Mesh screen filters have an open-hole structure that enables them to capture and collect solid particles from liquid or air streams. Available in numerous designs and materials, they serve as a versatile filtration and skimming solution for many industrial, commercial, and recreational applications.
At Jason Mills, we provide standard and custom knitted mesh fabrics in a range of weights, sizes, colors, and finishes to suit different customer needs. Both our nylon and polyester mesh fabric solutions possess distinct benefits that make them suitable for filtration.
Nylon and Polyester Filter Mesh 101
The performance of a mesh filter is highly dependent on the fibers and yarns used to make it. Nylon and polyester are synthetic polymers often used to create mesh screens for filtration or skimming devices. While both are flexible, durable, and lightweight, they each have distinct benefits and limitations that impact their suitability for certain applications.
Polyester Filter Mesh
Polyester is a synthetic polymer formed by a chemical reaction involving alcohol, carboxylic acid, and a petroleum byproduct. The resulting fibers can be stretched and aligned to form yarn with the following properties:
- High strength and durability
- Excellent dimensional stability
- Hydrophobic surface
- Resistance to acids/alkalis, corrosion, heat/fire, mold/mildew staining, ultraviolet light, and wear
- Easy sewing and cleaning requirements
These advantageous characteristics make polyester mesh suitable for a wide range of applications. Whereas the hydrophilic nature of nylon fibers causes them to absorb water, the hydrophobic nature of polyester fibers allows them to repel moisture. As a result, polyester mesh screens will dry faster when exposed to wet conditions. Additionally, polyester is more resistant to heat and UV rays than nylon, making filter mesh made from it a more suitable solution for outdoor environments.
Polyester mesh generally has a slightly rougher feel than nylon mesh. However, a higher filament count can create a lighter, drapier material. It also tends to be less tolerant of stretching and bending than nylon mesh, which limits its use in applications where elasticity is a priority.
Nylon Filter Mesh
Nylon is a synthetic plastic created by extracting and heat treating carbon-based compounds from organic matter. It is capable of being extruded into strands of various sizes and thicknesses to suit different applications. Key properties include:
- High tensile strength
- Light weight
- Elasticity and flexibility
- Resistance to acids, alkalis, corrosion, dust, temperatures, and wear
- Hydrophilic and antimicrobial (when combined with silver ion) surface
- Soft, smooth feel
- Easy cutting, dyeing, and cleaning requirements
Nylon fibers can be knitted into durable mesh suitable for different straining, sieving, and filtering applications. The mesh openings can be constructed in a variety of shapes (such as round, rectangular, or honeycomb) and thicknesses (ranging from thin, lightweight drapes or netting to thick, heavy-duty nets and pads).
In addition to its availability in many designs and configurations, nylon mesh offers a number of other key advantages over alternative filter mesh options. For example, its strength and durability make it a great choice for long-term use. Additionally, its smooth surface facilitates the removal of filtered solids, making it an effective and efficient solution for pool filters and skimmers.
However, unlike polyester fibers, nylon fibers absorb and retain water, which causes nylon mesh screens to stretch and expand in wet or humid environments. Nylon mesh also tends to degrade more quickly than polyester when exposed to direct sunlight, making it better suited for applications that are less exposed to weathering elements.
Common Applications of Nylon & Polyester Mesh Screen Filters
Nylon and polyester filter mesh are used in filtration solutions for numerous industrial, commercial, and recreational applications. For example, they are integrated into pool filters and skimmers, where they help maintain a clean and safe environment for swimmers by capturing and removing debris and other solid contaminants.
Other common applications of nylon and polyester filter mesh include:
- Dust collection and separation
- Sifting and milling
- Fuel and oil filtration in automotive and aerospace systems
- Filtration systems in refrigerators, dryers, and other appliances
- Filtering tests in laboratory applications
- Infusion and transfusion filters in medical applications
Application-specific requirements and environmental factors will dictate which type of filter mesh is most appropriate for an application. For example, nylon’s smooth and soft surface makes it uniquely suited for sensitive medical and diagnostic applications, whereas polyester’s acid resistance and hydrophobicity make it preferable for applications involving acidic substances or long-term water exposure.
Filtration Textile Solutions at Jason Mills
At Jason Mills, we offer an extensive selection of polyester and nylon mesh suitable for filtration applications. They are available with opening apertures of less than 1/16 inch and in weights ranging from 2 to 11 ounces.