Wire drawing is a metalworking process in which the wire is passed through a series of dies so as to reduce its cross-section. For this purpose various kinds of Wire drawing machines are used. There are various elements of a wire drawing
machine but the die and the lubricants are the most important ones for the greater efficiency and quality of produced wire.
The process of wire drawing and role of lubricants
The art or process of wire drawing, like the name implies, is to draw a wire of a bigger diameter through a hole with smaller diameter hereby reducing the diameter through plastic deformation while the volume remains the same.
To do this a tool called a drawing die is used.
There are several kinds of machines for this where the dies are placed with the die hole horizontal to the drawn wire and with proper mechanism to draw the wire and to keep they system clean, cool and moving. They are:
Single Block Machines
Overtop block on single vertical shaft with 2 dies
Bull Block with riding stripper equipped to operate with either 1, 2 or 3 dies
Continuous multi die wire drawing machines
Common for all types of wire drawing machines is to make sure that the wire has a straight pass from the inlet guide pulley through the wire die on to the block. This is achieved by adjustments on the inlet pulley, the soap box and the die holder. The operator has to watch that there is lubricants in the soap containers and he has to constantly keep watch and regularly check that the wire is round.
Role of Lubricants
Lubrication in the drawing process is essential for maintaining good surface finish and long die life. Now there are mainly four different kind of lubrication methods - wet drawing, dry drawing, metal coating and ultrasonic vibration.
Various kind of lubricants from soap, oil, water based solutions etc are used for it.
The three main purposes of the lubricant are:
1) To act as a coolant,
2) To act as a cleaner,
3) To provide lubricity.
Production speeds have increased as the drive technology have improved. Thus the amount of heat generation has also increased. Hence it becomes vital for the lubricant to act as a coolant to extend die life and hence productivity.
It is also important for the lubricant to act as a good cleanser and to keep the system running without and blockage from the little residue of the wire which can't be avoided in the wire drawing process.
And as a vital function lubricant provides lubricity to the contacts between the wire and the die.
So it is important to make a wise and good lubricant selection to enhance quality and productivity.
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