Wire forms consist of various shapes and parts that have been fabricated through the manipulation of wire, which includes anything that alters the shape of the wire such as wire cutting, bending or heat treating. Vital to numerous applications, wire forms serve an extensive range of industries such as: commercial and retail, for wire displays used for product placement such as point of purchase (POP) displays and wire grids; industrial manufacturing, for wire racks and wire shelves that are used in storage systems as well as for wire guards as protective equipment for machinery.
Wire form applications are utilized by the medical field, which uses wire baskets for safe and sterile storage; automotive and aerospace fields, for motor mounts and additional hardware used in power transmission applications; and construction and hardware fields, from simple wire parts such as pins, clips, springs and wire hooks to the more complex such as wire screens. Additional wire products include grills, coils, rings, guide-wires, wire-stents, tubes, carts and filters. Wire forms can be fabricated from a variety of materials, including stainless steel, aluminum, copper and brass; however, steel is the most common material used and works for most applications. In order to create customized wire fabrications, there are a variety of secondary services used to better-fit the wire form to the intended application; such as nickel plating, painting, anodizing and powder coating.
In order to achieve the variety of wire forms available, there are numerous different wire forming processes; the most common of which include coil making, roll forming, metal stamping and welding. Coil making, also referred to as spring making or coil winding, is the process of winding wires around mandrels, which are metal blanks, in order to create coils. As a less part-specific process, roll forming is used to produce flat, round and shaped wire parts. A continuous process, roll forming uses calenders and die punches to shape the wire. Another major wire forming process is metal stamping, in which wire is precisely shaped into various forms through the use of a stamping press. A couple different methods of metal stamping are used for wire forms including fourslide stamping and deep drawn stamping. In fourslide stamping, also referred to as multislide stamping, a press with four horizontal forming slides is used in order to allow for multiple forming in different directions. Deep drawing, on the other hand, enables a deeper depth to the wire form than is possible with other wire forming processes. Welding can also refer to various spot or seam welding processes, such as electric resistance welding (ERW), metal inert gas (MIG) welding or tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding. ERW utilizes an electric current and the application of mechanical pressure to weld wire. As types of ERW, MIG and TIG also utilize inert gases to reduce any contamination; while TIG welding is the most accurate type, it is much more complex and requires a very skilled operator as well as longer production times, so MIG welding is often used instead. Weaving may also be used in order to create wire forms such as screens, grids or guards.
While there are an extensive variety of wire forms, there are some forms that are much more often used than others. Some of these common wire forms include wire displays, wire hardware and wire guards. Wire displays can refer to many different wire forms including wire grids, wire racks, wire shelves and wire baskets. Wire grids, also referred to as wire grid panels, are frameworks of crisscrossed horizontal and vertical wires. Wire grids are very similar to both metal gratings and wire mesh; however, they are on a much larger scale than wire mesh and are formed from wire rather than metal bars as is typical with grating. Wire racks and wire shelves are very similar; unlike wire grids, they protrude from the wall in order to create a flat wire surface used for storage. Wire baskets, on the other hand, are external supporting wire cages that are useful for both display purposes as well as storage and protective devices. Wire hardware consists of a broad range of wire forms; however, ones with high usage include wire hooks and wire screens. Wire hooks are simple constructions of bent wire that can be shaped as s-hooks, c-hooks, j-hooks and more. More complex, wire screens consist of thin metal wires woven in a crisscrossed horizontal and vertical pattern that form open yet protective barriers to allow for limited material flow, for use as filters or protective barriers. Also used for protection, wire guards are a class of their own and are used for two main purposes: in order to protect the operator of potentially dangerous equipment or in order to protect fragile equipment from hazardous conditions. Wire guards can include fan guards, finger guards, window or flooring guards, face guards, fixture guards and more.
Initially, wire was formed manually and still can be done manually today for small-scale production, although it is most typically done for jewelry making applications. The introduction of drawing techniques for wire forming was introduced in the second half of the 17th century. At this time, it is generally accepted that the first wire mill was established in Great Britain, with others soon to follow. From this time period, manufacturing processes continued to evolve, with more and more different ways to fabricate wire forms. A more recent development in wire forming processes is the use of computer numeric control (CNC) machines. By working in conjunction with current wire forming machines, CNC machines are able to program these machines in order to perform operations more automatically. For example, once programmed automated wire forming machines are capable of continuously fabricating wire parts or complete wire forms, depending on the complexity of the wire form design. In addition to increasing productivity, CNC machines also ensure a higher level of precision than with other wire forming machines, which are operated manually and left open to a higher level of error and contamination.
Wire Forms - All-Rite Spring Company
Wire Forms - Wallbank Manufacturing
Wire forms are specialized wire parts or components, like mesh, baskets, and springs, which are produced by manipulating wires through a number of methods. Variations of wire forms are used in a multitude of industries and for a broad array of production applications. As wire forms have been adopted to suit manufacturing needs, many ways to shape a wire form have evolved as well.
Common Methods for Fabricating Wire Forms
The most common method involves a hand-held lever and spindle, which is the oldest method of wire form fabrication. Using this method, a professional manually bends wire around a past and an anvil, which is a solid iron block with concave sides and a flattop.
Machine with Preset Pins
Given alow production rate early in its history, manual bending changed to include the use of machines. New robust units came into existence that helped manual labor. The machines had preset pins for various bending operations. However, as the bending was still done manually, there were issues with inconsistencies. Professionals, over time, realized that manual bending produced ineffective results. Moreover, as the economy flourished, labor costs also increased. Therefore, more cost effective methods were developed, which resulted in the development of hydraulics to assist in wire forming.
Another common method for wire form development involves a press and dies with a hopper. In this method, a resourcemanually loads material onto the die by moving wire from a straightening machine. The rest of the work is done by the hydraulic press, under supervision of an operator. The straightening of the wire is a critical primary step, where stresses that accumulated during the wiring process are removed. In this step, it is ensured that the wire is consistent in its properties.With the development of technology, the hydraulic method also advancedas an alternative to manual feeding. Pick-and-place robots are installed to eliminate the need for manually moving wires from the straightening machine.
As an alternative to hydraulic presses, four-slide machines are utilized, which are highly versatile and work on a single work piece from four sides. This arrangement increases the production speed. These machines are highly effective in increasing production numbers. Close to 3,500 simple wire forms can be consistently made per hour. Modern four-slide machines come with multi purpose dies, so that production turn around can be improved even further. The wire bending work is going on two make versatile dies, so that production can match with other alternatives.
CNC Wire Bending
The most advanced method of wire bending includes computer numerically controlled (CNC) machines, which have two-dimensional or three-dimensional bending abilities. The versatility of CNC wire forming is unparalleled, as in less than an hour these machines can change over from one project to another. These machines are especially useful in producing custom wire forms, as design, configuration and dimension can be pre-programmed easily, in compassion to other methods.
Other than these primary methods, wire finishing requires some secondary operations like punching, cutting, heading, including others. CNC machines are also being integrated with robots to carry out secondary operations.
To most of us, a wire form appears as a simple wire frame structure fabricated with some twisting and bending. However, the technology involved in manufacturing wire forms is as high-tech as in sport car manufacturing. Among the various engineering processes involved in wire forms, making end and interior geometrical shapes include the most precise and sophisticatedtasks involved.
In wire forms, the end of a wire is of critical importance; therefore, precision is necessary. Based on their intended use, machines make multitudes of wire form endsas well as interior geometries. The following paragraphs discusswire form ends and interior geometry so that, as you evaluate wire forms including wire guards, wire baskets, springs, wire hooks, and wire grids, you know what type of end or geometry each includes.
Machine Cut End
This is a simple straight cut made by a machine die, such as a guillotine knife. The burrs in the cut are miniscule (0.13mm) and cannot be observed by the naked eye. Therefore, they are acceptable for most manufacturing applications.
When burrs created during machine cuts are unacceptable for safety purposes, the end is deburred by grinding the edges off. With this cut, the wire is contoured marginally-just enough to remove sharp edges-using a machine such as a lathe.
This geometrical shape is also called swaging. To achieve a wing-type shape on a wire, commonly a die is pressed on the wire and carves the wire by displacing the metal.
Pierced swaging is a two-step process. First, the wire is pressed to give it a swaging shape, and the first step is followed by a hole-carving step. A hole is pierced through the metal at the center.
Custom shaped Hole
The process is the same as pierced swaging; however, a custom hole is made at the end. First, the end is pressed by a die to carve and displace the material. In the second step, a custom die punctures the material to forma custom hole.
Chisel Point and Turned End
To get this shape, a die removes metal in a punch operation. The approach is considered coarse but is quite an effective method. Similarly, a turned end can be made. Diagonals, like in the chisel end, areremoved as the punch is made in jagged manner.
The ball end cannot be achieved with the use of a die; therefore, a lathe is typically employed. The process makes the end smooth with no edges.
Similarly, like a ball end, a wire drove is produced with a lathe action. Groove in the wire is used for holding a retaining ring.
For making heads in a wire, this process involves a couple of gripping dies. The first die grips the wire tightly, so the wire can withstand the next fairly rigorous die action. As the first die holds the wire, the die smashes the gripped wire, which results either a flat or round head. The button heading, carriage heading, and collar heading are made usingthis method.
The term wire forms encompasses a large of number of wire parts, including wire guards, wire baskets, springs, wire hooks, wire parts, wire grids, and others. No matter what shape wire forms take, they have applications in a variety of industries ranging from energy storage to healthcare, to industrial washers, aerospace, light fixtures, automotive, and many others.
The following paragraphs discuss the various applications of wire forms in manufacturing industries.
An extensively used wire form is a spring, which can be found in virtually any machine you come across. In vehicles, heavy springs such as compression coil and volute springs are widely used for suspension applications. More delicate springs, like torsion springs and tension springs, serve inexhaustible number of purposes. A more specialized spring called a conical spring-which has leg that can be fixed on the base by welding- has applications in the production of battery contacts.
In healthcare, stringent washing and sterilization procedures and standards are followed, and to comply with these standards, specialized equipment is employed. One piece of washing equipment is an ultrasonic washer, which comes with a metal basket. For proper functioning and longevity of washers, a basket is necessary as it holds the parts as well as keeping them away from transducers. Similarly, a large number of wire forms are used in healthcare, from simple gauged tray to hand-held pliers.
Household items, from door closers to music players, to mouse traps and hangers, are wire forms. Household applications of wire forms are virtually limitless.
Wire forms can also be found in a range of electrical fittings. If you have ever watched an electrical component disintegrate, you saw wire forms made from copper holding electrical wires in place. The antennas that you viewed are wire forms. Similarly, spring mechanisms that facilitate opening and closing in many electrical appliances are wire forms.
Commercial and Retail
In commercial and retail industries, wire forms are utilized for displaying products, like point-of-purchase displays. Similarly, wire racks and shelves are used for storing and displaying a number of retail items and goods. Moreover, to protect some specific equipment, wire guards are used as protective gear.
Construction and Hardware
Numbers of wire forms, such as clips, wire hooks, springs and pins, wire hooks, and wire screens are used readily in construction fields.
In other industries like aerospace, wire forms are used for motor mounts, and in auxiliary hardware within power transmission applications.
Given the number of applications of wire forms, it is not an over statement to say the wire forms are the most ubiquitous fabricated component on earth. The versatility associated with wire forms, however, can be overstated since wire forms are only as useful as the wire that forms them.
Wire forms are an array of wire parts, ranging from guards to baskets, to springs and wire hooks, that are fabricated by manipulating wire into various forms based on the requirements of an industry. There are wide ranges of industries where wire forms have applications, such as healthcare, automotive, and maintenance.
Wire forms come in various shapes and dimensions, based on their intended use and can be either two-dimensional or three-dimensional in structure. When heavy wire forms are required, tubes or tube bending are used to produce wire forms ofvarious shapes and textures.
How are wire forms made?
To produce engineering wire forms, varying degrees of force (either manual or machine-made) is applied to wire, which changes the shape of the wire. The wire, based on its intended application, can be hexagonal, triangular, round, oval, square, flat and even elliptical and D-shaped. To give shape to wire, the simplest method involves a hand-held lever and spindle. Other methods involve use of mechanized machines, such as hydraulic presses and benders with dies, as well as air benders. For-high volume production, alternatives include four-slide machines and the modern computer numerical control (CNC) benders.
CNC wire forming allows manufacturers to easily fabricate pre-programmed parts in three dimensions. With all these machines, aproduct is fabricated by various techniques, including chamfered, punched, bent, pierced, spanked, sheared, cold formed or headed, and swaged. However, to ensurethe finished product is free from burrs or sharps edges, an array of secondary operations are also involved like, cutting, stamping, forming, heading and coining. For different applications, different types of wire are utilized ranging from hard metal, steel with varying concentrations of carbon, and soft metals such as aluminum, brass, copper, and alloys.
There are several factors that determine which method is most suitable for a given wire form:
To select a desired wire form, these factors should be considered for both the end-product and the application of the product.
What occurs before feeding wires into manufacturing wire forms?
Typically, wire forming starts with straightening wire, which output in the form of a coil weighing anywhere from 5,000 pounds to as low as 5 pounds. In the straitening stage, stress disfigurations that are accumulated in the wire are removed. There are basically two types of stresses, one is avoidable and other unavoidable. For high-quality wire forms, most avoidable stresses do not occur within processing. However, manufacturers can do very little to mitigate the effects of unavoidable stresses. The common method is for wire straightening is machine rolling, where rolls are adjusted either by an operator or by machines. Sometimes, a rotary arbor is employed to straighten the wires.
The wire straitening stage is very important, as any aberrations left at this stage will lead to faulty products. Therefore, only high-quality mill products should be selected and identified. The helix and camber of the wire should be consistent and are considered critical.
Wire Form Terms
Coils that freely deflect when under a load.
- The ends of the coils touch because the pitch end is reduced on a compression spring.
- Machines with a computer memory, often used in manufacturing and production of wire forms.
- During the application or removal of the burden, the motion of the spring arms or ends.
- The strain and manipulation a material can endure without lasting set.
- A technique of precision blanking in which the material is cut smoothly and accurately without needing secondary operations.
- The slope between the torsion spring arms at the unloaded position for the spring wire form.
- The measurement of the thickness of a wire used in wire forms.
- In open or closed forms, the spiral shape of the spring.
- The open ends of extension springs.
- Lost mechanical energy during a spring's cyclic loading and unloading.
Hysteresis is relative to the space among the loading and unloading deflection curves.
- Applied force that causes deflection with a spring.
- Stamping or forming from multiple directions in pieces and segments.
- In the wire of active coils, the measure of the distance from the center of one adjacent active coil to another.
- The modification in load for each unit deflection, typically expressed in pounds per inch (N/mm).
- Permanent deformation that happens from the stressing of a spring past the material's elastic limit.
-The ratio of mean coil diameter to wire diameter.
- Exposing a spring to a treatment of low heat, which results in the reduction of residual stresses.
- Equation measurement of torsion spring's twisting action, relative to the distance from the axis of the spring body.
- The forming of wire forms.