Dow Fence - Chain Link, Ornamental, Vinyl, Wood Fence

Chain Link Fence - General Info Chain Link Fence General Info

Chain Link Fence - Wear and Tear

Light chain link fence will not be able to undertake extreme wear and tear. The chain link fence’s framework may bend or the fabric may be damaged. Everyday wear and tear including people sitting or climbing on the chain link fence may cause damage. In addition, heavy wind can also cause the chain link fence harm. While the structure of the chain link fence can be damaged, poor coating can cause the chain link fence to rust. Light chain link fence is manufactured for light, temporary needs. An unknowing consumer may buy a light chain link fence because of its lower cost or because they do not understand that there is a difference between chain link fences.

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Chain Link Fence - Quality

The Chain Link Fence Manufacturers Institute has performed test on light-gauge chain link fences. Their tests showed that a 75-pound dog and 100-pound child could damage or cause a chain link fence to fall. The Chain Link Fence Manufacturers Institute also learned that once the average consumer was educated on the differences in chain link fence, the consumers would select a heavier gauge fence.

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Chain Link Fence - Fabric

There are three criteria to consider when selecting chain link fence fabric: gauge of wire, size of mesh, and type of protective coating.

Chain link fabric gauge
The chain link’s gauge (ga.) or diameter of wire shows how much steel is actually in the fabric. The smaller the gauge number is indicates that the chain link is made of more steel and higher quality wire. It also indicates the strength of the wire. Common chain link gauges are 13, 12-1/2, 11-1/2, 11, 9, and 6. It is recommended that a typical chain link fence use 11-1/2 to 9 gauge. Light weight, temporary chain link fence can use 13 or 12-1/2 gauge while heavy, industrial chain link fence requires 6 gauge.

Chain link fabric mesh
The chain link’s mesh size is a measurement of how far apart the parallel wires are in the mesh. Like the chain link’s gauge, the chain link’s mesh is another indication of how much steel is in the chain link. The smaller the diamond shows that more steel is in the fabric. Typical chain link mesh ranges in size from 2-3/8”, 2-1/4”, and 2”. Smaller chain link mesh is used for tennis courts (1-3/4”), swimming pools (1-1/4”), and high security mini mesh (5/8”, 1/2", and 3/8”).

Chain link fabric coating
There are several different surface treatments that help protect and beautify steel chain-link fabric.

Zinc is the most common protective coating for chain link fence. Zinc protects chain link at all costs. For example, if the chain link is cut, the zinc “heals” the exposed steel surface and protects from rust by developing a white oxidation layer. Typical galvanized chain link fabric has a 1.2 ounce per square foot coating. A fence project that requires greater than average longevity may require more zinc coating. The longevity of the chain link is directly related to the amount of zinc that is applied.

The two main ways chain link fabric is galvanized or coated with zinc include Galvanized After Weaving (GAW) or Galvanized Before Weaving (GBW). GAW requires the steel to be formed into chain link fabric first before it is galvanized while GBW galvanizes the strand of wire before being formed into chain link mesh. GAW is the main galvanizing method for larger manufactures as it is more efficient.

In addition to zinc, chain link wire can also be coated with aluminum. Unlike zinc which is a sacrificial coating, aluminum coating acts as a barrier to the chain link. As a result, aluminum chain link can quickly rust from cut ends, scratches and other imperfections.

If you want your chain link fence to have color then look for polyvinyl chloride applied in addition to zinc coating. The polyvinyl coating provides a second layer of corrosion protection and blends in with the chain link fence’s environment. Color chain link coatings can be done three different ways:

Extruded: This chain link coating is suitable for most residential or light commercial chain link fence applications as the vinyl jacket is wrapped around the steel core.

Extruded bonded: This chain link coating is an extension of the extruded coating as an adhesive bonds the vinyl jacket to the core wire.

Thermally fused: Suitable for all applications, this chain link coating fuses the vinyl coating to the galvanized steel core.

It is important that you understand the gauge and steel core wire of the finish product. It is recommended that the diamond size mesh for normal chain link installations be 1-3/4” to 2-3/8”.

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Chain Link Fence - Fabric Specifications

ASTM specifications for chain link fence fabric:

A392-96 Standard Specification for Zinc-Coated Steel Chain Link Fence Fabric

A492-96 Standard Specification for Aluminum Coated Chain Link Fence

F1345-96 Standard Specification for Zinc-5% Aluminum-Mischmetal Alloy-Coated Steel Chain Link Fence Fabric

F668-96 Standard Specification for Polyvinyl Chloride Coated Steel Chain Link Fences

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Chain Link Fence - Framework

Just like chain link fabric, it is important to keep in mind three factors when selecting framework for the chain link fence: gauge or thickness of the steel, diameter of the pipe, and type of protective coating.

Chain link framework gauge
The strength of chain link fence framework is directly related to the gauge (ga.) of the steel. Common gauges of residential chain link fence include 20, 19, 18, 17, 16 and 15. Residential chain link fence framework should be manufactured from steel that has minimum yield strength of 45,000 pounds per square inch.

Chain link framework diameter
The diameter of chain link fence fabric is the width of the pipe and is another factor that determines the strength of the fence. The wider the diameter of the pipe, the more steel is required, and the stronger the chain link fence framework is. Common diameters of chain link fence framework include 1-3/8”, 1-5/8”, 1-7/8” and 2-3/8”.

Chain link framework coating
Like chain link fence fabric, there are different types of protective coatings for chain link fence framework.

The most commonly used chain link framework coating used is inline flow-coat galvanized. The steel flows through a pot of molten zinc, coating its exterior surfaces, as the pipe is formed. Following this step is an organic polymer treatment that provides additional exterior corrosion protection. Then a zinc paint coating is applied to protect the exterior of the pipe.

Unlike inline flow-coat galvanization, the metal of pre-galvanized pipe is galvanized before forming it into round pipe. The pipe is then re-metallized with a zinc coating for extra protection.

Hot-dip galvanized pipe is produced by inline forming and welding. The pipe is then submersed into a tank of molten zinc. Finally, the excess zinc on the inside of the pipe is blown out with air.

Chain link fence color framework
The protective coating of pipe can be enhanced with polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polyester color coating. These additional coatings provide protection against corrosion and add aesthetic appeal that will help the chain link fence framework blend in with the environment. Standard colors of chain link color framework include black, brow, and green.

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Chain Link Fence - Framework Specifications

ASTM specifications chain link fence framework:

F761-82 Standard Specification for Strength Requirements of Steel Posts and Rails for Residential Chain-Link Fence

F934-96 Standard Specification for Stand Colors for Polymer-Coated Chain-Link Fence

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Chain Link Fence - Fittings and Gate Hardware

The chain link fence is only as strong as its’ weakest link. Like chain link fence fabric and framework, all steel fittings including bands, tension bars, nuts and bolts, and gate hardware must be hot-dip galvanized to prevent corrosion. There are many sub-standard fittings in the marketplace. Your best assurance is to look for a full system warranty from a reputable manufacturer. One small part rusting can cause unsightly staining on large areas of your fence.

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Chain Link Fence - Fittings Specifications

ASTM specification for chain link fence fittings:

F626-96 Standard Specification for Fence Fittings

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Chain Link Fence - Gates

In addition to chain link fence fittings, properly manufactured gate hardware is important as it affects the daily operation of the moving part of the fence. The fabric and framework of your gate should be the same as that in your fence. A chain link fence gate can be:

Bent-frame gate have all four corners mechanically bent

Square-welded gates have all four corners welded

Aluminum-corner gates are assembled with four die-cast gate corners, or ells

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Chain Link Fence - Gate Specifications

ASTM specification for chain link fence gates:

F654-91 Standard Specification for Residential Chain-Link Fence Gates

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Contact us today for more information about a chain link fence.