Wire mesh fraud said under scrutiny

Oct 02, 2013 | 05:31 PM | Samuel Frizell

Tags  Welded wire reinforcement, wire mesh, ASTM International specifications, Wire Reinforcement Institute, H.O. Woltz III, Insteel Industries, Greg Hall, SSW Holding Samuel Frizell

 NEW YORK — Some wire mesh producers are fraudulently labeling welded wire reinforcement that does not meet industry standards as compliant, a practice that has come under increased scrutiny recently, market participants told AMM.

The practice of labeling material as compliant with American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) specification when it is not has been deflating wire prices for years but it has gained increasing attention since August, when an industry association took note.

The Wire Reinforcement Institute (WRI), an association of wire mesh producers that promotes the use of mesh in construction, told its members in August that undersized product is being distributed.

"It has come to the attention of the WRI that undersized, improperly or untagged welded wire reinforcement, which does not meet ASTM International and/or applicable building code specifications or standards, has appeared in various locations within the North American marketplace," the WRI said in an Aug. 1 letter.

Producers who choose to abide by widely accepted ASTM specifications may label their product with an ASTM tag, giving it credibility when it is sold to brokers, building contractors and big box stores.....

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