What is CS Custom Fab?

Part Ends-bluebgAt Component Supply, we pride ourselves on being a resource for research and development with our comprehensive offerings, short lead times and low minimums. But, sometimes that’s not enough. Most of our customers don’t need a 60” piece of hypodermic tubing, a 72” piece of wire or a linear yard of mesh. The material needs some secondary operation performed on it for their application.

That’s where CS Custom Fab comes in by specializing in the quick, efficient modification and fabrication of parts for both research and production. Our long history of working closely with researchers and developers enables us to understand how a modified component can streamline a design or process. We work with engineers who are designing products in the earliest stages of development, and we enjoy the challenges that come with adjusting their designs. We excel at developing efficiencies in production to keep up with increased demands. Our ability to draw from various products and the depth of material we have on hand allow us to meet the production needs of our customers. Component Supply’s Custom Fab engineers can help you work through an idea you are pursuing, provide insight into your drawings and produce quality products quickly.

At Component Supply, we understand the challenges facing research labs. Knowing the stress of budget constraints, fast-approaching deadlines and rising expectations in technological advancement, our Supply and Custom Fab divisions are assisting from the earliest prototyping stages through the transition into production. It’s just another way we fulfill our mission to connect researchers and product designers with the components and knowledge they need to change the world.

Understanding Nylon and Polyester Mesh Properties


Component Supply’s stock of filter mesh is a versatile material used in multiple industries and in a variety of applications. To assist researchers and product designers in choosing the best mesh for their applications, we want to define and explain the different properties of our mesh and how they impact each other.

There are seven major attributes of mesh: 1) mesh opening, 2) open area, 3) mesh count, 4) thread diameter, 5) weight, 6) thickness and 7) air permeability. At Component Supply, we don’t list weight, thickness or air permeability in our product information because, unlike the first four specifications, these three are not typically relevant in determining mesh use most applications. However, to give you a full picture of mesh properties, we will provide a simple definition for those terms as well.

Mesh Attributes

1)     Mesh Opening refers to the actual size of the opening. In the charts on our site, this is measured in microns. Mesh opening is typically the most critical attribute because it determines the size of the particles it will capture and the size of the particles it allows to pass through. This attribute is specified in microns, which is a metric measurement equaling one thousandth of a millimeter.


2)   Open area indicates the percentage of a specified area that is open. Open area can help determine what sort of flow restrictions might occur because of the filter. If we take a square piece of mesh screening that is exactly one inch by one inch and move all the lateral and horizontal fibers (warp and weft – we will cover this in another post or video) up and to one side we will be left with some part of the square that is solid (covered by the threads) and some part that is now open. With a mesh that has a 25% open area the square inch will be segmented into four parts, three (75%) will be covered by the threads and one (25%) will be open.


3)     Mesh count is the number of threads in a linear inch and is fairly easy to determine. For example, if you were to lay out a piece of mesh and place a ruler on top, then count the horizontal threads from the beginning of the ruler to the one inch mark that would give you the mesh count. Of course, this is a simple task for mesh sizes like 1000 microns, which has 19 threads per inch. But it is daunting or even flat out impossible for some of the smaller mesh sizes. For mesh sizes down to about 200 microns you can count, or at least count one quarter of an inch and multiply. For sizes much smaller than that, it becomes difficult without some magnifications and a good bit of patience.

4)     Thread diameter is the diameter of the thread measured in microns.

mesh-001-thread diameter

5)     Weight is the weight of the material typically measured in ounces per square inch.

6)     Thickness is the overall thickness of the mesh and measured in microns.

7)     Air permeability measures the rate of air flow passing perpendicularly through the mesh and, for our mesh, is measured liters (l)/square meter (sq. m.)/second (s).

The Relationship between Mesh Attributes

When selecting the appropriate mesh for an application it is important to know how these attributes are related to each other. Let’s use an example of mesh that has a 500 micron mesh opening, a 50% open area, a thread count of 20 and a thread diameter of 250 microns. If we were to change just one of these attributes, it would completely alter the product you’d be using. For example, if we decreased the thread diameter but left the mesh count constant, we would wind up with a larger mesh opening and open area. If we needed to capture smaller particles with a smaller mesh size, but wanted a similar open area for flow restriction reasons you could find a mesh that has the same thread diameter and a higher mesh count, or you could find a mesh that has an increased thread diameter and keep the thread count constant.


Understanding the attributes of mesh and how they relate, makes selecting it for a specific application less daunting. That being said there are not an infinite number of possibilities available. This mesh is woven on looms that produce as much as 10,000 meters at a time, so only very large filtration and screen printing applications get to “choose” what they really want in terms of mesh properties. While there may be other sizes, and we encourage you to ask about them, the specifications on our site represent most of what is available. Understanding the properties of mesh and how they are related and then purchasing based on that information is more effective and realistic than trying to customize your own mesh.


How to Determine What Size Nylon Mesh You Have

We get calls every day with engineers and researchers looking to replace some nylon mesh or filtration screening in an application or apparatus. Unfortunately many users do not know what size mesh they actually have and some do not know if it is nylon mesh or polyester mesh. Determining the material is more difficult and the specific application can narrow that down. But determining the size is the challenge. Our mesh is monofilament woven mesh with a plain weave. We won’t get into this, but this is typically what you will find. When someone wants to know the size of the mesh, they are typically referring to the opening size. This is the size of the opening that will determine what will pass through and what will be filtered out. It would be nice to just measure this, but 100 microns is right at 0.004″ so measuring with any real degree of accuracy is not a suitable course of action.

Enter the “mesh count”. The mesh count is basically the number of threads, or openings, per inch. While this can still be challenging, the trick here is to realize that you will never get it exactly right. for example, if you count 50 threads in 1/2 inch it would be safe to double that to get a thread count of 100. The reason is that when you go to our chart you will find coma mesh sizes with a mesh count close to 100, but you will typically not find an exact match. That is ok, you are just trying to narrow it down. This exercise will narrow your search down to probably less than six sizes. Also remember that a sheet of standard copy paper is about 100 microns thick, so 10 to 20 microns one way or another will not impact most applications. If your application has specific sizes and is it critical to match what you are currently using, please contact us and let us work with you to determine the size nylon mesh.

How Big/Small is a Micron?


How to Help Extend the Life of Nylon Filter Mesh

There are things you can do in order to extend the life of your nylon filter mesh when used for certain applications. Your filtration system needs to be inspected on a regular basis. During this inspection, turn it off, access the location where your filters are contained, remove the mesh, and rinse it out with water to remove any trapped particles and sediment. You should inspect the screening for wear and tear at the same time. In the event you notice the mesh in between the openings is frayed, broken or damaged, then replace it with a new mesh screen. Also, check after rinsing out the screen, to verify each of the openings is no longer blocked. Some small particles or sediment may be trapped in the opening and will prevent fluid flow and reduce the overall effectiveness of the screen.

Another thing you are able to do to help increase the life of your nylon filter mesh is to use a multi-stage filtration system. This type of system often uses several layers of mesh screening in order to slowly extract particles and sediment of varying sizes. Instead of passing everything in the fluid through one mesh screen, which can become quickly clogged, it is first passed through a screen with large openings. After passing through this screen, the fluid is passed through another screen with slightly smaller openings, and so on. The number of layers used in your filtration system does depend upon the size and volume of particles and sediment needing to be removed.


Remove Particles from Fluids by Using Nylon Filter Mesh

Pharmaceutical and industrial applications rely on nylon filter mesh in order to remove particles from fluids and liquids. The purpose of filtration is to ensure the fluid is as pure as possible. For example, dirt, sand, pebbles and other small objects can lower the quality and performance of liquids if they were not removed. This is especially important in situations where the liquids are passed through spray nozzles, hoses, or other small tubing. If a piece of sediment were left in the fluid, it could easily block the flow of the fluid and also create additional problems, as well as cause damage to the equipment.

Nylon Filter Mesh Is Used in Mining Operations to Extract Valuable Materials

Another reason nylon filter mesh is used to remove particulates from liquids and fluids is to capture them for further study or extraction. For example, in mining operations the desired goal is to remove sediment, sand, and rock particles, in order to gain access to minerals, gems and other materials contained in the ground. Often chunks of rock are sprayed down with highly pressurized water, which breaks them down and creates a mixture of the particles. In order to separate the particles from the water, they have to be passed through a filter. Once filtered, the particles can be further sorted with sifting through different size mesh openings, as well as other procedures to further separate and sort the particles.  By passing the particles through several different filters, it ensures that all valuable materials are captured and collected.

Woven Nylon Mesh Is Made from Synthetic Polymers

Woven nylon mesh is manufactured by taking nylon fibers and weaving them into a mesh screen. Nylon is made from synthetic polymer materials from polyamides, and is considered a thermoplastic material. It is one of the more frequently used polymer materials, for a variety of products, in addition to being used for mesh screening. Nylon screen is more resistant to wear, than polyester mesh screen. It is also suited for applications where resistances to alkalis are required. Nylon is flexible and is fairly strong, depending upon the exact force or pressure being placed onto the mesh screen.

Filtration Systems and Laboratories Are Two Places Woven Nylon Mesh Are Used

Some of the more common applications for woven nylon mesh are in laboratory settings and filtration systems. In laboratories, chemicals, water and other fluids are passed through the mesh screen in order to remove particles of varying sizes. The mesh can also be cut to size and made into screen covers for use on top of aquarium tanks to contain insects during research studies. You could also make a pouch or sack from the mesh, and use that for other research procedures, such as to check how fast and how much of a solid breaks down and is removed as liquids pass through the material while it is contained inside a mesh bag. Filtration systems often involve passing water through several layers of mesh screening, in order to remove sand, sediment, small rocks, pebbles and other materials from water, as part of a pool or pond, or as part of processes to purify water for drinking.

Hydroculture Uses Nylon Filter Mesh in Filtration Systems

Growing fruits and vegetables using hydroculture methods requires a wide assortment of equipment, components and parts. Hydroponics is a specific area of hydroculture where the plants are grown in an environment where there is no dirt used as a medium to secure the roots. Instead, the plants are provided the necessary nutrients through a constant flow for fresh water passing over their roots. In order to build this type of system, you need a filtration system with the correct styles and sizes of filters in order to remove impurities, debris and particles from the water. Quite frequently nylon filter mesh is incorporated into the design of this kind of system because it is able to remove several types of debris and particles before water is passed through other filters to remove very fine particles.
Clean and Inspect Nylon Filter Mesh on a Regular Basis

There are several things you need to do on a regular basis, any time you are using nylon filter mesh as part of a filtration system. First, you should clean the mesh screen and remove any trapped sediment, debris or other particles. When the openings in the mesh screen are blocked, it slows down the flow rate, because there are fewer openings for the water to pass through. All you have to do is take the mesh out of the filter and run water over it from the opposite side of the debris and particles, which are trapped in the mesh openings. You also need to inspect the screen to make sure it is not fraying or coming apart. Over continued exposure and time, the mesh screen can start to deteriorate and will need to be replaced with new filter mesh.

Create Substrates from Nylon Filter Mesh for Starting Oysters and Early Stage Lobsters

Properly starting various types of aquatic life such as oysters and early stage lobsters require using substrates. Substrates can be made from different materials and should be suited to your specific needs. For instance, nylon filter mesh makes an ideal material because if its ability to contain and release the nutrients required by these kinds of aquatic animals.

You Can Make Your Own Plankton Nets by Using Nylon Filter Mesh 

Different kinds of fish and other aquatic animals survive by eating plankton, which are very small. One way to capture and catch as may plankton you require for your fish or other sea life is by using nylon filter mesh. The mesh screening is able to be cut to size and turned into plankton nets. As you pass the nets through water it captures and collects the plankton. Since plankton is miniscule, you want to make sure you select mesh with a small opening.

Nylon Filter Mesh Can Be Used for Air Filtration Processes

Most people might be aware of using nylon filter mesh with fluids but they sometimes overlook also being able to use this for air filtration applications. Because the mesh has openings it can allow air to flow freely through the screen while filtering out dust and other airborne particles. For example, you may find nylon mesh being used in wood production facilities where saw dust is created. The mesh could be attached to a filter on saws in order to collect the saw dust and help prevent it from being spread through the air.

Nylon Filter Mesh Is Used by Food Production Facilities

Another application for nylon filter mesh is when it is used by food production facilities. The mesh can be used to sift flour and other dry and wet ingredients to break up larger particles as well as remove unwanted items. For example, facilities producing orange juice may want to remove pulp and seeds from the juice. Rather than allowing it to be mixed in, the juice is passed through the nylon mesh and capture the seeds and pulp.

The Agriculture Industry Uses Nylon Filter Mesh for Different Applications

You can use nylon filter mesh for a variety of purposes and applications in agriculture. The mesh is used to make fertilizer bags, as part of a hydroponics system, to build mesh shades used in green houses or as part of screening used to prevent insects from reaching plants. You should make sure to select the right size mesh opening which works best for your intended uses.

Use Nylon Filter Mesh for Filtration in Your Hydroponics System

When using a hydroponics system you should make sure to use nylon filter mesh for filtration. As the water flows through the system it is possible for dust, debris, leaves, bugs and other particles to get into the water. In order to remove these without having to completely drain and clean the system, you can pass the water through nylon mesh. The mesh openings will allow the water to pass through while removing larger materials and particles from the water.