Wire manufacturing services draw, coil, roll, spool, finish and heat-treat wire and raw wire stock. They may also perform secondary services such as braiding, bonding, cabling, cutting, insulating, printing, slitting, straightening, weaving, and wire wrapping.
Wire Drawing and Wire Rolling
The GlobalSpec SpecSearch database contains information about wire manufacturing services that provide drawing and rolling services.
- Drawing is the process of pulling metal through a die or series of dies to reduce the wire’s diameter to a specified size. Although most wire drawing is performed at room temperature and classified as a cold working process, larger wires are sometimes drawn at elevated temperatures.
- Rolling processes are also used to reduce the wire stock’s cross-sectional area. A metal forming technology for endless materials, rolling uses rotating cylinders (rolls) and driven or un-driven machinery. Driven rolling machines have motorized rolls whereas un-driven machines rely upon the energy from pulling the wire material.
Heat-Treating Processes for Wire
Some wire manufacturing services perform heat treating processes to alter the material properties of wire stock. Typically, these companies perform annealing, tempering, and/or patenting.
- Annealing reduces hardness, improves machinability, facilitates cold-working, and modifies a metal’s microstructure. Annealed wires are used in applications such air bag filters and bag closure systems.
- Tempering reheats quench-hardened or normalized ferrous alloys to a temperature below the transformation range in order to decrease hardness and/or increase toughness. Types of tempered wire include brush, spring wire, flat, lay, and shaped wire.
- Patenting consists of passing wire through tubes in a furnace at approximately 970° C. This high-temperature treatment produces uniform austenite of rather large grain size. Wire ropes for hauling loads are often made from carbon steel wires that are subject to patenting and then drawing.
Wire Manufacturing Applications
Wire manufacturing services serve market segments such as the automotive, aerospace, and machining industries. The GlobalSpec SpecSearch database contains information about suppliers who manufacture the following types of wire, among others.
- Magnet wire is made of copper or aluminum and prevents continuity between adjacent turns in a winding.
- Medical wire is used in suture needles, dental products, spinal styles, and biopsy forceps.
- Music wire is made of high-carbon steel alloys and used in instruments such as guitars. Rope wire is used in the fabrication of yacht rigging and aircraft control cables.
- Spring wire is hard-drawn and available in diameters ranging from .031 in. to .500 in.
- Weaving wire is used to weave or braid cables.
- Welding wire is used in gas welding and brazing processes, as well as arc-welding processes in which the electrode does not furnish the filler material. Wire for electrical discharge machining (EDM) is specially coated.
Wire manufacturing services may also produce general-purpose machining wire, which includes wire types 303 and 416.