Materials and Coatings used in MS Guardio products
Table of Contents
What is our wire guards made of?
Wire mesh guard products from MS Guardio are designed and produced by Aiano at their workshop in East London. Aiano have been manufacturing quality wire guards for more than 150 years.
Every wire mesh guard product listed on the MSG Guardio website has a specification telling you what the product is made from and which coating or finish has been used in its manufacture. This article gives a bit more information about some of these materials and coatings.
MS Guardio wire mesh guard products are made from a range of types and thicknesses of steel wire mesh. Both mild steel and stainless steel are used, but the majority of products displayed on our website are made from mild steel. The meshes used include both pre-fabricated welded mesh and hand woven wire mesh that has been woven by Aiano wire workers using techniques perfected over one hundred and fifty years of continuous development. The heater guard and light guard products you see on our website are made from welded wire mesh.
The materials and coating used in MS Guardio products are from the UK or EU. All the steel used in our wire mesh guards is produced and fabricated in the UK and the European Union. Once the guard has been fabricated it needs to be protected by a coating of some kind. All of the finishes and coatings from galvanising to powder coating are carried out by companies in the UK.
Clockwise from top left: (1) finished bulkhead guard from 25 x 25mm weld mesh on round bar frame and powder coated white, (2) uncoated tubular heater guards made from pre-galvanised weld mesh, (3) copper washed mild steel weld mesh sheets and (4) a basket made from hand woven stainless steel wire.
Mild steel weld mesh and round bar
Most of the radiator guards and light guards you will find on the MS Guardio web site are made from mild steel weld mesh that has been welded and fabricated into a wire mesh guard with a round bar frame. The guards are made from quality steel mesh and bar that is produced and manufactured in the UK and European Union.
The weld mesh comes in different sizes and weights. The two principle meshes used for most of the wire guard products on the MS Guardio website are 25mm x 25mm mesh size, made from 1.64mm diameter wire (1” x 1” x 12swg) and 25mm x 12mm mesh size, made from 1.63mm diameter wire (1” x ½” x 16swg).
The thickness or diameter of the round bar frame varies from 4mm to 8 or even 10mm when extra strength is required. But the majority of our wire guards are made using 5.38mm or 6.35mm steel round bar manufactured in the West Midlands.
Once the wire guard has been fabricated from steel mesh and bar, it needs to be protected by a coating of some kind.
What are our wire guards coated with?
Coatings & finishes
Clockwise from top left: (1) finished bulkhead guard from 25 x 25mm weld mesh on round bar frame and hot dip galvanised, (2) stacking basket plastic coated black, (3) detail of bulkhead guard powder coated white and (4) zinc plated wire mesh locker with gold passivate.
MS Guardio wire guard products are made using a variety of coatings and finishes. The choice of coating depends on a number of factors, including:
- Will the guard be used indoors or outdoors
- Aesthetic appeal
- Colour fastness, especially when subjected to heat
For example, if a product is to be used outdoors, such as a floodlight guard, for example, then a hot-dip galvanised finish gives the best protection against corrosion.
If a product is being used indoors, then an epoxy powder coating gives a hard wearing finish that is also polished and attractive.
We have provided a whistle-stop tour of coatings below.
Epoxy Polyester coating
Heater guards and indoor light guards from MS Guardio are coated with an epoxy polyester coating. See our classic THG tubular heater guard range powder coated in cream or our STG range powder coated white. Other colours are also available on request.
Hybrid epoxy polyester powder coating
It is recommended for use in interior situations where toughness, chemical resistance, and good mechanical resistance properties are essential. This kind of coating is particularly recommended for radiators or light fittings that emit heat. Epoxy polyester powder coating also provides good colour preservation, heat stability and an attractive appearance.
Floodlight guards, guards for air conditioning units and other guards for external use are usually hot-dip galvanised, which provides the best protection against corrosion short of using stainless steel.
The guard is immersed in molten zinc at a temperature of around 450°C until the temperature of the steel is the same as the zinc. During this process the molten zinc reacts with the surface of the steel to form a series of zinc/ iron alloys. Depending on the environment, these alloy layers can protect steel from corrosion for 25-40 years.
The galvanised guard initially has a bright ‘silver’ look, but this quickly dulls to a matte grey after exposure to weather.
Our fantastic strong floodlight guards are hot dip galvanised for the most reliable protection against corrosion. The galvanised finish provides reliable protection from corrosion while the polyester coating gives a more aesthetically distinctive look.
Zinc plating, also sometimes called electro-galvanizing is different from hot dip galvanizing. Being electronegative to iron, the zinc will corrode in preference to the underlying metal. Zinc plating provides an attractive finish with a relatively uniform thickness, which does not tend to fill up slots and screws holes or obliterate threads and other fine details of work.
Zinc plated guards have a smoother chrome-like finish than galvanised guards, but do not provide the same protection against corrosion as hot dip galvanising. Zinc plating is however, perfect for our beautiful wire mesh lockers, providing a smooth clean finish.
The coating can subsequently be passivated or dyed to further improve corrosion resistance or for aesthetic reasons. MS Guardio offers a gold passivate for its wire mesh lockers.
The coating of electro-galvanisation comprises round zinc particles held together loosely. The bond between zinc and steel is much weaker than the bond formed in hot-dip galvanisation. The average thickness of the hot dip galvanised coating is about ten times as thick as thick as the electro-galvanised or zinc-plated finish, which is why the hot dip galvanised finish is preferred for guards that will be used outdoors or in exposed conditions.
Polyester and metallic polyester coating
Metallic polyester coating is sometimes used for indoor or outdoor guards. This is a more expensive process than galvanising and will not give the same protection against corrosion, but offers a smoother, more cosmetically pleasing finish.
Polyethylene or plastic coating
Polyethylene coating offers a lush waxy glossy finish that is ‘fatter’ than epoxy powder coating. Our fabulous stacking baskets are plastic coated black or white. However, for radiator and light guards, powder coating provides a more reliable harder-wearing finish.
Polyethylene coating is a thermoplastic coating, sometimes referred to as plastic coating. It has excellent impact resistance, UV stability and resists stress cracking. With characteristics very similar to vinyl coatings, this coating is environmentally friendly because it does not emit bad fumes during processing as do vinyl coatings.
If you would like to buy one of our products and are interested in a non-standard specification such as a stainless steel tubular heater guard, a radiator guard powder coated red instead of white, a galvanised fluorescent light guard, then you should consider our Bespoke Service. As well as our standard materials and coating, MS Guardio offers a range of bespoke options such as products made from stainless steel, or different kinds of coating – from pink powder coating to zinc-plating with a gold or yellow passivate.