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?


Nylon Mesh Screen Needs to be inspected on a Regular Basis to Ensure Its Durability

The durability of nylon mesh screen depends upon the materials it is exposed to, as well as the environment where it is being used and the temperature levels. Because there are different factors which influence how long the mesh will last, it is always a good idea to perform regular inspections of all of your screening before beginning your operations. You need to look for signs of normal wear and tear, including fraying of the nylon, damaged or torn openings, and the amount of sediment, dirt, or other debris in the openings and on the screen.

Factors which have a direct effect on the condition of your mesh include light exposure, weather conditions, exposure to alkalis, acids, solvents, and abrasive substances, as well as the dryness and humidity present in the surrounding air. Not all of these factors may apply, depending on how you use mesh screening for your applications. For example, you might only use the mesh indoors in a controlled environment and only need to worry about the types of substances you use with the mesh.

In situations where the nylon mesh screen is used for filtration, you should still set regular maintenance and cleaning intervals. The frequency of your intervals does depend upon the kind of filtration system in use. Single stage filters require more regular inspections than multi-stage filters, because a single stage filter collects all particles, sediment and dirt, using one piece of mesh. In either type of system, the screen can be removed, cleaned, and replaced back into the filter, and then used until it shows signs of wear and tear.


Food Industries Use Nylon Mesh Screen for Both Liquid and Dry Products

How you use nylon mesh screen depends upon your industry. Some industries use this type of screen for multiple applications and purposes. For example, in the food production industry, mesh screen is utilized for both liquid and dry food product. It can be used to collect pulp and seeds from freshly squeezed juices or vegetable purees. It may also be used to sift flour and other dry ingredients. In addition, it could be used as part of a water purification system, prior to adding water to canned goods or bottling water. The size of the mesh openings in the screen will vary, based upon the intended purpose. In some applications and processes, multiple mesh screens might be used at different stages to improve product quality.

Convert Nylon Mesh Screen from Inches to Microns Using an Online Tool

The size of nylon mesh screen openings is based upon microns. As the micron measurement becomes smaller, so do the openings. Sometimes, you might know the size opening you require using inches. However, you will have to convert your measurement from inches to microns to guarantee you order the right size screening. Rather than having to perform complex mathematical computations using various formulas, you are able to find an easy to use tool available on our website. This tool allows you to convert from inches to microns, or microns to inches. You may also contact us directly to discuss your specific project requirements and to obtain help in receiving the right size screening.


Obtain Nylon Mesh Screen Already Precut to the Desired Size and Shape

Certain types of products require nylon mesh screen to be attached during manufacturing processes. The screen needs to be precut to the specified sizes in order to keep production moving. Whenever you have to halt production in order to cut more screening, you are losing valuable time and affecting the productivity levels of your employees. Instead of paying them to assemble products, you are paying them to stand around and wait. However, this situation is easy to avoid by ordering large supplies of mesh screen, already precut to the desired sizes that fit your requirements, using our secondary finishing services. We are able to cut the mesh screen to the desired size and shape, such as oval, circle or square, as well as others, based upon your schematic and dimensions.

There Are Many Applications That Require Using Nylon Mesh Screen

Nylon mesh screen is used by a variety of industries for different purposes and applications, including laboratories, fuel and gas operations, mining operations, agriculture, aquaculture, food processing, hydroponics, hospitals, and pharmaceuticals. One of the most common applications is for filtration to remove particles and sediment from various fluids and liquids. But this is not the only application for nylon mesh. It can be custom cut to specific sizes and sewn into fertilizer bags. It has been also used as substrates for starting oysters, as plankton nets, and for separating early-stage lobster. Further, nylon mesh is used for air filtration applications, in manufacturing biopsy bags, and for flour sifting.

The Size of Mesh Openings Determines the Effectiveness of Nylon Mesh Screen

When using nylon mesh screen, the effectiveness of filtration is directly related to the size of the mesh openings. In order to achieve the desired filtration results, you should select screen that has openings smaller than the particles you want to remove. In situations where there are multiple particle sizes, you may choose to use several layers of screening in order to remove larger particles, first, and smaller ones as they pass through each layer.

Other Processes besides Fluids and Liquids Can Use Nylon Mesh Screen 

While nylon mesh screen is commonly used for applications involving fluids and liquids, it can also be used in for other processes. For example, this product is frequently used in insect research, in order to contain the insects during a study. The screen allows the insects to receive air, but keeps the insects in their desired locations and prevents them from escaping.

Laboratories Use Nylon Mesh Screen for Research and Experiments

Laboratory research and experiments frequently use nylon mesh screen for a variety of purposes. This type of screen can be used for filtration and separation to remove larger particles from liquids. The amount of filtration and separation required is able to be increased by using several different sizes of mesh openings in a multistage filtration setup. Mesh screen is also used for insect research to keep insects contained during their study.

Different Ways to Use Nylon Mesh Screen in Filtration Systems

In filtration systems nylon mesh screen can be used in different methods. You could use the mesh to capture sediment and particles as water or other fluids are passed through the openings in the screen. You might also create bags using the mesh for putting other kinds of filter media in, like carbon, bio-balls or small rocks. Using the mesh screen in this manner allows fluid to pass over your media while keeping it contained in its desired location in your filter system.


Agriculture Industries Use Nylon Mesh Screens to Make Fertilizer Bags

You can use nylon mesh screens to make your own fertilizer bags for use in the agriculture industry. You have to cut the mesh to size to create bags suitable for the type of fertilizer you use. The mesh openings in the bags will allow for the fertilizer to be released into the ground at a controlled rate. Whenever the bags run low on fertilizer you just replace them with new ones.

You Can Make Filter Media Bags and Filters from Nylon Mesh Screens

Nylon mesh screens are used to create sediment bags used in filtration systems. The bags are designed to contain various types of media, such as sand or carbon. As water passes through the bags the media helps to remove impurities and particles from the water. You are also able to use the nylon mesh by itself to filter out larger particles before passing water through your media bags.

Nylon Mesh Screen Should Be Inspected on a Regular Basis

You will want to make sure to regularly inspect any nylon mesh screen you use in your facility. The screening can become clogged with dirt, debris and other materials that could impede its effectiveness. Dry air screens may be able to be cleaned, by spraying them off with water. Wet filter screens can be more difficult to clean, so it is often easier to replace them with new ones.

Check Nylon Mesh Screen with Smaller Openings More Often

The size of the openings in nylon mesh screen will determine how often you need to inspect it. When the screen has smaller mesh openings, you will want to check it on a more frequent basis. The smaller openings can become clogged faster than those with larger openings. Once the openings are clogged, they will not provide any filtration. This lack of filtration can place strain on the air or watery system where they are being used.