abrasive mesh size

Mesh Size

1. What is Mesh Size:

Mesh size means how many opening in one linear inch of screen. For example, A 20 mesh screen has 20 openings per inch while A 100 mesh screen has 100 openings per inch, and so on. There are several mesh size systems available but varies slightly. In this article, we are talking about US standard mesh size.

The mesh number indicates higher the mesh number, finer the particle size. However, mesh size is not a precise particle size, but it gives us ground to compare particles size from different sources. In mass finishing, we use mesh size to measure abrasive grit as it related to media abrasiveness.


2.  Mesh Size related to abrasiveness:

Bigger mesh number means finer particle grit, which leads to low abrasiveness. In contrast, smaller mesh number means courser particles grit, which provides higher cutting power. In mass finishing tumbling media, we use mesh size to compare media aggressiveness.

Ceramic media with higher cutting power is ideal for deburring and material removal. But it also leaves a rougher surface.

Plastic media with a lower cutting power well performance for smoothing softer metal. Therefore, it creates a surface with a low Ra value.


Mesh SizeGrit SizeAbrasivenessFunction
Big Mesh number1200 (for example plastic media)6umLowPolishing, Smoothing
Small Mesh number320 (for example ceramic media)36umHighDeburring

Table illustration of mesh size in relation to tumbling media abrasiveness


particle size relation to cutting performance
particle size relation to cutting performance


A study has been made by (Moore 1974; Nathan & Jones 1966) regarding “Effect of grain size on stock removed for abrasive wear studies”. We can compare the cutting power for different abrasive size against the main metal categories.


3. Mesh Conversion Chart

The table below shows us mesh size conversion with micron and inches. These values are basically correct and mesh wire is based on the American National Standard wire cloth to get the value.

Standard ASTM E11-17, ISO 565-1990, and ISO 3310-1:2016 sieve specifications.


US MeshMicronInches
44,750 um0.187
54,000 um0.157
63,350 um0.132
72,800 um0.111
82,360 um0.0937
102,000 um0.0787
121,700 um0.0661
141,400 um0.0555
161,200 um0.0473
181,000 um0.0394
20850 um0.0331
24690 um0.027
30560 um0.022
36485 um0.019
40425 um0.016
46355 um0.014
54305 um0.012
60250 um0.01
70210 um0.0083
80165 um0.0065
90145 um0.0057
100149 um0.0059
120125 um0.0049
140105 um0.0041
15089 um0.0035
17088 um0.0031
18076 um0.003
20075 um0.0029
22063 um0.0025
24053 um0.002
28044 um0.0015
32036 um0.0012
40023 um0.00087
50019 um0.00075
60016 um0.00063
80012 um0.00047
1,0009 um0.00028
1,2006 um0.00024

Note: (American Standard ASTM-E 11)