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The Fence Post

What's the Difference Between Welded Wire Fencing and Woven Wire Fencing?

February 20, 2017 | by Debbie Page

Welded or Woven Wire? Each Brings its Own Merits

When it comes to the subject of “welded versus woven wire” fences, it may be more helpful to consider it more of a comparison, as both certainly have various merits in their favor. The intersections of these wires are spot-welded to create a sheet. However, woven fences are created through a process that is quite different and much more complicated. Using machinery, wire is loosely twisted into a gentle spiral, with each overlapping at the ends. With a quick twist, the link is made permanent and the distinctive zigzag diamond shape is formed.

Starting with Welded Wire Fences:

Example #1  Welded Wire Fence (Attached to Wooden Fence) - Straight lines are strong and sturdy

Louis Page Welded Wire Fence Materials

Example #2  Welded Wire Fence (Attached to Wooden Posts) - Straight lines are strong and sturdy

Louis Page Welded Wire Fence Materials

Welded wire fencing, which has a structure that is solid and inflexible, is ideal for a firm and definite barrier. When cut, the wires will not begin to unravel from one another.  The disadvantages of this fencing type can be seen in situations when pressure is introduced, such as livestock in need of a leaning post or any sort of vehicular crash. If weight is applied, it’s difficult for a welded wire fence to spring back to shape. It will likely deform permanently and need replacing.

Now onto Woven Wire

Example #3  Vinyl Coated Woven Wire Fence  - Distinctive zigzag diamond shape


See how example #3 is woven? The fence "lines" are straight in examples #1 and #2 and there is a little zigzag in example #3.

Structure and Functional Merits - Woven wire has some give

By understanding their basic structures, it is easy to see their functional merits. A woven wire fence's linked yet loose structure allows for a large amount of bend, twist and pull without breaking -- a perfect design if you have grazing livestock to contain. In some styles of woven agricultural fence, the vertical wires are one continuous strand. This makes a very strong and secure mesh that will hold together well when under pressure. 

dog behind woven wire fence

  • Woven wire products used as fences can vary between 9 gauge and 23 gauge                                               
  • Mesh sizes can run from ½" to 8"                                                                                                                       
  • Wire finishes of woven meshes are similar to those that are welded: galvanized before weld (GBW), galvanized after weld (GAW), or vinyl coated (VC)                                                                                           
  • Fences that are woven are more flexible than welded products                                                                         
  • Mesh openings are generally uniform and consistent in shape and size throughout the roll                              
  • Woven meshes are easier to install over uneven ground and can be "racked" to conform to the ups and downs
  • Many of the fences used to enclose or exclude livestock are woven construction: deer, horses, poultry, and game birds
Note: There is an unfortunate disadvantage to “chain-link” fence, another type of woven mesh. This fencing is only fully effective so long as every link remains strong. Once cut, it’s only a matter of time before this form of fence will become untangled and inefficient.                                                                                                                                  

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Topics: woven wire, welded wire fence, GAW

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