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CeramTec Presents Expert Know-How at the wire & Tube Trade Fair

Where Brute Force Has Ruled for 60 Years – Ceramics in Wire Drawing

2018-03-07

 

Advanced ceramics from CeramTec have shaped the wire manufacturing industry. The company has been developing tools and components for wire drawing since 1958. The robust ceramic materials ensure higher wire quality, minimal wire breakage, and reduced maintenance costs. CeramTec is presenting its yellow ceramic, currently a standard piece of equipment in wire drawing, at Stand 10F21 at the wire & Tube trade fair from April 16 to 20 in Düsseldorf.

Ranging from wires made of precious metals like gold in hi-fi speaker cables to the extensive cabling in the advancing e-mobility sector to high-voltage lines – wires are everywhere, performing their duty unseen. However, by the time a wire makes it onto the market in the desired thickness and quality, it has already undergone a genesis under the hardest conditions.

CeramTec is putting its expertise in the wire manufacturing industry on display at the wire & Tube trade fair from April 16 to 20 in Düsseldorf. All interested parties and partners are invited to visit the company at stand 10 F21 with the slogan “The Art of Wire Drawing”.

Precisely Definable Particle Sizes – Robust Surfaces

Advanced ceramics from CeramTec play a decisive role in wire manufacturing, for nothing but the highest tensile forces are sufficient when it comes to turning raw wire into fine wire. CeramTec’s ceramic materials are standard in the production of copper and non-ferrous metal wires worldwide. One of the reasons market-leading machine manufacturers in this industry sector look to the yellow ceramic is because it is explicitly requested by end customers.

Advanced ceramics have proven themselves under the prolonged wear conditions of modern wire drawing machines. The surfaces of the ceramic materials are highly resistant to thermal and chemical influences. Machine components such as drawing rings, capstans, eyelets, form elements, guide rolls, or ring segments are more able to withstand the constant, high stress that they are subject to in the process. Users benefit from the high level of dimensional accuracy with which wires can be manufactured. This results from the hard, clearly defined surface, the secret of which lies in the particle size of the materials. It can be defined so exactly that it enables every surface to be manufactured with precisely those special properties that will be best suited to the requirements of the application in question.

Low Wear, Reduced Costs

Processes in which CeramTec tools are used suffer from very little wear thanks to the robust properties of the ceramics. For the user, this means longer maintenance intervals, which in turn results in lower maintenance costs. Silicon nitride, zirconium oxide, and aluminum oxide are the most common ceramic materials used in the wire manufacturing industry. After the shaping and firing process, the material possesses a diamond-like hardness. The fine polish after grinding is fundamental for the high quality of the manufactured wires. Tools treated in this way are distinguished by a very large contact area. This makes it possible to apply a constant torque on the wire and at the same time precisely adjust the slip factor. This enables consistent wire thicknesses and prevents wire breakage to a great extent. The smooth surface of the drawing tools also subjects the surface of coated wires to less stress than comparable tools with partially ground surfaces: the wire is manufactured to a higher quality. For applications with especially abrasive materials such as tinned and galvanized wires or precious metals (gold, silver, platinum), the surface of the tools is – in addition to the fine polish – hardened by a special process developed by CeramTec.

Drawing tools are pre-ground before assembly and then finely ground, polished, and balanced in their assembled form. In this way, they maintain the best possible concentricity even at high rotational speeds. With the capstans and cones manufactured by CeramTec, users can work vibration free.