Stainless Steel Wire
The term "stainless steel" refers not to just one steel alloy, but rather a whole family of alloys composed primarily of chromium rich iron ore. To be more exact, this steel alloy is always at least 10.5% chromium. It is made up to a lesser degree of various other materials, such as silicon, carbon, aluminum, molybdenum and nickel. Each stainless steel type is different, as it is made from a different combination of iron ore, chromium and other materials, thereby offering its own strengths and weaknesses.
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Advantages of Stainless Steel
As a whole, stainless steel alloys have many wonderful properties, which come largely from their protective layer of chromium oxide, including high corrosion resistance, heat resistance, wear resistance, impact resistance as well as good ductility, formability, hardness, weight to strength ratio and hygienism. For these reasons, stainless steel enjoys a steady career as a versatile metal of all trades. One of the forms into which stainless steel is most frequently machined is wire.
Stainless Steel Wire Applications
Stainless steel wire is popular for use in a number of settings, among them structural supports for construction and marine industries and medical dental tooling and apparati. Just some of the products made from stainless steel wire or made with stainless steel wire include: wire baskets, wire mesh, wire rope, stainless steel carts and wire racks.
Wire Forming Processes
Stainless steel wire is created through various wire forming processes, most notably casting and wire drawing. The first step in wire forming is casting; during this, the alloyed steel material is heated and then cast or otherwise formed into stock shapes like ingots, billets or rods. Then, the newly formed stainless steel shape is narrowed via filing, rolling, swaging or hammering, so that it will fit into a die. Once this is done, the metal, now known as a pre-form, is pulled through one or more dies, thereby increasing the overall length of the pre-form while decreasing its overall diameter. If the intended wire diameter is quite thick, then manufacturers may only need to pull the strand through one die. If, however, on the other hand, the desired wire diameter is thinner, the strand will likely be sent through a series of ever-shrinking dies until it reaches the intended length and diameter. This method is known as drawing, and though it is the most popular method of stainless steel wire forming, manufacturers may choose to create wire using other techniques, such as stamping, extrusion or rolling. After a stainless steel wire has been formed, manufacturers have the option to further specialize the wire by sending it through secondary treatments, such as coating, painting, annealing or galvanizing. Treatments like these are designed to enhance the physical properties and/or the aesthetic properties of the wire, thereby making it more versatile and longer lasting.
Design of Stainless Steel Wire
Stainless steel wires vary in diameter, but typically, the diameter of their individual filaments is less than .375 inches. In addition, their cross sections are generally round, but they may be constructed with flat or otherwise shaped cross sections as well. Regardless, the filaments of stainless steel wires can be used alone as thin wire, or they may be combined via techniques like braiding, twisting, weaving or welding in order to create more new products like shelving, baskets or wire rope. When they are designing stainless steel wire or a stainless steel wire product for a customer, manufacturers will consider a number of factors, including: overall thickness or gauge, outer diameter, length and weight and the stainless steel grade that will best match the qualities they are looking for in the wire. The right combination of composition and characteristics is essential to the safe and proper functioning of any stainless steel wire application, especially of a stainless steel rope, as the wrong combination could lead to an inadequate performance, a potentially costly mechanical failure or injury to human operators or bystanders.
Things to Consider When Purchasing Stainless Steel Wire
For the best advice and the best results, turn to a steel wire rope professional, such as a wire manufacturer or a steel service center. Get started by perusing the seasoned steel wire specialists listed near the top of this page. All of those with whom we partner will be able to offer you the professional consultations, customer service and quality products that you desire. Find out more about them by visiting their respective webpages, which are listed alongside their contact information and company profiles. Once you’ve found a manufacturer that you believe will meet your needs, reach out to them by calling, emailing, faxing or sending an online request for a quote.