It is unknown when or how mine mesh first saw its way into underground mines. One can only surmise that this possibly this occurred when an entrepreneurial miner required additional surface support and then sourced a standard mesh product which was available from the local hardware outlet.
Over time the use of mine mesh has evolved to the point where the industry norm is the use of welded mine mesh manufactured from either galvanised or black wire with standard apertures of 100mm. This typical mine mesh has served the industry for many years with hundreds of thousands of tonnes being sold globally.
However, with ever evolving underground conditions and more stringent safety requirements our client base requested a lighter, stronger and more cost effective mine mesh.
Australian Steel and Wire’s innovation team seized upon this challenge and began the process of developing a new mesh, bearing in mind the 3 requirements
Lighter— In today’s mines there is a requirement to minimise the weight miners are expected to carry or lift due to the number of soft tissue injuries to which they are often subjected. Typically to reduce the weight of two equally sized mine mesh sheets, the apertures would need to be made larger or the wire diameter would need to be reduced and both these options on their own are unacceptable.
Stronger— In the quest to make a lighter mesh the design team had to ensure that the mesh strength would not be compromised, but rather improved.
Cost effective — The design team needed to look at this aspect to ensure both lightness and strength were achieved with an overall cost benefit.
Mine Shield@ Mine Safety Mesh
These challenges were met head on and our design team set to work producing a mesh that met the 3 criteria of being Lighter, Stronger and more Cost Effective.
This has been achieved by strategically placed 5 mm wires, instead of the normal 5.6mm wires, in a unique pattern to create pockets or zones in the mesh that have the effect of creating enhanced strength across the whole sheet.