Is aluminium or stainless-steel insect mesh really stronger than standard flyscreen insect mesh?
We get asked this question quite a lot. Many people assume that because a screen is made from metal it must be stronger than fibreglass. The quick answer to the question is no. Fibreglass screens, especially the vinyl-dipped paw proof screens, are considerably stronger than either aluminium or stainless insect screens.
A cat or a dog will damage stainless and aluminium flyscreens just as easily as they will damage standard flyscreen mesh. In fact, the metal insect screens tend to get damaged easier. If you run a pencil or a sharp object down a metal screen what you produce is a line or a kink. But standard fibreglass mesh tends to absorb these impacts and rebounds.
Any kinks, scratches or marks tend to smooth away unnoticed. Whereas with metal insect mesh if you get a kink or a bend or a scratch mark, then that mark is going to stay there. And it’s very difficult to get that mark out – once it’s been imprinted into a stainless or aluminium metal mesh it’s there.
Paw Proof insect mesh is also considerably more abrasion-resistant than either of the metal insect screen mesh materials. Stainless, aluminium, or metal insect screens are also more expensive than fibreglass screens.
Why would you use an aluminium or stainless insect mesh over standard fibreglass insect screens?
Stainless or aluminium insect screens are used in locations to comply with bushfire regulations as they are resistant to embers and resist catching fire.
There are a number of bushfire standards or codes in Australia that specify that you must use either aluminium insect mesh, or stainless insect screening depending on the BAL rating. So, depending on the bushfire ratings will depend on the insect mesh that you need to use, but you can’t use standard fibreglass or a flammable insect mesh.
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