Chain Link Fence
Chain Link Fence is one of the most cost efficient ways to fence your residential or commercial property. Chain Link Fence is available in a variety of heights, finishes and specifications which also makes it one of the more versatile fencing products able to satisfy any installation desire. The standard heights of a Chain Link Fence basically range from 3′ tall, up to 12′ tall. Greater heights can be achieved with custom weaves or by overlapping different height meshes.
Chain Link Fence is available in a variety of finishes. Galvanized is the most common finish used in commercial applications while with residential fencing projects you are apt to see a good mix between galvanized and vinyl color system finishes (VCS) . The vinyl finishes (VCS) come in three basic color choices: Black, Brown & Green. Custom colors are also available but usually come with attached set up fees and minimum quantity quotas. For coastal areas where salt is an issue, or in the case you find your property backs up to a large salty lake, aluminum and aluminum coated mesh products are also available.
We at Infinity Fence Inc. make sure we offer quality chain link fence materials and provide our customers with detailed estimates so you know exactly what you are getting. We know, that there is much to be considered and we are here to help you with that process. Please feel free to give us a call (919-846-2229), email us or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment for an estimate or to discuss your chain link fence needs.
To see pictures of our chain link fence installations please visit our Gallery
For more product information and links to manufactures web sites please visit Product Resources
Chain Link Fence, as with other types of fencing, can be classified into three general categories; Residential, Commercial & Industrial. Different configurations of frame and mesh specifications are what mark the differences between the three, though quite often, a “mixing” of the material grade configurations is common in order to achieve particular installation goals. It is recommended that any quote you get specifies what materials are being used and not just a general grading classification as that does not guarantee what materials are actually being used.
As with any fence installation, location and application usage should always be considered when installing your chain link fence. No matter it’s type or style, it is also beneficial that you have a proposal presented to you providing the complete scope and material specifications of the project as many materials used have similar appearance yet different wall thickness and gauge specifications. If you are unsure, ask your contractor for those details as they do make a difference.
History of Chain Link Fence
While not the oldest of the fence categories, chain link fence has its roots in the mid 1800’s in the United Kingdom, city of Norwich, where in 1844 the firm of Barnard, Bishop & Barnard started manufacturing chain link mesh with the use of the first chain link weaving machine. This machine’s design was based on the cloth weaving machines of the time. Due to it’s cost efficiency and durability, it was not long before the chain link fence became a viable fencing alternative.
The late 1800’s saw the manufacturing of chain link make its way state-side as Anchor Fence was established. Anchor Fence purchased its own weaving machines from Belgium and began producing home-spun chain link mesh. They also introduced the “Shoe & Anchor” post installation system (pictured right). To this day, Anchor Fence remains an influencing presence within the industry and the “Shoe & Anchor” post setting system is one that can be found still in use.
While chain link fence remains virtually unchanged from its inception, the advancement of technologies have led to modifications and enhancements. The mid 1900’s saw the advancement of PVC and thus the inception of the vinyl coated chain link mesh which brought color to the world of chain link. Other technological advancements and innovative thinking have produced an array of accessories including; Slats, Privacy & Windscreen Fabrics, Safety Caps for ball field usage as well as Gate Hardware and Accessory Improvements.
The Chain Link Fence Framework
The Framework is the “skeleton” of the fence, the structure upon which the chain link mesh is attached. The framework is generally made of pipe (also referred to as tubing). The pipe is generally galvanized or galvanized with a coating (color systems). The pipe that is available to construct the framework comes in a variety of diameters and wall thicknesses.
Different manufacturers or suppliers will have different “tag” associations for pipe. Tubing usually refers to a residential grade pipe, where as for commercial and industrial pipe you may see an array of abbreviations (SS20, CQ20, DQ20, DQ40, SS30, Sch. 30, Sch. 40, etc). Since there is no absolute industry standard for these abbreviations, it is important to know your wall thicknesses. Some commercial bid applications use a weight per foot to distinguish pipe grades, but for most uses it is easiest to compare wall thickness measurements. These can be found as either a gauge measurement, a decimal measurement, or both. (See “Pipe Charts” tab for specification tables.)
Different grades of fence (residential, commercial and industrial) will have different base configurations. Ultimately the finished configuration of materials for any one project can vary from these base configurations as per project goal and structural requirements. You should look to have this detailed information provided to you on your proposal requests as these specifications can make a big difference to the performance and staying power of the fence.
Infinity Fence Inc. provides a gauge and/or decimal figure for all residential quotes and a “tag” and/or decimal figure for commercial pipe being used. We typically “tag” using SS for commercial grade and Sch. for industrial.
The base individual parts that make up the frame (skeleton) of the fence:
This is the general term used for the name of the post to which the mesh is hooked up to using tension bands and tension bars, also referred to by some as a pull post. Terminal Post generally refers to End, Corner or Gate posts. These posts are generally 2-1/2” in diameter or larger depending on grade, height and load specifications of the proposed fence.
These are the intermediary posts (the posts between the terminal posts). These posts are generally 1-5/8” – 3” in diameter or larger depending on height and load specifications. Maximum post spacing should be kept to 10′ or less for standard installations.
This is the rail found at the top of the fence. It runs from terminal post to terminal post, running atop the line posts with the use of loop tops, running through these tops which are caps placed on the line posts.
This is a rail, used in lieu of a bottom coil wire, that may be used on some installation applications to help control the in and out movement of the bottom of the mesh between posts. Bottom rail is installed using line rail clamps, commonly referred to as boulevards. Bottom rail will supply maxim stability to the bottom of the chain link mesh. (Note: Mid Rails for fencing are installed in the same manner for additional fence and mesh support.)
Top Coil Wire:
A wire that is used in lieu of a top rail. The coil wire is a 6 or 7 gauge, pre-coiled wire that is attached from terminal post to terminal post and pulled tight. The coil wire runs through the loop tops in the same fashion as top rail. When using wire, bracing of the terminal post is required. The two main bracing options are either, using a horizontal brace and truss rod configuration or using a “k” brace set where a rail is run from the top part of the terminal to the base of the first line post.
Bottom Coil Wire:
The most common way to control the bottom movement of the mesh between posts. Attached and pulled tight from and/or around terminal to terminal and then tied off to the line posts. This is the most common installation to control the movement of the bottom of the mesh and will supply sufficient support in most cases.
Please take note that while many if not most fence installation companies use a 9 gauge flat wire for bottom coil wire installation on residential and commercial 9 gauge vinyl chain link mesh installations. This is not a coil wire, as is has no inherent coiling properties, and will not provide the same or proper results as a true coil wire. We here at Infinity Fence Inc. use 6 gauge coil wire for all vinyl chain link mesh installations.
5/8″ or 3/4″ wide flat steel bar that is slipped through the mesh so that the mesh can be attached to terminal post via the tension bands.
Placed on the end of the rail so attachment can be made to brace band. They come in Aluminum, Pressed Steel and Malleable construction. Typical residential installations use aluminum rail ends, while pressed steel and malleable rail ends are primarily used for commercial and industrial fence installation projects.
Used to attach rail end, coil and barbed wires to terminal posts.
Used to attach mesh and tension bars to terminal posts. There should be one less tension band for total height of fence.
Aluminum or steel wire cuts that are used to tie the mesh to the top rail, bottom rail and posts, as well as attaching the coil wire to the line posts. Ties generally are hook and wrap and should be hooked and wrapped to the same inside fabric diamond, staying close to the rail or post to optimize the ties effectiveness. Tie spacing should be a maximum of 2′ on center for rails, and one less tie than the height of fence for the posts.
Used to attach the fabric to the coil wire. Spacing of rings should be a minimum of 2′ on center, closer depending on application and need.
Chain Link Mesh
This is the woven metal mesh that is the chain link in the chain link fence. The mesh is made up of individual metal weaves that are then either knuckled, twisted and barbed or a combination of the two on the ends to hold the weaves in place.
This mesh is available in a few different gauges (the finished thickness of the link), core sizes (the inner piece of metal that has a vinyl coating on it) and diamond sizes (the measurement across any given diamond the weaving of the mesh creates). The smaller the gauge number the thicker and stronger the mesh, the same can be applied to core size.
Of Note: While the gauge of a vinyl coated mesh may match its galvanized counterpart in final gauge size, the strength of the vinyl mesh is actually reduced as the vinyl mesh gauge is calculated on the total thickness of the core wire plus the coating.
For example, the decimal conversion of 9 gauge is .148, the finished gauge measurement of both the galvanized and vinyl mesh is .148. The vinyl coated mesh though has a core and a coating of which only the core provides any structure to the mesh. The core measurement of the 9 gauge vinyl coated mesh is approximately .091 which is 13 gauge, thus making the 9 gauge vinyl coated mesh significantly weaker than its galvanized counterpart. We suppose it’s the proverbial comparing little apples to big apples theory.
Now, while the meshes are available in many varying gauge and diamond configurations, including high security mini mesh, the following are the more common configurations you will see used in fencing:
Chain Link Fence Accessories
Slats and Privacy/Windscreen Fabrics are probably the two more common accessories applied to fences. Slats and Screens are used in order to block some to most of the view through the fence or in the case of a tennis court, block some of the wind.
Once just a simple vinyl sleeve slipped vertically through the chain link mesh with a locking bar, there are now quite a selection of different slats variations and colors for just about every need. The most common type of slats used are the bottom locking slats pictured here along with a few others.
Privacy / Windscreen Fabrics
These fabrics are attached to fence providing protection from wind and/or for added privacy and screening for chain link fence installations. They come in a varying degree of screening, typically ranging from 80-95% with fabric being a UV resistant, high density polyethylene and/or polypropylene material and colors (fabric type dependent). The privacy screen is attached to the fence frame and chain link using either hog rings and/or zip ties.
Chain Link Fence Specifications
The sets below are the base sets we use here at Infinity Fence as minimum requirements we feel are needed to meet each grade classification while delivering a long lasting quality installation. Remember, the finished configuration of materials for any one project can vary from these base configurations as per project goal and need. You should look to have this detailed information provided to you on the proposals you revieve as these specifications can make a big difference in the performance and staying power of the fence.