Aluminium fencing can last up to 25 years and is designed for use in commercial or public places such as ranches and school grounds.
PVC coating can give an extra dimension in terms of more colour options available for chain wire fencing. PVC finishing is a rubberized coating that is bonded to the steel. It provides a softer and more polished finish which also prevents rusting. PVC does not crack or peel easily and gives a great outward appearance; it is more appropriate for residential enclosures but comes at a premium cost. Standard PVC colors include black, brown and green, more natural colours that tend to blend better with the landscape.
Chain wire can be woven into various mesh diameter shapes and sizes, the most common is the diamond pattern. The inner mesh diameter can also vary, with the most typical size being 2 inches. You can find bigger mesh square sizes in lower gauge construction grade type of fencing.
With developments in the fencing industry chain, wire fence designs are now more flexible and capable of meeting specific customer requirements. This means you no longer have to follow a fixed grid pattern for your fence. Fence lines can curve diagonally and vertically making them more unique, attractive and practical in their day-to-day usage.
Gauge and height
As a rule of thumb, the lower the gauge, the heavier and more expensive the chain wire is. The opposite holds true for higher gauges. Your typical chain wire fence is found in sizes of 11, 10 and 9 which represent thin, medium and thick wire mesh respectively. The height and width of the chain wire fence varies depending on need. Australian-made mesh wire uses heights ranging between 0.6m and 3.6m. Standard chain wire security fences are usually 1.8m high, and strands of barbed wire can be added to the top to make harder for any intruder to scale the fence.
Design and colour
The cheapest chain wire fence uses a 3 cable design. This is a 3.15mm plain wire twisted to either side of a post to give tensile strength to the fence. Adding rails to the top and bottom increases the strength and life of the fence significantly.
The strength of the chain wire can be further enhanced using different weaving techniques. This can be achieved by reinforcing each link with an extra twist of chain wire, or using varying patterns that increase tensile strength in the mesh in general.