Wires are everywhere you look in the modern world – whether it’s supplying schools, homes, and offices with electricity or performing vital functions within machinery and industrial systems. They are an indisputably vital part of modern human society, ensuring that everything is connected and functioning as it should be.
Wires often seem very simplistic in nature – after all, at first glance, they are simply strands of metal that can be utilized in a number of different ways, depending on the manufacturing process of the wire and which materials were used to construct it.
However, this is simply not the case, and there is a significant amount of science and technology that goes into creating wires, as it is in the chosen metals, chemicals, and processes that an actual, functioning wire is created.
Such is the diversity in the use of wires that there is a huge range of processes that can be completed in order to create a wire of specific purpose and type.
Read on to find out more about some of the most critical steps to manufacturing any wire and how the myriad of metal strings that surround us at all times come to be in the first place.
The first important step in the wire manufacturing process is wire drawing. This is how the raw metal material starts to resemble the wire that everyone is familiar with.
Whether the manufacturer requires copper, aluminum, or steel, a metal rod is taken and drawn through a series of synthetic diamond dies. These diamond dies are ever decreasing in diameter, compressing the metal rod into a thinner and thinner tube until it resembles the diameter required for the wire.
While this process sounds somewhat simple, the machinery involved is very technical and requires a number of chemicals to ensure that the process goes smoothly. This usually includes the use of cooling and lubricant systems, as the friction generated in the wire drawing process could be dangerous if not tended to.
While one of the main properties of wire is that it is long and thin, another is often that flexibility is required too. For something so thin, without flexibility, there is a real chance that it could snap due to brittleness.
Once the wire drawing process has been completed, the finished result is a wire-looking object with none of the flexibility required. This is where the annealing process comes in.
Annealing is the process of heating a drawn wire to its recrystallization point, which causes the material to soften into the flexible state required. Annealed wire like that found at balingwiredirect.com is more durable once the process has been completed.
Twisting and stranding
In order to increase the strength of a wired unit, as well as the flexibility and conductivity, twisting and stranding can be completed. This process involves taking wires of the same gauge and length and twisting them together in a precalculated manner.
When the primary focus is on strength and holding weight, many multiple strands can be twisted together to create wire rope, which has the same strength properties as normal rope, just with a stronger material.