Stranded wire is a metal wire composed of several individual filaments of smaller diameter twisted into strands before being helically wrapped around a core. Stranded wire is extremely versatile and employed in a number of industrial, commercial, and consumer applications. While some applications require solid conductor wires and cables, stranded wire is often preferred for its greater degree of flexibility.
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Applications of Stranded Wire
Stranded cables and wires are used in industries that require a great deal of lifting, support, and tension, such as aerospace, automotive, communications, chemical, electronics, defense, security, and medical industries.
Characteristics of Stranded Wire
Like wire rope, stranded wire has three basic elements: wire filaments, strands, and cores. The first components are the cold drawn rods of metal that are relatively small in diameter as compared to the rope as a whole. These filaments are twisted or braided together to form a strand or grouping of wires. The strands may consist of as few as two or as many as several dozen filaments, depending upon the intended use of the finished product. The core is the element around which the strands are wrapped in a helical pattern. Cores can be made of metal or fiber, and the strands may be positioned around the core in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction known as the lay.
Materials Used in Stranded Wire
The materials chosen for the wires, strands, and cores are crucial and must provide the appropriate strength, flexibility, and wear resistance for their intended use. Stainless steel cables are popular, as are a number of other steel cable types, which are composed for specific characteristics like strength or wear resistance.
Other materials, such as copper and aluminum, may be chosen for their good electrical conductivity, whereas nickel alloys are chosen for their electrical resistance. The specific material employed in the construction of stranded wire is selected with regards for the application in which it will be used. Other important considerations include diameter, difficulty of flattening, temperature resistance, and average lifespan.
Points to Consider When Purchasing Stranded Wire
To suit the needs of these industries and more, stranded rope is increasingly specialized. If uncertain, wire rope suppliers should be consulted in order to select the proper wire and avoid potentially costly and dangerous mechanical failures.
Stranded wires are identified by listing both the number of strands and the amount of wires per strand, as well as the lay and pitch of the rope. Identification codes can also extend to specifics, such as core type and work load limit, which are listed in abbreviated form. The connections, fasteners, fittings, and other hardware attached to the stranded wire are also important, as they offer differing degrees of wire versatility in terms of fray prevention and connectivity.