Wire forms are any shapes or parts that have been fabricated via the manipulation of wire, i.e. any processes that alter wire shape, like wire cutting, wire bending and heat treating. Wire forms are instrumental to the success of processes in numerous industries, such as: industrial manufacturing, point of purchase, automotives, medicine, aerospace, power transmission and more.
Wire forming is generally utilized for commercial and retail purposes such as wire displays used for product placement. Wire grids can be used in industrial manufacturing, for wire shelves and wire racks that are used in storage systems. Wire guards can even be used to reinforce and protect machinery. The list of wire form applications is virtually endless. Examples include: baskets, displays, grids/grid panels, shelves, guards, motor mounts, hardware, pins, clips, springs, screens, hooks, grills, coils, rings, stents, tubes and filters. Read More…
In order to achieve the variety of wire forms available, there are numerous different wire forming processes; the most common of which include coil making, roll forming, metal stamping and welding. Coil making, also referred to as spring making or coil winding, is the process of winding wires around mandrels, which are metal blanks, in order to create coils. As a less part-specific process, roll forming is used to produce flat, round and shaped wire parts. A continuous process, roll forming uses calenders and die punches to shape the wire. Another major wire forming process is metal stamping, in which wire is precisely shaped into various forms through the use of a stamping press.
A couple different methods of metal stamping are used for wire forms including fourslide stamping and deep drawn stamping. In fourslide stamping, also referred to as multislide stamping, a press with four horizontal forming slides is used in order to allow for multiple forming in different directions. Deep drawing, on the other hand, enables a deeper depth to the wire form than is possible with other wire forming processes. Welding can also refer to various spot or seam welding processes, such as electric resistance welding (ERW), metal inert gas (MIG) welding or tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding. ERW utilizes an electric current and the application of mechanical pressure to weld wire. As types of ERW, MIG and TIG also utilize inert gases to reduce any contamination; while TIG welding is the most accurate type, it is much more complex and requires a very skilled operator as well as longer production times, so MIG welding is often used instead. Weaving may also be used in order to create wire forms such as screens, grids or guards.
Wire forms are created using a variety of processes. Most commonly, they are made during roll forming, coil making, metal stamping or welding. Roll forming is a universal process that uses calenders and die punches to produce flat, round and shaped wire parts. Coil making, also known as coil winding or spring making, is the process by wire coils are formed by winding wires around mandrels. Metal stamping, which employs a stamping press to create exact forms, offers a few different methods of execution, such as fourslide, or multi-slide, stamping and deep drawn stamping. In fourslide stamping, as you might infer, manufacturers use a press with four horizontal forming slides. This method creates multiple forms in different directions.
Deep drawing concentrates on form depth rather than form numbers. This process allows for a deeper wire form depth than any other process. Finally, welding is a process that involves chemical reactions. It can also refer to various seam or spot welding processes, including electric resistance welding (ERW), metal inert gas (MIG), welding or tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding. ERW welds wire using an electric current and mechanical pressure. MIG and TIG are both types of ERW, and they specifically use inert gases to shield the wire form from contamination during welding. TIG is the more accurate of the two, but since it is such an involved process, requiring a highly skilled technician and a longer production time, manufacturers often use MIG welding instead. Another type of wire forming that is used less widely is weaving, which can be used to fabricate screens, grids, guards and the like.