When I hear the word wire, I cannot help but picture the small little wires encased by plastic that make up the cords to my phone charger, ipod headphones and the cords to my television. Yet, wire formed products can encompass so much more than that. While these are an important form of wire, wire can come in larger and more heavy duty pieces such as wire ropes. A wire forming piece could also be what is used to create wire baskets, guards, screens, displays, hooks, shelves, racks, grids and other miscellaneous parts, products and fabrications. There are so many things that the term wire form could refer to, it is hard to pinpoint it to one particular thing.
To make all of these various wire forms, the wire must be manipulated into the various shapes. This can be accomplished through a number of different processes, and the finished products can go on to become parts of numerous applications. Some of the processes that can be used to create wire formed products include coil making, four slide wire forming, deep drawing, press wire forming, welding, bending, roll forming and CNC wire forming.
The first process, coil making, is accomplished by winding wires around mandrels (metal blanks) to create coils. The next option, four slide wire forming, also known as multislide stamping, is done by using a press with four horizontal forming slides. This allows for multiple forming in varying directions. Then there is deep drawing, in this process it is possible to achieve a deeper depth to the wire. In press wire forming the process is more similar to metal stamping methods. Roll forming is used when you need to create flat, round and shaped parts. Finally, CNC wire forming uses computers to ensure that the higher levels of precision are achieved.