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.


Build Your Own Multi-stage Filtration System Using Woven Nylon Mesh

Building a decent filtration system should include the use of woven nylon mesh. This material comes with different-sized openings for removing particles, sediment, and dirt from fluids and water. By obtaining it in a variety of sizes, you are able to build a multi-stage filtration system. A multi-stage filter performs better and requires less maintenance than a single stage filter.

In order to design a multi-stage filtration system, you are going to require several different opening sizes of woven nylon mesh. You should place the mesh with the largest openings in your filter at the first stage. Further, you need to allow some space in between the first layer and second layer, for the water to be able to flow freely, as well as to have space to collect smaller particles. The second stage is where you will place the mesh with the next-smallest-sized openings. You repeat this process for however many stages of filtration you require. Your last stage always uses the mesh with the smallest openings.

As water or fluid passes through each stage of your multi-stage filter, the mesh only allows particles to flow through if they are smaller than the actual openings. For instance, at the first stage, the largest particles and sediment are removed. Then, at the second stage, slightly smaller particles and sediment are removed from the water, and so on, until reaching the final stage. Because each stage only collects particles and sediment larger than the mesh openings, the filter will operate for a longer period of time before having to clean each filter stage.


Add Woven Nylon Mesh to Change a Single Stage Filtration System to a Two Stage Filtration System

There are different types of materials used to create filters, depending upon their intended applications. For instance, one kind of filter uses porous paper-based materials which have very tiny openings to allow water and other liquids to pass through while removing any particles larger than these minute openings. When using this style of filter by itself, one issue commonly faced is the filter clogging up quickly and needing to be replaced because of the larger particles blocking the small porous openings and decreasing the flow rates of the fluid. One solution to cut down on frequent filter changes is to add a secondary filter layer, before this one, using woven nylon mesh. Nylon mesh is able to remove the larger particles from the fluid before they reach the main filter.

It should be noted that the openings in woven nylon mesh are larger than the tiny porous openings in the paper-based filter materials. As a result, the smaller particles are still able to pass through the nylon mesh and will be removed by the primary filter. However, since there are now two stages of filtration occurring, you end up having to clean and change your filters on a less frequent basis. Nylon mesh is able to be cleaned by rinsing off any debris with water until all particles are removed. Nylon mesh can be re-used numerous times before it has to be replaced. Always inspect the mesh screening any time you clean it to check for worn areas, large holes and other signs indicating the mesh needs to be changed.

Products Made from Nylon Include Nylon Tubing and Woven Nylon Mesh

There are a variety of materials which are made from nylon and used for all types of applications and purposes. You can find such products like nylon tubing, nylon hose fittings, nylon hose clamps, and woven nylon mesh. Nylon is ideally suited for specific kinds of environments. For example, nylon tubing is used for applications where solvents, greases, oils, petroleum products, fungi and molds might be present because of its resistance to these materials.

Use Woven Nylon Mesh with Different Opening Sizes for Multiple Stage Filtration 

One of the more common applications for woven nylon mesh is providing filtration for various fluids and liquids. The amount of filtration achieve does depend upon the size of the mesh openings. Filtration systems frequently utilize multiple stages in order to remove as many particles as possible. By using several stages in a filtration system, it helps to prevent the filter from quickly becoming clogged. At the first stage you could use mesh with large openings in order to remove large pieces of sediment and allow smaller particles to still pass through. At secondary stages, you would want to use mesh with smaller openings to remove these remaining particles.

Woven Nylon Mesh Can Be Ordered in both Uncut and Custom Cut Quantities

You have different options available for purchasing woven nylon mesh for your business applications and purposes. You could order the mesh in large uncut quantities including quarter yard, half yard and one yard sections. This option is ideal whenever you want to cut the mesh down to size yourself and have the time available to complete this added activity. Another option in situations where you lack time or the necessary tools to cut the mesh is to order your mesh already custom cut to your size specifications.

The Type of Industry Often Determines How Woven Nylon Mesh Is Used

How you use woven nylon mesh for your business applications and purposes is often determined by the type of industry. For example, in aquaculture this kind of mesh is used as part of fluid filtration systems. It can also be used for creating substrates for staring oysters and separating early stage lobsters. You may even find it being used to create plankton nets.

Filtration Systems Often Include Woven Nylon Mesh

Filtration systems rely on the ability for liquids or air to be able to pass fully through the system. As the liquid or air enters the system it often passes through a series of different filtration stages. At each stage different impurities, particles, dirt, and debris are removed. In order to promote the flow of liquids or air through the filtration system it is common to use woven nylon mesh. The openings in the mesh do not restrict the flow of fluids or air, while at the same time help to remove particles of different sizes.

Inspect Woven Nylon Mesh in Filtration Systems on a Regular Basis

In order to maintain the desired level and results when using filtration systems it is important to inspect them on a regular basis. You will find woven nylon mesh screens within the system can become clogged with particles overtime. You may be able to clean the mesh screens by spraying them out with water. In cases where the sediment is still blocking mesh openings it is better to just replace it with new nylon mesh.

Laboratories use Woven Nylon Mesh for Performing Tests and Experiments

Conducting experiments and performing lab tests can require the use of woven nylon mesh. This type of mesh allows particulates to be captured and removed from liquids at different testing stages. The size of the mesh openings does influence the amount and size of particles that will be removed from fluids. You may need to use multiple sizes of nylon mesh in order to achieve the desired filtration results.

Biopsy Bags Are Manufactured from Woven Nylon Mesh

Woven nylon mesh is used to manufacture mesh nylon biopsy bags. Biopsy bags come in different sizes and are used to contain specimens. The bags help to reduce the risk of loss after collection. Once the specimen is placed inside the mesh bag, it can be processed and tested as required. Once testing is complete you can reopen the bag for specimen removal for further examination, testing and diagnosis.

Woven Nylon Mesh is used for Juicing Applications by Food Processing Plants

Food processing plants use woven nylon mesh for juicing applications. As fruits and vegetables are processed and squeezed, the juices are passed through the mesh. Any pulp and seeds are removed from the juice and caught in the mesh screen. The freshly squeezed juice flows through the screen and is collected for further processing.

The Aquaculture Industry uses Woven Nylon Mesh to Create Enclosed Habitats

Woven nylon mesh can be used to aid in separating and creating enclosed habitats to keep certain animals in specific locations. For example, in the aquaculture industry, the mesh is used to create nets to section off fish into individual areas. By containing the fish in separate locations, it helps to propagate the development and growth of each species. Once the fish are ready to be harvested, the nets may be able to be lifted out of the water or a separate nylon netting system is used to remove mature adult fish.

Woven Nylon Mesh Weaves Each Piece Together to Make It More Durable

Woven nylon mesh is a type of mesh where the individual pieces have been woven together to create the mesh openings. During the weaving process, each vertical and horizontal piece will be run under, over, and possibly even through, the other piece. Because the mesh is woven together, it will be more durable and last longer before it will need to be replaced.

A Variety of Industries Can Use Woven Nylon Mesh for Different Purposes

There are all sorts of applications and processes where woven nylon mesh can be used. This type of material is not limited to just one specific industry or business, and can be found being used by a variety of organizations for various reasons. One of the more common applications is using the mesh as part of a filtration system, for both liquids and air filtration processes.

Woven Nylon Mesh Can Be Used in Filtration Systems Requiring Carbon

You can use woven nylon mesh to hold carbon, when it is required in your filtration system. You can cut and sew the mesh into bags, or line the inside, top and bottom of the area within the filter using a single piece of mesh. Once you have the mesh in place, add the desired amount of carbon. Water can pass through the mesh, and the carbon, while containing it within the desired location, within your filtration system.

Replace Woven Nylon Mesh Used as Screening on a Regular Basis

When you use woven nylon mesh as screens, you will want to replace the mesh on a regular basis. The screening can become clogged with dust, particles or other debris, which will prevent air flow. The screening can also become damaged, in cases where sharp objects are used in close proximity. To replace existing screening, all you need is a new piece of mesh, cut to the correct size and the appropriate tools.