Wire - Uses

Uses

Wire has many uses. It forms the raw material of many important manufacturers, such as the wire netting industry, engineered springs, wire-cloth making and wire rope spinning, in which it occupies a place analogous to a textile fiber. Wire-cloth of all degrees of strength and fineness of mesh is used for sifting and screening machinery, for draining paper pulp, for window screens, and for many other purposes. Vast quantities of aluminium, copper, nickel and steel wire are employed for telephone and data cables, and as conductors in electric power transmission, and heating. It is in no less demand for fencing, and much is consumed in the construction of suspension bridges, and cages, etc. In the manufacture of stringed musical instruments and scientific instruments wire is again largely used. Carbon and stainless spring steel wire have significant applications for engineered springs for critical automotive or industrial manufactured parts/components. Among its other sources of consumption it is sufficient to mention pin and hairpin making, the needle and fish-hook industries, nail, peg and rivet making, and carding machinery; indeed there are few industries into which it does not enter.

Not all metals and metallic alloys possess the physical properties necessary to make useful wire. The metals must in the first place be ductile and strong in tension, the quality on which the utility of wire principally depends. The metals suitable for wire, possessing almost equal ductility, are platinum, silver, iron, copper, aluminium and gold; and it is only from these and certain of their alloys with other metals, principally brass and bronze, that wire is prepared (For a detailed discussion on copper wire, see main article: Copper wire and cable.).

By careful treatment extremely thin wire can be produced. Special purpose wire is however made from other metals (e.g. tungsten wire for light bulb and vacuum tube filaments, because of its high melting temperature). Copper wires are also plated with other metals, such as tin, nickel, and silver to handle different temperatures, provide lubrication, provide easier stripping of rubber from copper.

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