What Is Chain Link Fencing?

Posted on: 23 February 2018

A chain link fence is easy to identify because it has a diamond-shaped structure that is made up of zig-zagging wires. These wires are interconnected to one another by a process that is referred to as weaving. This creates a mesh that can be installed rapidly by simply rolling it out on site and attaching it to a framework. As such, wire fencing tends to be a popular choice in industrial situations where a cheap solution is needed to prevent unwarranted access or to mark off one area from another. Mesh fencing is also found in playgrounds, agricultural settings and car parks. However, it is also favoured by some architects as a way of providing a different texture, especially when it is used alongside materials like concrete.

The Development of Chain Link Fencing

Although it is often thought of as a modern construction material, chain link fencing has been made on an industrial basis since the mid-nineteenth century. A firm in Norwich, in the East of England, first developed a machine that could make the woven metal strands of a chain link fence, a process that borrowed from many of the principles of industrialised cloth weaving. The automated process of manufacturing chain links soon caught on throughout the United States and, later, the rest of the world.

Manufacturing Chain Link Fencing

Modern chain link fencing manufacturers often use a double helix method of construction to wrap two wires of the ensuing mesh at the same time. Although the end product is largely the same as the old-fashioned style of manufacturing, fence makers can double their output, thereby creating efficiencies of both time and energy usage. The metal wire used to make chain link fences is also now galvanised more often than not. This means that the metalwork is given an outer layer that protects it from the elements as well helping to prevent structural damage from light knocks and scrapes.

Installing Chain Link Fencing

Although mesh fences are relatively easy to install, they do require strong anchor points for the mesh to remain in place for a long time. Terminal posts, often fixed into the ground with concrete foundations, are needed at either end of the fence. In between them, additional supports – sometimes referred to as line posts – are used to prevent the mesh from sagging. These supports don't necessarily need to be fixed to the ground so long as the terminal posts are not too far apart from one another.