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What Are the Different Types of Metal Fencing?

Chain link fencing featuring barbed wire is a popular choice for prisons.
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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 06 July 2014
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Perhaps the most common and recognizable form of metal fencing in modern times is the chain link fence, but several other varieties of metal fencing exist. These range from the extremely ornate to the simple and functional, and the specific metals used range from aluminum to steel and wrought iron. Wrought iron fence is the least common type of metal fencing, as it is often quite expensive and difficult to find. Chain link fencing is quite inexpensive compared to other types of fencing, and it works well as security fencing or for industrial purposes.

In residential areas, molded iron fencing is quite common. It looks fairly similar to wrought iron, but wrought iron metal fencing is often more ornate than molded iron. The difference between the two types of metal fencing is the process through which the fencing is made: wrought iron is often made by hand because the ornate bends and angles require it, whereas molded iron fencing is made by heating the iron to liquid form and pouring it into molds to set. The process of making molded iron fencing is much simpler and faster, which reduces the purchase price of molded iron panels and posts.

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Chain link fence is often made from galvanized steel. Since steel is prone to rust, it must be coated with another rust-resistant material; zinc is often used for this purpose. Galvanized steel fencing is extremely versatile, and it can be made into different shapes and features. A fence, for example, may feature a simple gate, or it may feature a gate that opens into a chain link room or box. Crafting such features is quite easy with chain link fencing, making it a popular choice for prisons, sports facilities, businesses, and farms.

For home use, wire fences are a popular form of metal fencing used in gardens. Wire fences are useful for keeping small animals out of the area, and such fencing often needs no special tools and no concrete footings. It is a lightweight and light duty option that will not support much weight, but it is inexpensive and quick and easy to install. Aluminum fencing is another option for a light duty border fence or pool fence. These types of fences are also quite lightweight and often do not require concrete footings to be poured. They can be made to mimic the look of iron or other metals as well, though they are not meant to bear a large load.

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