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Article: Wire


History and Production of Wire

  • Jewelry in antiquity often contained wire in the form of chains and applied decoration.
  • Strips cut from metal sheet were made into wire by pulling them through perforations in stone beads.
  • Gold wires in jewelry from the 2nd millennium BCE have seam lines that follow a spiral path along the wire.
  • Square and hexagonal wires were possibly made using a swaging technique.
  • True beaded wire, produced by mechanically distorting a round-section wire, appeared in the Eastern Mediterranean and Italy in the 7th century BCE.
  • Wire is reduced to the desired diameter by repeated drawing through progressively smaller dies.
  • Annealing may be done to facilitate more drawing or to maximize ductility and conductivity.
  • Electrical wires are usually covered with insulating materials such as plastic or rubber-like polymers.
  • Coaxial cables can be formed by wrapping two or more wires concentrically, separated by insulation.
  • Wire or cable may be further protected with substances like paraffin, bitumen, or steel taping.

Different Forms of Wire

  • Solid wire, also called solid-core or single-strand wire, consists of one piece of metal wire.
  • Solid wire is useful for wiring breadboards.
  • Stranded wire is made up of multiple small wires twisted or braided together.
  • Stranded wire is more flexible and resistant to breaking than solid wire.
  • Stranded wire is commonly used in applications where flexibility is required.

Uses of Wire

  • Wire is used to bear mechanical loads, often in the form of wire rope.
  • Wire can refer to an electrical cable used for electricity and telecommunications signals.
  • Wire can be made in various cross-sections for decorative or technical purposes.
  • Edge-wound coil springs, such as the Slinky toy, are made of special flattened wire.
  • Wire is used in the production of high-efficiency voice coils in loudspeakers.

Manufacturing of Wire

  • Wire is commonly formed by drawing the metal through a hole in a die or draw plate.
  • Wire gauges come in various standard sizes, expressed in terms of a gauge number or cross-sectional area.
  • Precious stones like diamond or ruby can be used in the draw-plate to maintain the size of the holes.
  • Wire drawing can be done manually or through modern machinery.
  • Insulating and jacketing of wires and cables is done by passing them through an extruder.

Applications of Wire

  • Winding of motors, transformers, inductors, generators, and speaker coils.
  • Coaxial cable used as a transmission line for radio frequency signals.
  • Speaker wire for low-resistance electrical connection between loudspeakers and audio amplifiers.
  • Resistance wire used for heating elements or wire-wound resistors.
  • Copper magnet wire used in various applications, such as winding wire.

Wire Data Sources

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