There are 3 types of water ionizer plates being used today, Flat and Solid, Mesh, and Slotted.
The most widely used plates are flat plates followed by mesh plates and some machines have slotted plates.
FLAT PLATES MESH PLATES SLOTTED PLATES
But what are the advantages and differences of the three plate designs? And which plate design is best for me? The owner of the water ionizer machine?
Flat plates are the most durable plate design with the longest lifespan, which is why they are the most widely used. With the flat plate design, the water can only run over the surface of the plate, it cannot go between the plates as with the mesh and slotted plate design. This makes the flat plate the most durable and least prone to calcium buildup. Because the plate is flat and smooth, there is less friction / erosion of the plate over time from the flow of water when compared to mesh plates and slotted plates. Since the plate is flat and smooth, calcium can only deposit on the flat smooth sides, and is easily washed away by the cleaning process. With mesh or slotted plates, the calcium can form in hundreds to thousands of holes and corners within the plate, making it very hard to clean these hundreds or thousands of holes and corners everyday after each use.
With mesh plates, because of the fence like mesh design, water runs over and between all the openings in the mesh design, which creates more internal friction and leads to a shorter lifespan as the mesh plate is more prone to deteriorating. The mesh plate is also weaker than the flat solid plate, simply because it is not solid and rigid but a flexible mesh with hundreds of holes, like a chain-link fence, while a flat and solid plate is more like a flat wood fence, and is stiff and is not flexible. Because of all the small openings in the mesh water ionizer plate it is more prone to calcium buildup, since the calcium has so many tiny corners to begin to build up in. This also makes the mesh plate harder to clean, since calcium which begins to form in all the corners of the mesh design is harder to wash away than calcium which forms on only the surface of the flat solid plates.
Corroding mesh plates with calcium buildup.
An easy way to think about this mathematically is to look at the picture of the mesh plate and the solid flat plate. You will see in the mesh plate there are hundreds of openings or holes and tiny corners, where as in the flat plate there are no openings and no corners, only two flat sides. The calcium has a much easier time gaining a foothold on the mesh plates, since it is much harder to clean those hundreds of holes and corners on each mesh plate than it is to clean only the two surfaces on the flat sold plate. Multiple this by the number of plates inside the machine, 3 5 7 or 9 and you can get an idea of how many corners and holes there are in an electrolysis chamber of a alkaline water machine system that uses mesh plates compared to that of a water ionizer machine which uses solid flat plates.
Mesh plates with calcium and particulate buildup.
Lets just say our water ionizer machine has 5 plates inside. If these are mesh plates like the plate in the photo at the top of this page which has almost 500 holes and 1000 corners in that one mesh plate (you can count them if you like) and if I have 5 of these plates in my electrolysis chamber, then there are a total of 2,500 holes and 5,000 corners in the plates which make up my electrolysis chamber in the mesh design. Plates are laid out in parallel inside the electrolysis chamber and the water flows from top to bottom. With this large number of holes and corners in the electrolysis chamber which uses 5 mesh plates, think of how hard it is to clean it and keep it clear of calcium, day by day, year after year, to keep it functioning optimally and prevent it from clogging. This is the problem with mesh plates, there are so many holes and corners in the design, the plates tend to clog up very quickly with calcium, much faster than flat solid plates. In addition the mesh plates are not very strong, since by their design they are full of holes and are flexible, which leads to them corroding and breaking down very quickly.
Compared to a machine which has only 5 solid and flat plates, there are a total of 2 surfaces per plate, for a total of 10 surfaces in this electrolysis chamber which uses flat solid plates. Thus this setup is much easier to keep clean, the plates are laid out in parallel and water flows from top to bottom. Any calcium deposit will be on the large flat surface of the plate and since the plate is very smooth it is easily washed away by the cleaning function of the machine. This is why flat solid plates are the most used plate design with the best water alkalizer machine ionizer system reviews, because the plates are much easier to keep clean and will last longer than mesh designs. In addition the flat solid plates are much stronger than the flexible mesh plates, flat solid plates are more durable due to this increased strength and do not corrode like mesh plates which are full of holes.
Electrolysis Chamber using Flat Plates
So why do some water ionizer companies use Mesh plates?
The answer is cost and surface area.
Mesh plates are much cheaper and cost less than flat solid plates. This is because mesh plates are lighter, they are full of holes, and this thus allows them to use less of the platinum and titanium metals in their construction. Compared to a flat solid plate of the same size, a mesh plate typically weighs only 30% to 40% of the weight of a flat and solid plate. This translates to big savings for the manufacturer and a much lower unit cost for the machines which use mesh plates.
Mesh plate designs allow manufacturers to claim increased surface area with a decreased amount of plate material and plate cost. This is a geometry problem. With a flat plate there are only two sides, front and back. With a mesh plate there are 8 sides, front and back, and 6 internal surfaces created by a hexagonal hole punched into the plate. Thus by cutting out holes in your plates, you increase the number of sides from 2 sides front and back, to 8 sides front back, and 6 interior sides. Their for by punching out hundreds or thousands of holes in a sold flat plate, you can increase the surface area while decreasing the weight and cost of the plate since you are now creating so many additional surfaces and sides in the plate by punching out these holes.
So why do some manufacturers and sellers advocate mesh plates over other plates?
Once again it is because machines which use mesh plates are cheaper to produce, the platinum and titanium plates inside a water ionizer are the single most expensive part of the device. If you can skimp on this part of the machine and make people believe the lower cost option is better, you can increase your profit margin. Thankfully most water ionizer machines, about 90% of the market use solid flat plates. Only a very small percentage of machines come standard with mesh plate designs, and most machines that use mesh plates actually have an option for mesh plates and an option for solid flat plates, so you can choose.
And what about slotted plates?
Slotted plates attempt to blend the manufacturer benefits and cost savings of mesh plates with the strength and durability of flat solid plates. Slotted plates reduce the cost of the plate while increasing the surface area of the plate by cutting out the “slots” just like how mesh plates have punched out the “holes”. But slotted plates also want to keep the strength and durability of solid flat plates by keeping a more rigid sturdy plate design, more closely resembling a flat plate, and placing the slots inside the plate to increase the surface area of the plate while also decreasing the weight of the plate and the cost of the plate.
However there is a reason why slotted plates attempt to stick with the flat plate design and simply insert the “slots”.
This is because the flat solid plate is the most durable, longest lasting, and easiest to clean plate design.