Wire forming refers to numerous processes that manipulate wire into various shapes, referred to as wire forms.
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Application of Wire Forming
Since there are so many different processes that fall under the header of wire forming, they can be utilized for a vast amount of applications. One example of an industry that benefits from wire forming processes is the retail and commercial business, which uses wire forming for product placement applications such as wire displays, shelving and hooks. The vast amount of company genres that use wire forming include: industrial manufacturing, for storage systems and hardware such as springs and clips; automotive and aerospace, for interior mechanical assemblies such as rings, pins and hooks; and medical, for critical medical implants such as guidewires, wire-stents and occlusion devices. Additional wire formed products include baskets, filters, screens, guards, grids, coils and many more.
Materials Used in Wire Forming
Wire forming can be performed using both ferrous and nonferrous metals including copper, aluminum, stainless steel, brass, steel and various metal alloys. Although it is not as common, plastic materials may also be used in wire forming.
Wire Forming Processes
Some of the more common wire forming processes include coil making, fourslide wire forming, deep drawing, press wire forming, welding, bending, roll forming and CNC wire forming.
- 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.
- Fourslide Wire Forming
- Also referred to as multi slide stamping, is a type of metal stamping that uses a press with four horizontal forming slides in order to allow for multiple forming in different directions.
- Deep Drawing
- Enables a deeper depth to the wire form than is possible with other wire forming processes.
- Press Wire Forming
- Similar to the metal stamping methods, and can utilize mechanical or pneumatic presses.
- Can also refer to various processes, such as MIG welding or TIG welding. TIG welding is the most accurate type of wire welding, however it is much more complex and requires a very skilled operator as well as longer production times, so MIG welding is often used instead.
- Much like wire welding, wire bending can also be accomplished using a variety of machines and techniques.
- Roll Forming
- A major wire forming process, able to create flat, round and shaped wire parts.
- CNC Wire Forming
- Processes utilize computer controls in order to ensure a higher level of precision than with other processes; thus, CNC wire forming can include other wire forming processes such as bending or welding but are altered due to the addition of CNC capabilities.
Enhancements for Wire Forming
In addition to wire forming processes, secondary services such as plastic coating, nickel plating, heat treating, painting, anodizing and powder coating can be performed in order to enhance certain physical properties of the wire forms, such as aesthetics and corrosion resistance.