Should you choose steel wire panels or polycarbonate panels to protect you and your operators from your machine?

Well it depends!

What are the differences you ask?
The steel wire panel is composed of Ø3mm (Ø1/8in) steel wires welded together. After welding, the panel is powder coated in black. A welded frame supports the wire mesh to be able to mount it on the extrusion feets.
The polycarbonate is a translucent sheet of plastic cut to size and mounted inside or on an extrusion frame.

Pros and cons:

Steel wire panels:

  • They are the most economical.
  • They are scratch resistant.
  • They allow ventilation.
  • They are standard in size and readily available.
  • They are low in maintenance.
  • They are tested to comply with the ISO 14120 standard. For more details, see Safety Enclosure Ecosystem.


  • They won’t protect you from projection of liquids, shavings, dust or small parts.
  • Since it has openings, the panel should be placed at the correct distance from the danger zone. For more details, see Safety Enclosure Ecosystem.

Polycarbonate panels:

  • They will protect you from projections of liquid, shavings, dust or small parts.
  • They will allow full visibility on your machine.
  • They give a nice look to your machine.


  • They are a high cost solution, every panel needs to be custom cut.
  • They are very low scratch resistant and will wear out in time as more and more scratches appear, they would need replacement after a few years.
  • They are high maintenance because they easily become dirty.
  • Their installation is more time consuming.

To conclude, if you are designing an enclosure that is floor mounted and you are not protecting an operator or any other machine from projections like dust and shavings and you are not looking for a full translucent style machine go with the Steel Wire Panels route.

Have you ever been in a situation where you had to chose between steel wire or polycarbonate panels? I’d love to hear about your experience below!

1 Like

I’d add that polycarbonate has issues with static electricity causing particles to adhere to it. If you got the polycarbonate because it’s clear then that’s a big deal.


My experience with polycarbonate has been great. I did an impact test and concluded that 1/16" polycarbonate was more than adequate but the smallest Vention could go was 1/4", and that works out well too.


Awesome input Brad :slight_smile: