Nail Glossary by NailMOB

Nail Industry Encyclopedia & Definitions

Mesh Size


Definition of Mesh Size

  1. Refers to the particle size of acrylic powders. Think of the mesh as a sifter; the more holes there are in a sifter, the smaller each hole will be. The fewer holes there are in this same sized sifter, the larger the holes will be. So, higher mesh size, means smaller sifting holes, means smaller particles. Lower equal bigger particles. Smaller particle size (thus larger mesh size number) is better! Larger particles (smaller mesh sizing) produce acrylics that are coarser (less smooth), and harder to file. Why is this so? Because the acrylic powder does not become part of the actual acrylic nail polymer. Instead, powder (previously polymerized monomer) is ground up and used only as a base (a filler), or scaffolding for the liquid monomer to polymerize on and around. It is the monomer that is polymerizing together around the powder particles. The powder does not mix with the liquid monomer. The powder is inert. Thus, why it is better to have smaller acrylic polymer powder particles than larger ones. For more info on the hardening and curing process of acrylics (and gels) see the section in “Gel Nails” on “How Gels Work”.

Added to the Nail Glossary on November 10, 2016

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