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Steel is known to be an important raw material for various industries. We have already explained various steel products such as steel plates, TMT bars, aluminium coils, and so on. Just like aluminium coils, steel wire is a versatile product and has varied applications. This article will explain, what steel wire is, how steel wire is made, its benefits and applications.
What is a steel wire?
What is a steel wire? Steel wire is a flexible, cylindrical strand made of steel. It is used for various applications however one of the important uses include lifting heavy materials in construction, logistics, infrastructure industries. Its manufacturing process generally involves several processes such as rolling, surface heating, etc.
How is steel wire made?
Step 1: Generally, the raw material for making steel wires include steel rods which are supplied by integrated or mini steel plants. Steel rods are often made from billets using a hot rolling process.
Step 2: Surface treatment is the next step. Descaling and surfacing coating is done, which further enables the drawing process.
Step 3: The third step of making steel wire is drawing. The rod is brought to the drawing machine and the required diameter wire is drawn.
Step 4: Then, the drawn wire undergoes the patenting process. Patenting is a type of heat treatment wherein the wire is heated at about 900°C and then quenched into molten lead at 500°C.
Step 5: Intermediate drawing takes place.
Step 6: The last step is stranding and closing. Wire and strands positioning is confirmed and closed.
Note: The process of making steel wires may vary depending on a manufacturer
Various companies produce steel wires. Global Wires Business (GWB), a division of Tata Steel, is one of the largest steel wire manufacturers in the world.
Benefits of steel wires/ropes
Steel wire ropes are one of the important components for many industries. Here are some of the benefits of steel wires.
- Corrosion resistance: Steel wires can withstand harsh weather conditions, hence corrosion is less likelihood with steel wires. Sometimes, steel corrosion can take place under certain conditions however, it can be avoided with timely maintenance.
- Tensile strength: Steel wire showcase excellent tensile strength, which makes them an ideal choice for use in the infrastructure.
- Ductility: Many metals deform under tensile strength however, steel wires do not. This is one of the advantages of steel wires. This makes steel wires an ideal choice for use in electrical cables, etc.
Types of steel wires
Depending on the raw material used, the manufacturing process and its usage, there are many types of steel wire available in the market. Some of the popular types of steel wires are listed below:
Stainless steel wire: Stainless steel properties makes it a robust material that does not corrode quickly. Hence, stainless steel wire ropes are ideal for the use where it may come in contact with water and humidity. It is best suited for industries such as marine, architecture, etc.
Galvanised steel wire ropes: Galvaised wire ropes are coated with molten zinc. As a result, galvanised steel wire ropes display the features such as high strength, corrosion resistance, etc. Therefore, these wire ropes are ideal for general engineering purposes.
Carbon steel wire ropes: There are low and high carbon content steel wire ropes. While carbon adds strength to it compromises flexibility. Hence, low carbon steel wire ropes are used where more flexibility is required. On the other hand, high carbon steel wire ropes are used where the focus is more on strength and not on flexibility.
Coated steel wire ropes: Coated wire ropes are generally coated or jacketed with materials such as polypropylene, PVC, nylon, etc. Such coating offers protection to the steel wire against wear and tear and also corrosion.
Apart from the four types mentioned above, there are various other types of steel wire ropes. Steel wire ropes come in different sizes, such as 3mm, 6mm, 9mm and so on. Additionally, custom made steel wires are made of different types of steel and coating also differs as per the application.
Applications of steel wires/ropes
Steel wire ropes are used for various purposes. Right from the creative music industry to hard-core oil and gas industry, steel wire ropes are present everywhere.
Mining: Mining wire ropes need to withstand harsh environments especially, in the case of underground mining. Therefore, these wires need to be of high quality and strong. As a result, they are made of high-carbon steel.
Logistics: Steel wires are widely used in the logistics industry. They are one of the critical components of cranes that carry bulk and heavy materials. These cranes are mainly deployed in port areas where environment conditions are humid. Therefore, it requires corrosion resistant material. Hence, galvanised steel wires ropes are usually used in the logistics industry.
Construction: In the construction industry various equipment are used to carry heavy materials such as cement blocks, and other raw material and machinery. Also, they are used in securing rebars, lifting elevators carrying materials and so on. Depending on the uses, multiple types of steel wires are used in the construction industry.
Manufacturing: In any manufacturing plant, materials need to be carried from one station to another. For which, various material handling equipment are used. These require steel ropes to carry materials that are heavy and big in size. Depending on the purpose, varied kind of steel wire ropes are used in the manufacturing industry.
Transportation: There are many kinds of wires used in the automotive as well aerospace industries. Within the aircraft or car, these wires need to withstand harsh environment such as heat, high altitude, pressure, and so on. Hence, these wires need to be corrosion resistant and capable of withstanding harsh environment. Depending on the project steel wires are chosen. Moreover, steel wires are also used activities such as transportation via trams, metros, etc.
Apart from the industries mentioned above, steel wires are extensively used in many other sectors such as oil and gas, entertainment, infrastructure, general engineering, etc.
Concluding thoughts: choosing the right wire
Steel wires are one of the important products for many industries. They are available in a variety of types of steel, sizes and so on. Therefore, you need to be careful in choosing the right steel wire for your project. In order to select the right steel wire, determine the needs of your project and understand the environment the wire will be functioning in.
You need to be careful while procuring desired steel wires. Ensure you are buying it high quality products from a trustworthy supplier. Tata nexarc is one such platform to procure high-quality steel. Log on to Tata nexarc, share your requirements, get quotes from verified vendors. Try now.