Galvanized Fence Wire: A Guide

Galvanized Fence Wire: A Guide

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Galvanized fence wire is one of the most commonly used materials in the fence world. It’s used on its own, pre bent into various components, welded, and woven to make fence fabric and panels, and used for all kinds of other things.

Here’s what you need to know about galvanized fence wire.

What Is Galvanized Fence Wire Made Of?

Most galvanized fence wire is made from mild steel; however, some types of wire are made from high tensile steel. If the product you are considering buying is made from high tensile steel, it will probably state it in the product data, and this usually applies to agricultural fence products and sometimes electric fence wire.

Galvanized Before Welding and Galvanized After Welding Wire

Another important thing you should know about galvanized fence wire is that it can be galvanized before welding or weaving or galvanized after welding or weaving. These are also referred to as GBW and GAW in some cases.

Generally, wire that is galvanized after welding or weaving has a thicker layer of zinc on the surface of the steel, which means it is likely to be more corrosion resistant.

Wire Galvanizing Grades or Classes

Different types of galvanized fence wire might have different amounts of galvanizing too.

Sometimes, this is expressed as a grade or class, like class A and class C, and sometimes it’s specified as the amount of galvanizing in ounces, like 1.6oz or 2.0oz.

Generally, the higher the grade and the more galvanizing, the more corrosion resistant the wire will be. So, if you are installing a fence in a very corrosive environment like an industrial plant or near the ocean, you definitely want to choose a better quality of galvanizing.

Galvanized Wire Uses in Fencing

There are many different ways that wire could be used in fencing. Some of the more common uses include:

  • Being woven into chain link fabric
  • Being welded into welded mesh fence fabric or panels
  • Preformed into hog rings
  • Preformed into fence ties (usually in north America)
  • As tie or binding wire
  • As straining or tension wire
  • Used to manufacture barbed wire
  • Electric fence wires
  • Turned into field fence, game fence or veldspan, depending on where you happen to be

These are just some of the ways that galvanized fence wire is used in the fencing industry. So, it’s definitely one of the more versatile and ubiquitous fence materials out there!

How Is Galvanized Fence Wire Sold?

Galvanized fence wire is usually sold by weight, and there’s a theoretical quantity for each diameter per kilogram or pound. So, you can calculate how much wire will be on a coil based on the weight of the coil.

Most fence suppliers sell galvanized fence wire in prepackaged weights, but some might sell you some by meter or foot, or by the pound or kilogram. Small quantities usually cost more though, because there’s more work involved in unrolling it from a master coil.

What Are the Most Common Galvanized Fence Wire Gauges or Diameters?

There are several ways to measure the thickness of galvanized fence wire, but the most common method is gauge or diameter in millimeters.

We’ve created this chart of the most common wire gauges (with corresponding diameters) and most commonly used metric diameters.

Other wire gauges and diameters might be available, but these are the most commonly used.

fence wire chart

How Strong Is Galvanized Fence Wire?

The quality and strength of galvanized fence wire can vary enormously depending on the exact type of steel used, so it’s very hard to provide a fixed tensile strength for this type of wire, except to say that the type of wire used for chain link mesh will usually be between 440 and 785 MPa.

That’s quite a big range, so the best way to be sure you’re getting high quality, strong galvanized fence wire is to request the mill certificates for the wire from the manufacturer or supplier.

A Crucial Fence Material

Wire is probably the least interesting thing in a fence factory, but it’s one of the most important parts of so many fence systems. Choosing the right wire can make a big difference to the quality of the fence too, so it’s a good idea to make sure you have all the information before you select a product.

Hopefully, you now have a little more insight into galvanized fence wire and can make informed choices for your next fence project.