MUKWONAGO, WI—DECEMBER 05, 2013—Banker Wire recently partnered with Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute in Carlsbad, CA, to design and weave copper-alloy ‘fish pens.’ Scientists are using the innovative pens to conduct research with important implications for international aquaculture.
The International Copper Association, in conjunction with Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute and the American Soybean Association, deployed the three 2-by-2-by-2 meter full-cycle copper-net pens in July 2013. Hubbs scientists are currently comparing the development of juvenile white seabass living in copper-net pens with that of fish in traditional nylon cages as part of an ongoing white seabass wild stock enhancement program. The International Copper Association and its project partners will use the study to explore the potential of copper alloy mesh aquaculture pens for developing regions in Asia and throughout the world.
The International Copper Association and Luvata, the manufacturer of the copper wire used on the pens, turned to Banker Wire for help with their design and manufacturing. Banker Wire responded with a modular, easily shippable design that can be constructed using only traditional fasteners – such as nuts, bolts and lock washers – and common wrenches. The nets’ simple design contributes to the viability of their use in developing regions.
“We had 5 or 6 iterations of the design,” says Langley Gace, Aquaculture Applications Development Manager at the International Copper Association. “Banker Wire was extremely responsive to our needs during the design process and even after installation.”
Banker Wire wove the panels using Luvata Seawire™, a copper alloy wire specifically formulated for aquaculture applications. Because of its natural corrosion resistance and metallurgical and biological properties, copper alloy is well suited for marine use, and Banker Wire formed it into a weave that met this application’s very specific requirements.
The wire used was 0.080” in diameter, woven by Banker Wire in a flat top crimp style. This crimp creates a smooth surface in the pens’ interiors, enabling a “fish-friendly” environment. The structure and rigidity provided by woven wire mesh allows the pens to maintain their shape against ocean waves and currents, which prevents fish crowding. Openings of ¼” in the semi-rigid mesh keep fish safe without ensnaring and harming potential predators.
“Banker Wire woven wire mesh has a unique combination of mechanical strength, durability and flexibility,” says Michelle Eastburn, Product Engineering Manager at Banker Wire. “Those characteristics make Banker Wire products incredibly versatile and are essential for the creation of effective aquaculture structures."
The copper-net pens aim to allow more environmentally and financially sustainable aquaculture – making it a more feasible industry for developing regions. Copper-alloy mesh stays naturally clean, eliminating the need for added antibiotics and anti-fouling chemicals and lowering overall maintenance costs. Banker Wire’s weaving process produces very little scrap, and copper-alloy mesh, which lasts for six years or more, is fully recyclable. Moreover, the pens’ design allows farmers to stock juveniles that will grow to market-sized fish throughout their lifespan, eliminating the need for additional nursery pens.
The pens will be removed from the water in December 2013. Scientists at Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute plan to use them for further research, and the International Copper Association will initiate studies in Vietnam based on lessons-learned in California.
About Banker Wire
Banker Wire is the world’s leading manufacturer of woven and welded wire mesh for architectural and industrial applications. With the most modern and productive mill in the U.S., Banker Wire provides custom-weaved material for any aesthetic on any scale – from intricate design highlights to expansive building facades. Founded in 1896, Banker Wire’s manufacturing expertise has been refined for more than a century, bringing unmatched customization, quality, and service to customers. State-of-the-art grid welding equipment provide a wide variety of wire alloy, spacing and diameter configurations, trimmed or untrimmed. For more information visit https://www.bankerwire.com.
About Architectural Woven Wire Mesh
Pre-crimped woven wire mesh is constructed of individual wires that are crimped prior to being woven together on a loom. Pre-crimping the wires provides a much higher degree of control during the weaving process. This allows for far more intricate and interesting patterns, as well as unique customization, to meet the vision of the designer. Banker Wire has refined and innovated its crimping process more than any other manufacturer, delivering more than 8,000 different spacing, diameter, and crimp combinations, plus endless customization options. As a result, Banker can make any woven wire mesh pattern imaginable – manufactured to specify for any project type.