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 Industrial Wire Terminology

MasterSource, your source for locating hard to find and exotic metals.

Definitions of Industry Wire Terms

Accuracy (as distinguished from precision)
The degree of conformity of a measured or calculated value to some recognized standard or specified value.

Annealed & Pickled
A dull matte appearance necessarily associated with the dead–soft condition when no final cold drawing is permitted.

Annealed Wire
Wire that was drawn to size and annealed at finish size.

Annealed in Process
Wire that was thermally treated (annealed) and subsequently redrawn.

Process in which wire is treated to render them less brittle and more workable. The material is heated and then cooled very slowly and uniformly, with the time and temperature set according to the properties desired. Annealing increases ductility and relieves internal strains that lead to failures in service.

Austenitic Steel
Grades of steel which contain chromium and nickel as major alloying elements.

Wire that has been straightened and cut. However, a straightened and small diameter product is often called straightened and cut wire.

Refinery shape used for piercing or extrusion into tubular products or for extrusion into rods, bars, and shapes. Circular in cross section, usually 3 to 16 inches in diameter, normally ranging in weight from 100 to 4200 pounds.

The deviation of a side edge from a straight line.

A statement as to where material was manufactured, sampled, tested, and inspected in accordance with specifications and chemical composition.

A length of wire wound into a series of connected turns. The unqualified term "coil" usually refers to a product that is spirally wound, with the successive layers on top of one another. (sometimes called a "roll")

Cold Drawn
A finish resulting from a final drawing pass, generally with cold drawing lubricants left on.

Condition "A"
Wire annealed as a final heat treatment. Material in condition "A" may be given a final cold drawing for size control or finish, or both, slightly raising tensile strength.

Condition "B"
Wire cold drawn to a higher strength.

Condition "H"
Wire heat treated to a hard temper generally by austenitizing, quenching, and tempering at a relatively low temperature.

Condition "T"
Wire heat treated to an intermediate temper generally by austenitizing, quenching, and tempering at a relatively low temperature, can also refer to a cold worked condition which tempers the wire to an intermediate temper .008–.010" surface condition only.

The act or process of corroding. The condition produced by corrosion.

A geometric element in a design, such as length or angle, or the magnitude of such a quantity.

Duplex Alloy
An alloy consisting of a ferritic matrix with pools of austenite.

Any of several instruments used to measure force or power.

The increase in length of the gage length, expressed as a percentage of the original gage length.

Straight pieces, shorter than the nominal length, left over after cutting the product into mill lengths, stock lengths, or specific lengths.

Ferritic Steel
Non hardenable steel due to the high chromium, low carbon content.

Free Machining
Wire designed especially for optimum machinability.

Hard Drawn
Wire drawn without the use of thermal (anneal) treatment.

Heat Treating
To treat wire metal by alternate heating and cooling in order to produce desired characteristics; to increase hardness.

A spiral form or structure.

Straight piece of wire.

Having the properties of a magnet. Capable of being magnetized or of being attracted by a magnet.

Martensitic Steel
(Age hardening or maraging), hardenable steel obtained through heat treatment.

Any material that does not exhibit magnetic properties.

Out of Round
1/2 the difference between the maximum and minimum diameters of the wire.

Treatment to remove surface contamination, usually iron, off a material.

(As distinguished from accuracy), the degree of mutual agreement between individual measurements, namely, repeatability and reproducibility.

Owned by a private individual or corporation under a trademark or patent.

Immersing to cool. Immersions may be in liquids, gases, or solids.

Random Lengths
Run of mill lengths without any indicated preferred length.

Reel or Spool
A cylindrical device that has a rim at each end and an axial hole for a shaft or spindle, and on which a product is wound to facilitate handling and shipping.

Sodium (Na)
A soft, light, extremely malleable silver–white metallic element that reacts explosively with water, is naturally abundant in combined forms, esp. In common salt, and is used in the production of a wide variety of industrially important compounds.

Spool or Reel
A cylindrical device that has a rim at each end and an axial hole for a shaft or spindle, and on which a product is wound to facilitate handling and shipping.

A salt or ester of stearic acid.

Of, pertaining to, or similar to stearin or fat.

A colorless, odorless, tasteless ester of glycerol and stearic acid, used in the manufacture of soap. The solid form of fat. (Tallow)

Prolong heating of iron base alloy at a temperature in the neighborhood of, but generally slightly below, the critical temperature range, usually followed by relatively slow cooling.

A mixture of the whitish, tasteless solid or hard fat obtained from parts of the bodies of cattle, sheep, or horses, and used in the making of lubricants.

Tensile Strength
Expressed in pounds per square inch (PSI), calculated by dividing the maximum load carried by the specimen during the tension test, by the original cross sectional area of the specimen.

A rising current of warm air.

The concentration of a substance in solution or the strength of such a substance determined by titration. The minimum volume needed to cause a particular result in titration.

The total amount by which a quantity is allowed to vary; thus the tolerance is the algebraic difference between the maximum and the minimum limits.

A solid section, including rectangular flat wire but excluding other flat products, furnished in coil or on spool, reels, or bucks.

Wire Rods
Semi–finished product intended primarily for the manufacture of wire. They are hot rolled generally to an approximate round cross section in continuous lengths coil.

Yield Strength
The stress at which a material exhibits a specified limiting deviation from the proportionality of stress or strain.

Compliance: Metals distributed by and thru MasterSource Company Inc. are in compliance with Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act pertaining to conflict minerals.


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