The Wonderful World Of Wire

A very brief overview for those new to the wire game.

Clover Wire keeps a curated listed of highly reputable vendors for our raw material, this helps ensure we can provide  you with the highest quality parts. We work a wide variety of materials all grades of steel, brass and copper.
You might be new to the wire game so we’ll give you a brief overview of some of the most common types of wire we use regularly and if you have any questions at all please call us and we will be happy to discuss what we think will fit your project best based on your needs and budget.  914.375.0400.

The Big Three

Basic

Galvanized

Stainless Steel

Basic wire is the simplest and most common type of wire used in the industry.  It is drawn from steel rods at the mill into specified levels of thickness commonly expressed in fractions of an inch.  One of the common characteristics that separates and defines a type of Basic is how much carbon is in the steel. The lower the carbon content the “softer” the steel, the higher the carbon content the “harder” the steel.

C1008 – C1010.  This is a low carbon steel wire used in general wire forming.  It is available in “plating quality” which is also referred to as “bright basic”.  It is one of the most economical grades of steel available.  It is also available with a zinc coating (see Galvanized).

C1035 – C1090.  These are heat treatable grades and you can find C1040, C1050, C1065, all the way up to C1090.   The higher the carbon content the harder the wire can be heat treated to.  The grades with the higher carbon content cost more.

Pros:
Cost Effective

Cons:
Is Prone to Rust

 

 Galvanized wire is when you take Basic Wire and coat it in Zinc. The reasons to do this are to give it finer shinier look and to inhibit rust on the wire.

There are two different processes to galvanize wire. Hot-Dipped or Electroplated.

We believe that Electroplating offers some advantages over Hot-Dipped and generally this is what we use. Compared to Hot-Dipped it is smoother, shinier (looks almost like stainless steel), and the thickness of the zinc coating is very consistent allowing the wire to pass thru our machines without issues caused by changes in wires circumference.  In addition  after the parts are completed electroplated parts are more easily coated if the customer so needs.

Galvanized steel is very popular because it looks great and offers a fair degree of rust resistance. It is a very popular option for Point of Purchase Display industry.

Pros:
Offers a Degree of Rust Protection
Lends Itself to Coatings

Cons:
More Expensive than Basic

Stainless Steel wire is made using an iron alloy that offers high resistance to corrosion, including rusting and staining   Its performance properties, including corrosion resistance and strength, depend on its numerical grade.

Type 304 – is the most common general-purpose material that combines corrosion resistance, is easily formed and welded, and formability, making it the most commonly used grade of stainless steel

Type 316 – stainless steel wire grade provides increased corrosion resistance compared to 304.

304L and 316L – an “L” added to the end would indicate lower Carbon which make it more suitable for welding.

Pros:
Looks Great
Rust Resistant

Cons:
More Expensive than Basic or Galvanized.

 

Stronger Wire

ASTM-A227.  This is wire that is produced to a spring temper.  It has a high tensile strength (210,000 – 270,000 PSI).  Parts formed from this type of wire are often stress relieved (a form of heat treating) to improve spring qualities.  Some shapes cannot be formed from wire this hard and in those cases the wire forms would have to be made from annealed high carbon steel wire and then heat treated after forming.

Music Wire (ASTM A228) is a higher grade of spring temper wire than ASTM A227.  It is produced in tensile ranges from 230,000 to 399,000 PSI.  This is a more expensive grade of spring wire than ASTM A227.  Its spring qualities can be improved by stress relieving after forming much as the less expensive ASTM A227 is.

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