MicroVortex Micromesh: Why You Should Demand Better Technology

We’re continuously talking about the Higginbotham Ratio used in the MasterShield stainless steel micro mesh. We’ve given the micro mesh a brand name, MicroVortex, as a way to help you identify products that use this cloth. As Alex Higginbotham, multi-patented inventor of self cleaning micro mesh gutter protection points out, for years gutter guard inventors have said you couldn’t use anything less than 18 threads per inch in a filtration cloth. Micro mesh filtration does not all work the same and it would be frustrating to think you were investing in this technology only to find it doesn’t accomplish what you thought a micro filter should be able to do.

MicroVortex Micro Mesh Gutter Guard

Inside gutter protection with the MicroVortex Micromesh.

First, MicroVortex filters must be made of 316 stainless steel. 316 stainless is the same as surgical grade or marine grade stainless. 316 stainless comes in two forms, 316 and 316L. 316L is designed for welding purposes; it can handle being heated to super high temperatures; but to accomplish this it has to forgo some of its strength. There is no need to weld our cloth, so we use 316 specifically for its strength tolerances. Lesser grades of stainless steel, like 304 or lower, quickly show signs of corrosion or oxidation due to the ancillary metals that are mixed in to create that grade of stainless. As a result, you’ll never see a filter bearing the MicroVortex name with any less pure than 316.

Secondly, the MicroVortex micro mesh is a true micro filtration system. By industrial weaving standards, wire cloth manufacturers define a micro filter as having more than 80 threads per inch. Less than 80 threads is considered a fine filter. Micro filters will keep anything bigger than 100 microns from getting through their surface. And as we noted in an earlier blog post, Alex Higginbotham achieved his first patent on micromesh cloths that meet this specification earlier in the year for use in gutter guards.

The most important feature of the MicroVortex micro mesh is what we call the Higginbotham ratio. To fully appreciate this, you have to look at what happens to water on a single thread and then what happens to water when the threads are woven into a membrane with too much or too little space between each thread.

On a single thread, water will maintain its forward momentum and will cling to the entire surface of the thread. Because of adhesion, it will not drop off unless it hits a termination point where there is no more surface for the water to cling to (a good example of this would be as if it came to the edge of a cliff. At the cliff’s edge, the water has no place to go but to drop off).

This same phenomenon occurs when threads are positioned far apart or very close together. If threads are too far apart, each thread acts as its own independent flow path. If positioned too close together, the threads act as a single flow path. In all cases, the water travels till it hits the “cliff edge”, which, in the case of a gutter guard, is likely the front lip of the gutter.

When the threads are positioned at just the right distance from each other, a different type of flow path is created and different principals of water physics come into play. Up until this point, we’ve described what we’ll call material flow paths, i.e., water flowing along the material it was clinging to. When the right distance between the threads is achieved, a new type of flow path– a gravitational flow path– is achieved. Water still wraps the threads, but now the flow paths intersect, join together and suspend over the open air space between the two threads.

Water volume through the micro mesh doubles as does its velocity. Gravity’s pull takes over to siphon the water suspended between the threads. Water flows more easily through the cloth itself when the Higginbotham ratio is achieved.

That a micro mesh can keep debris from passing through it better than a more open mesh is pretty obvious. But the fact that a micro mesh will accelerate water through it better than an open mesh is not obvious. The physics of the Higginbotham ratio are why the US Patent Office has recognized Alex Higginbotham’s accomplishments to allow a patent claim on what he has taught about micromesh filtration.

MasterShield is currently the only product to feature MicroVortex micromesh and it’s only one of the features of our state-of-the-art gutter protection system. By insisting on this cloth in the gutter guard you install on your home, you can rest assured you’ll be protected by this and other technology taught and patented by Alex Higginbotham.

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MasterShield manufactures gutter guards and gutter heaters for your exterior home improvement needs.
Our innovative microfiltration technology saves homeowners time, effort and money from cleaning out, repairing and replacing unprotected gutters.
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Paterson, NJ 07514