At the most basic level, a wire form is a length of wire that has been formed into a specific shape for a specific purpose. Wire forms come in endless configurations and can be customized for just about any purpose. A wire form can be bent, cut straight or with angles, wound right or left, shaped with closed coils, can have additional pieces added to it, and just about anything that a customer can think of.
In this article, we discuss how and from what wire forms are made.
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How Are Wire Forms Made?
Wire forming can be done using a variety of different processes. Wire forming machines can produce high volumes of complex parts, all with low costs and short lead times.
Manual Wire Forming
Wire forms can be made manually using machines consisting of a hand lever and series of pins that put force on the wire to shape it into the desired style. In a modern manufacturing environment or when hundreds or thousands of parts are required, manually wire forming is not practical. But, still, it is a wire-forming process.
Coil Wire Forming
Coil, or spring wire forming, involves winding wire around a metal arbor. It is also used for the manufacture of electrical coils where a conductive wire is evenly wound around a ferromagnetic core. Coil winding takes different forms depending on the final product.
Bend Servo Wire Forming
CNC Servo wire bending can shape parts into unlimited configurations. CNC servo wire bending can be “single head” where the bends are made prior to the wire being cut or “dual head” where the wire is cut to length and then formed from both ends of the part.
Fourslide Wire Forming
Fourslide forming or stamping uses the same process as a horizontal stamping press with the addition of cams. This process has four sliding tools that form the wire from four sides. The cam regulates the movement of the four tools, which allows the process to have vertical movement, such as punching, with horizontal movement in several directions.
Hydraulic Wire Forming
In a hydraulic wire forming machine, a hydraulic motor is used to drive the shaping rollers. CNC programming is used to create the required configuration. Wire shapes are automatically discharged from the machine after the completion of the operation.
Pneumatic Wire Forming
In the pneumatic process, wire is fed into the straightening machine, formed to the required shape, and pneumatically cut to the proper length. Materials Used to Make Wire Forms
Materials Used to Make Wire Forms
Wire forms can be made from many materials. The rule of thumb for material consideration is that the softer the material the easier it is to wind around a tool, and the smaller the radius that can be achieved.
- Stainless steel
Here are some factors to take into consideration when deciding which material to use:
- Thickness – Wire is available in different thicknesses or diameters. Often, thicker wire provides additional strength compared to thinner variants of the same wire. However, thicker wire physically takes up more space. In some cases, the wire thickness is limited based on how it will interact with other components as well as the amount of room available where the wire must be placed.
- Tensile strength – This refers to the amount of stress the wire can withstand without fracture. The higher the tensile strength of a wire, the more force or torque it can withstand for a given size.
- Operating Conditions – Different metals lose integrity or corrode based on different circumstances. Factors that need evaluating include heat or cold, whether there is going to be exposure to water or other fluids, and whether there is the presence of salt in the water or air. For example, if you intend to use steel, whether you choose stainless or regular steel may depend on environmental factors.
Why Choose Spring Dynamics for Your Wire Forms
Spring Dynamics manufactures wire forms for many industries and applications. Our state-of-the-art machinery handles complex designs and we are able to run both small and large quantities.
Your product development team is welcome to work with our engineering group to identify which wire form will work best for your application. You might be surprised — in many cases, we are able to suggest advantages not previously considered.
- We can produce a variety of wire sizes and styles, from round to rectangular.
- We work with a variety of materials – copper, stainless, cold-rolled steel, soft bronze, coated materials, and many other exotic materials
- Quick turnaround times
- Custom design and production services
- Prototype capabilities for short-run evaluation tests
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