Oxidation proof metal mesh?

In summary, the person is looking for a suitable material to prevent critters from nesting under their solar panels. They have tried galvanized steel mesh and plastic mesh but have found them to be unsuitable. They need a metal mesh that will not rust when exposed to the electrical properties of the solar modules and moisture from the atmosphere. Suggestions for titanium are given due to its inert nature and ability to withstand high temperatures and corrosion. It is recommended to avoid any contact between the titanium and other metals to prevent corrosion.
  • #1
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I'm having trouble finding a suitable material to keep critters from nesting under our solar panels. Galvanized steel mesh oxidizes quickly because being attached to the solar modules, and plastic mesh just isn't strong enough and looks unsightly. I need a steel or metal mesh that will not rust while being subjected to the electrical properties of the solar modules and moisture from the atmosphere. The solar module frames are aluminum.

Any suggestions, PLEASE?

Thanks.
 
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  • #2
I doubt solar panels electricity has anything to do with the steel oxidation. After all, steel mesh is not attached to the wires (hopefully). In any case, isolate steel from any other metal - don't let it touch aluminum, noro copper nor anything else, as that will speed corrosions (not necesarilly of steel) for sure.
 
  • #3
Titanium would be my suggestion; it's rather notably inert. Unoxidized titanium very quickly (as in, a matter of microseconds) forms a protective layer of titanium oxide which prevents further oxidation. Titanium can withstand pure acids at temperatures of 800C or more--- which is, I think, a pretty compelling lack of reactivity.

Find some titanium screen, and I don't think you'll even have to consider what mechanism was affecting the steel; it will simply stop.
 

1. What is oxidation and why is it a concern for metal mesh?

Oxidation is a chemical reaction in which a metal reacts with oxygen to form an oxide layer on its surface. This process can weaken the metal and make it more susceptible to corrosion. For metal mesh, oxidation can reduce its strength and durability, leading to potential failure.

2. How is metal mesh protected from oxidation?

There are several methods to protect metal mesh from oxidation. One common method is by coating the mesh with a layer of paint or other protective coating. Additionally, using a corrosion-resistant metal alloy or applying a protective film can also prevent oxidation. Proper maintenance and cleaning also play a crucial role in preventing oxidation.

3. What factors can accelerate oxidation of metal mesh?

Exposure to moisture, high temperatures, and corrosive chemicals can accelerate the oxidation process. Additionally, physical damage to the mesh, such as scratches or abrasions, can also make it more vulnerable to oxidation.

4. How can I tell if my metal mesh is starting to oxidize?

One of the most obvious signs of oxidation is the formation of rust or a red/orange discoloration on the surface of the mesh. You may also notice a rough or flaky texture on the mesh, and it may become weaker or more brittle.

5. Can metal mesh be completely protected from oxidation?

While it is not possible to completely prevent oxidation, proper precautions can significantly reduce the risk. Choosing a high-quality, corrosion-resistant metal mesh, regular maintenance and cleaning, and minimizing exposure to corrosive elements can all help prolong the lifespan of metal mesh and delay the effects of oxidation.

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