Wire Technology: Process Engineering and Metallurgy [NOOK Book]


Wire drawing is a metalworking process used to reduce the diameter of a wire by pulling the wire through a single, or series of, drawing die(s). The engineering applications of wire drawing are broad and far-reaching, including electrical wiring, cables, tension-loaded structural components, springs, paper clips and spokes for wheels.

This all-new, classical text is the first to explain the complex theory and sophisticated engineering concepts ...

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Wire Technology: Process Engineering and Metallurgy

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Wire drawing is a metalworking process used to reduce the diameter of a wire by pulling the wire through a single, or series of, drawing die(s). The engineering applications of wire drawing are broad and far-reaching, including electrical wiring, cables, tension-loaded structural components, springs, paper clips and spokes for wheels.

This all-new, classical text is the first to explain the complex theory and sophisticated engineering concepts with relation to wire drawing in an accessible and universal way for practicing engineers.

Designed to facilitate the entry and training of new engineers and upgrade the professional practice of those already in the field in the face of increased product demands and tightening specifications, this essential resource by industry expert Roger Wright provides:

  • A technical overview and introduction of engineering concepts related to wire drawing, suitable for beginners and practiced engineers looking to brush up on the theory behind the process
  • An interface with basic engineering education so as to provide an accessible introduction for engineers new to the field
  • Real-world worked examples, problems and protocols based on true life engineering scenarios and challenges
  • Unique coverage of the author's own pass design and risk prediction calculations, developed through decades of research and wire industry consulting

Whilst most competing titles are less practical in their approach and focus on either ferrous, non-ferrous or electrical, our book takes a universal approach more suited to the practicing engineer who needs knowledge of wire drawing across the board. Ideal for use as a complete insight into the process from start to finish or a dip-in resource for practical problem-solving, this versatile work-a-day guide, training tool and desk reference will help readers train their staff and adapt and improve processes at minimal cost for maximum performance.

  • Provides a unique universal approach, covering ferrous and non-ferrous metals
  • Authored by an internationally-recognized specialist in wire drawing with extensive academic and industry experience
  • Real-world worked examples, problems and protocols based on true life engineering scenarios and challenges allow engineers to easily apply the theory to their workplace to improve processes, productivity and efficiency
  • Compact, concise and practical in comparison to the large, competing handbook tomes that are overwhelming for beginners and impractical for day-to-day work use
  • Ideal for use as a complete insight into the process from start to finish or as a dip-in resource for practical problem-solving, analysis and trouble-shooting
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book would be appropriate for an undergraduate or graduate course in mechanical engineering or materials science and for the working professional as a reference book. It is timely in that few well-written and comprehensive books on wire technology are available at present."—IEEE Electrical Insulation Magazine
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780123820938
  • Publisher: Elsevier Science
  • Publication date: 12/3/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 332
  • File size: 6 MB

Meet the Author

Roger Wright is a leading industry trainer and consultant specializing in wire technology and professor of materials engineering at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a major US engineering school. As an active metallurgical and manufacturing consultant with 30+ years' experience working with those in the wire drawing industry, Roger has the much sought after skill of introducing sophisticated theory and concepts in an accessible and practical way to help improve the work and efficiency of engineers involved with wire.
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Read an Excerpt


Process Engineering and Metallurgy


Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-12-382093-8

Chapter One

The General Idea


1.1. Concepts 1 1.1.1 Drawing 1 1.1.2 Wire, rod, and bar 1 1.1.3 Materials 2

1.2. How does drawing work? 2 1.2.1 Why not simply stretch the wire, rod, or bar? 2 1.2.2 A simple explanation of the drawing process 3 1.2.3 Comparison to other processes 3 1.2.4 Overall process hardware 4

1.3. Questions and problems 5


1.1.1 Drawing

The concept of drawing addressed in this book involves pulling wire, rod, or bar through a die, or converging channel to decrease cross-sectional area and increase length. In the majority of cases the cross section is circular, although non-circular cross sections may be drawn and/or created by drawing. In comparison to rolling, drawing offers much better dimensional control, lower capital equipment cost, and extension to small cross sections. In comparison to extrusion, drawing offers continuous processing, lower capital equipment cost, and extension to small cross sections.

1.1.2 Wire, rod, and bar

In general, the analyses of wire, rod, and bar drawing are similar, and we may use the term workpiece, or simply the term "wire," when there is no distinction to be drawn. However, there are major practical and commercial issues to be addressed among these terms. Bar drawing usually involves stock that is too large in cross section to be coiled, and hence must be drawn straight. Round bar stock may be 1 to 10 cm in diameter or even larger. Prior to drawing, bar stock may have been cast, rolled, extruded, or swaged (rotary cold forged). Rod drawing involves stock that may be coiled, and hence may be delivered to the die from a coil, and taken up as a coil, on a block or capstan. Round rod stock will often have a 0.3 to 1 cm diameter, and will often have been cast and/or rolled prior to drawing. Wire drawing involves stock that can be easily coiled and subjected to sequential or tandem drawing operations with as many as a dozen or more draws occurring with a given drawing machine. Each drawing operation or "pass" will involve delivery of the wire to the die from a coil on a capstan, passage through the die, and take-up on a capstan that pulls the wire through the die. Fine wire drawing typically refers to round wire with a diameter of less than 0.1 mm, and ultra-fine wire drawing typically refers to round wire as fine as 0.01 mm in diameter.

1.1.3 Materials

Essentially any reasonably deformable material can be drawn, and the general analysis is the same regardless of the wire, rod, or bar material. The individual technologies for the major commercial materials, however, involve many nuances. The drawing technologies are often divided into ferrous (steel) and non-ferrous and electrical (usually copper and aluminum), although there is specialty production and research and development interest in such high-value-added products as thermocouple wire, precious metal wire, biomedical wire, wire for high temperature service, superconducting wire, and so on.

Apart from the material drawn, drawing technology depends substantially on the materials used for dies ("carbide," diamond, tool steel) and on the materials or formulations used for lubricants and coatings.


1.2.1 Why not simply stretch the wire, rod, or bar?

It can be argued, at least in principle, that some of the objectives of drawing could be achieved by simply stretching the wire with a pulling force. The cross section could be reduced and elongation accomplished, but dies would not be needed and the friction and metal flow issues presented by the die could be avoided.

The principal problem with just stretching the wire with a pulling force is the necking phenomenon. Basically, after a certain amount of uniform stretching, all further elongation will be concentrated at a single location (a neck), which will rapidly thin and break. This occurs because the decrease in cross-sectional area eventually weakens the wire more than any strengthening that occurs by work hardening. Heavily drawn wire will have little or no work-hardening capability, and will neck almost at once if subjected to simple stretching. Although some complex "dieless" drawing systems have been invented, simple stretching has only limited application because of its vulnerability to necking.

1.2.2 A simple explanation of the drawing process

In the drawing process, a pulling force and a pressure force, from the die, combine to cause the wire to extend and reduce in cross-sectional area, while passing through the die, as schematically illustrated in Figure 1.1. Because of this combined effect, the pulling force or drawing force can be less than the force that would cause the wire to stretch, neck, and break downstream from the die. On the other hand, if a reduction too large in cross-sectional area is attempted at the die, the drawing force may break the wire. In commercial practice, engineered pulling loads are rarely above 60% of the as-drawn strength, and the area reduction in a single drawing pass is rarely above 30 or 35%, and is often much lower. A particularly common reduction in nonferrous drawing is the American Wire Gage (AWG) number, or about 20.7%. Many drawing passes are needed to achieve large overall reductions.

1.2.3 Comparison to other processes

The use of pulling or pushing forces, together with dies or rolls, is common to many deformation processes, as shown in Figure 1.2. Figure 1.2a illustrates the basics of a simple forging or upsetting operation, and Figure 1.2b and c illustrate extrusion and rolling operations, respectively. Many other variations exist. For example, rod or strip can be reduced by pulling through undriven rolls, and so on.

The term "drawing" is used to describe a number of metallurgical processing operations, and when searching titles in the metalworking or intellectual property literature, be careful not to confuse references to deep drawing of sheet metal, drawing aspects of forging, or steel tempering operations referred to as drawing, and so on, with the pulling operations outlined in this book.

1.2.4 Overall process hardware

In addition to the die, held in a die block, a basic drawing operation involves a payoff and a take-up, as illustrated in Figure 1.3. Also necessary is a system for applying lubricant to the wire before it enters the die. Figure 1.3 schematically illustrates a soap box, which contains a solid powdered-soap lubricant that the wire is pulled through prior to die entry. With liquid lubrication, the lubricant may be directed in a stream at the die entry, and the drawing system may even be submerged in lubricant. Figure 1.3 shows the case of a single die system. As discussed in sections 3.3 and 3.4, drawing systems often employ successive or tandem dies and pulling operations.

A drawing operation must have a method for pointing the wire. Pointing involves reducing the "front" end diameter of the wire sufficiently to allow it to be initially passed through the die and gripped en route to initial winding onto the take-up.


1.3.1 One of the processes schematically illustrated in Figure 1.2 is particularly well suited to very long workpiece lengths, as is drawing. Which process is this? Why are the other two illustrated processes not as well suited?

Answers: Rolling is particularly well suited to very long workpiece lengths, such as coils, because it is a continuous process. Forging involves a limited workpiece, which is constantly changing shape. Extrusion usually involves a limited workpiece, as well, although some "continuous" extrusion technologies have been developed involving billet-to-billet juxtapositions or frictional billet pressurization with belt or chain systems.

1.3.2 List some ways that wire, rod, and bar can be pointed. Do not be afraid to use your imagination.

Answers: These ways include rotary swaging (see Section 18.6.3), rolling, machining, stretching, and chemical attack.

1.3.3 Why is cross-sectional dimensional control much better in drawing than in rolling?

Answer: The die is one piece in drawing with wear the only common source of cross-sectional dimension change. Rolling forces cause changes in the roll gap, and bar rolling involves complex shape changes.

1.3.4 Wire breakage during drawing can significantly impact the profitability of a production facility. Cite at least two costly aspects of a wire break.

Answers: Production time is lost restringing the machine; wire lengths too short for continued drawing may have to be scrapped; and wire breakage may indicate that large numbers of flaws are generated, implying possible rejection of the drawn-wire product, and mandating increased quality control and process troubleshooting.

Chapter Two

A Brief History of Technology


2.1. Ancient and early technology 7 2.2. The nineteenth century 9 2.3. The twentieth century 10 2.4. Further reading 11 2.5. Questions and problems 11


Rod and wire technologies are of ancient origin, although some distinction must be made between wire making and wire drawing. Gold wire was incorporated into the adornments of the pharaohs by Egyptians as early as 3000 BC, and technique development probably predates this era. It is likely that the ancients cut strips from hammered foil and then drew folded strips though stone dies as the initial step in wire making. Cross-sectional consistencies indicate that drawing dies were available to such craftsmen. It is thought that holes were bored in natural stone with the aid of pointed sticks and sand/tallow abrasive media.

There are interesting references to wire in very early literature, particularly in Homer's Odyssey (The Songs of the Harper) and in the Old Testament (Exodus 28:14 and 39:3). By fifth century BC, the Persians were drawing 0.55 mm bronze wire with iron draw plates, implying that they may have understood the concepts of multiple passes and interpass annealing. Interesting references to drawing technology were made by the Roman tribune Claudius Claudianus toward the end of the Roman empire in 400 AD.

Moving ahead to the Middle Ages, the monk Theophilus Presbyter wrote about drawing technology around 1125, and it is clear that commercial practices were emerging. A document written in Paris around 1270 notes that:

1. The wire drawer must thoroughly understand his trade and have sufficient capital at his command.

2. The wire drawer may have as many apprentices and servants as he wishes, and may work nights as much as he pleases.

3. The wire drawer need pay no taxes on anything relating to his trade which he buys or sells in Paris.

4. Apprentices to wire drawers will serve ten years without pay and then be paid a premium of 20 sous.

Nuremberg was apparently a major center for Middle Ages and Renaissance wire technology, with documentation from the fourteenth to middle sixteenth centuries found in the Hausbuch der Mendelschen Zwölfbruderstiftung zu Nürnberg. Major developments are attributed to Rudolph von Nuremberg. In the early fourteenth century he utilized water power and camshaft-driven draw benches. Previous to this, the only practical sources of power were manual, which involved such expedients as hand lever devices called "brakes" and swinging body motion utilized by harnessed "girdlemen." The rather effective dies prepared from hard stone by the Egyptians were followed in later millennia by easily worked, but rapidly wearing iron and steel plates. An illustration of a swing-assisted medieval rod drawer with tongs and drawing plate is shown in Figure 2.1.


Excerpted from WIRE TECHNOLOGY by ROGER N. WRIGHT Copyright © 2011 by Elsevier Inc. . Excerpted by permission of Butterworth-Heinemann. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1  The General Idea
Chapter 2  A brief history of the technology
Chapter 3  Twentieth century equipment concepts
Chapter 4  Basic engineering variables pertinent to drawing
Chapter 5  Basic drawing mechanics
Chapter 6  Drawing temperature
Chapter 7  Drawing speed
Chapter 8  Friction, lubrication and surface quality
Chapter 9  Drawing die and pass schedule design
Chapter 10  Shaped dies and roller dies
Chapter 11  Mechanical properties of wire and related testing
Chapter 12  Drawability and breaks
Chapter 13  Copper and copper alloy metallurgical issues
Chapter 14  Steel metallurgical issues
Chapter 15  Issues in other important metallurgical systems
Chapter 16  Wire coatings
Chapter 17  Redraw rod production
Chapter 18  Physical Properties
Chapter 19  Elements of wire forming
Chapter 20  Some illustrative new products and processes
List of symbols – English alphabet
List of symbols – Greek alphabet 
Appendix of basic formulas
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