Stainless steel mesh is often used for filters, flooring, and fencing. You may find that stainless steel mesh is available in a wide variety of designs and mesh styles, and it may be difficult to choose the right design for your application. To make the decision better for you, note a few tips for choosing the design based on how it's made and how it can affect your application.
Expanded metal has holes cut in it through the production process and the metal is then expanded or stretched. The mesh then becomes a honeycomb shape and the metal itself is thinner. The raised strands are then often flattened so they become wider and thicker. This type of metal has the benefit of retaining its structural integrity as it's not punched for the mesh to be created. This metal is good for flooring since it's so strong and durable.
Woven mesh is just as it sounds; strands of stainless steel are woven together. The mesh can be any size and stainless steel mesh itself may be of any thickness. The mesh may look more like fabric so that it has an attractive appearance; it's often used for screen doors, fencing, animal enclosures, and any type of application where the mesh needs to be visually appealing. It is also used for architectural framework; woven mesh might be used under railings for outdoor staircases, to let in light and air. However, note that the weave can mean that bacteria can build up between the strands so it may not be the best for filtering food products, range hoods, and other such applications. Woven metal would need to be consistently cleaned in such applications to avoid this buildup.
Perforated or punched mesh has the advantage of being able to be fabricated in any shape or size. If you want a particular design to your mesh, for example, if you want square holes in an outside screen to match the very square design of your company's font or logo, or if you want a large mesh for sifting certain materials in an agricultural application, perforated mesh can be the best. The punching process can weaken the overall structural of steel so it may not be right for flooring, bridges, and even animal enclosures. You may need to use very thick steel if you should choose perforated mesh for any type of enclosure or flooring, to compensate for this weakening.