Railing In-Fills  



Integrating channel framed wire mesh panels with railing systems can be an effective method for providing strong, safe fall-protection at reduced cost when compared to multi-line pipe rails and even picket rails.  Infill panels fabricated of steel woven wire mesh in open-toed steel channel frames, which abut directly to rails and posts on all sides, are the least expensive option in the market place for infilling railings.

Mesh panels can also add creative beauty to rail systems.  As one would expect, the cost of mesh railing-infill panels increases as a function of the desired aesthetic.  For example, each of the following factors will impact cost:

  • The complexity of mesh pattern (e.g., the compound mesh patterns in our Tartan Weave™ product line are more expensive than simple diamond or orthogonal patterns)

Tartan Weave Sure Guard™ Square Mesh Sure Guard™ Diamond Mesh
  • The complexity of the panel framing members (e.g., compound framing members like channels with flat bar closures or channels with capping swallow channels are more expensive than simple open-toed channel frames
  • The particularity of the base metal (e.g., mesh panels fabricated with stainless steel are more expensive than the same panels fabricated with carbon steel, pre-galvanized material and aluminum).
  • The distinctiveness of the final finish (e.g., powder coating over aluminum or pre-galvanized material, anodized aluminum, and polished stainless steel are all more expensive finishes than air-dried painted finishes over plain steel).

The G-S Company custom manufactures railing-infill panels to meet any design aesthetic.  We are certain we can meet yours.

Appropriate wire gages for specific mesh patterns

In order to meet the load code requirements for railing-infill panels, the appropriate wire diameter depends on the size of the mesh pattern.  The larger the mesh pattern, the greater the diameter of the wire required.  For example, if a 2” x 2” on center mesh pattern is desired for a steel mesh panel for indoor use (i.e., not destined for hot dip galvanizing), then a minimum of 8-gage (0.162” diameter) steel wire should be utilized for structural integrity.  If the mesh panel is destined for galvanizing, then a minimum of 6-gage (0.192” diameter) steel wire is required for a 2” pattern.  If the panel is fabricated in aluminum, then a minimum of 6-gage (0.192”) diameter aluminum wire should be used for a 2” pattern.   For a 4” x 4” pattern, 0.250” diameter steel wire should be used.  For a 1” x 1” pattern, a minimum of 11-gage (0.120”) diameter steel wire should be utilized.

The chart below shows the appropriate wire gage (diameter) for our most popular patterns:

Mesh Patterns

Min. Gage for steel or S.S.

Minimum Gage for aluminum

Minimum Gage for steel destined for hot dip galvanizing

1.0” x 1.0” mesh

11 gage (0.120”)

10 gage (0.135”)

10 gage (0.135”)

1.5” x 1.5” mesh

10 gage (0.135”)

8 gage (0.162”)

8 gage (0.162”)

Tartan Weave™ A-10

10 gage (0.135”)

10 gage (0.135”)

10 gage (0.135”)

Tartan Weave™ B -8

8 gage (0.162”)

8 gage (0.162”)

8 gage (0.162”)

Tartan Weave™ C-6

6 gage (0.192”)

6 gage (0.192”)

6 gage (0.192”)

2.0” x 2.0” mesh

8 gage (0.162”)

6 gage (0.192”)

6 gage (0.192”)

3.0” x 3.0” mesh

6 gage (0.192”)

0.250” diameter

0.250” diameter

4.0” x 4.0” mesh

0.250” diameter

0.250” diameter

0.250” diameter


Frame Styles

Simple Open-Toed Channel Frames are intended for direct welded attachment to railing and post members.  As stated previously, mesh panels, which are fabricated with square or diamond steel woven wire in open-toed steel channel frames, are the least expensive option in the market place for infilling railings.  While other open-toed channels can be and are used, the two most popular open-toed framing members are:

  • 1” x ½” x 1/8” hot rolled steel bar channel 
  • 1” x ½” x 11 gage roll formed steel channel
1” x ½” x 1/8” hot rolled steel bar channel
1” x ½” x 11 gage roll formed steel channel



Please note in the above details that when open-toed channel frames abut to round pipe rails and posts, the toes of the channels overlap the pipe.  To achieve a neat tight fit of channel to pipe, the mesh panels must be made slightly larger than the tangent point to tangent point opening dimension.  Because the panels are larger than the opening in the rails, they cannot be installed in an already assembled railing.  This necessitates that the rail panels be fabricated prior to assembling the railing and shipped to the railing fabricator in order for the rail fabricator to integrate the mesh panels with the railing while the rails are built.  Sizing the panels to the same dimensions as the tangent point to tangent point opening will create unsightly gaps where channel meets pipe and should be avoided.

The overlapping of channel toes on the rail members does not occur when open-toed channels abut flat surfaces, e.g. tube or flat bar rail/post members as shown below:

Hot Rolled Channel abutting Flat Bar
Roll Formed Channel abutting Square Tube



Closed Perimeter Panels are required for safety and aesthetics whenever wire mesh infill panels “float” off the rails and/or posts.  The exposed wire ends inside an open-toed channel are both unsafe and unattractive.  Closed perimeter panels float off the railing members and are attached via offset clips. These panels are often used simply because the “floating” look is preferred.  But, floating mesh panels off the rail members has an added benefit for scheduling.  Their use allows the railing to be fabricated simultaneously with, or even before, the mesh panels since the floating mesh panels do not need to be installed while the rail is assembled. 

There are many types of closed perimeter frames:

Toes of channels capped with 1/8” x 1” cold rolled closure flat
Flat is intermittently welded at +/-6 inches o.c. to toes of framing channel all around both faces of panel and continuously at corners

Framing channel swallowed by 1 ¼” x 5/8” channel cap 
This capping method eliminates the visual seam in elevation view noticeable with the previous closure flat method.

GS Box Channel (a.k.a. “slit tube”) frame 
Mesh is tack welded intermittently to lips of continuous slit.  Tack welds are exposed to view.

MORE TO COME
For more information please contact:
Tom Schap (410) 284-9549 x122
or toms@g-sco.com

 
 
   
 
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7920 Stansbury Road Baltimore, MD 21222   Phone: 410.284.9549 Fax: 410.282.6499
The G-S Company has been providing custom installation since 1928