As is standard for the irrigation industry, nothing is standardized! Irrigation filters are no different. Some manufacturers use a Mesh number or size while others use a Micron size number. Selecting the best filter for your irrigation project is confusing enough without trying to figure out what the difference between mesh and micron is.
Mesh size is the “mesh number” (a US standard of measure for filter screens) in reference to the size of the opening in the screen. Mesh number technically refers to the number of openings in a linear inch (although many use a square inch) of the filter screen material. So a screen with 30 openings along a linear inch (or square inch) of material is considered a 30 mesh screen. As the mesh number increases, the size of openings decreases, thus the larger the mesh number, the finer the filtration.
Micron is a term of measurement used to describe the size of tiny particles. Thus in filter screens, micron size refers to the maximum size of a particle that will pass through the filter screen. To get an understanding of a micron sized particle - with good but average vision you can see objects as small as about a tenth of a millimeter. A micron is one-thousandth of a millimeter. So in essence, the smaller the micron number the finer the filtration.
In relationship to the size of particle that will pass through that opening, we must consider the strand size of the filter screen material. Type of material or wire size may differ, making the opening between strands vary. This may cause slight variances in mesh to micron conversion for various types of materials and manufacturers. It is important to remember that mesh size is not a precise measurement of particle (micron) size.
Noted below are some common particulates and their approximate micron size for comparison.
|Particulate||Bacteria||Clay||Giardia||Beach Sand||Fine Sand||Silt||Plant Spores||Viruses|
|Micron Size||0.3 - 60||0.1 - 2||8 - 14||62.5 - 2000||125 - 250||2 - 50||3 - 100|
0.005 - 0.3
Common Mesh to Micron Conversion Chart
For additional assistance in selecting a filter to match your irrigation needs see our Filter Buying Guide.