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An integrated solution for fine stainless wire in-line drawing and annealing

Published: - 01/12/2017 Author: Scaccabarozzi, Ed. Staff
An integrated solution for fine stainless wire in-line drawing and annealing

Schmidt and Plasmait introduce a new integrated solution for in-line drawing and annealing fine stainless steel wire. This is the first time annealing of stainless steel wires is done at the speed of drawing or faster. The new integrated solution will change the way stainless steel wires up to 1mm in diameter are drawn and annealed.

Annealing of stainless steel and nickel alloy wires has so far been done almost exclusively in the traditional tube/strand furnaces in a multi-line setup. The slow annealing speeds did not allow

PlasmaANNEALER for fine wire is the first machine of its kind to enable annealing of fine austenitic stainless steel and nickel alloys wires at the speed of drawing (i.e. at up to 25m/s). Austenitic stainless steel wires with diameters from 0.5mm to 0.1mm (0.02’’ to 0.004’’) can be recrystallization annealed with plasma at the speeds of 360m/min to 1500m/min (1200ft/min-5000ft/min). A single line PlasmaANNEALER can substitute 15-30 lines in a traditional tube furnace whilst abolishing the need for expensive multi-line takeups and payoffs.  PlasmaANNEALER can be used for small cross-section round, flat and shaped wires as well as for tubes, ropes and strands made of stainless steel and nickel alloys. The annealer features compact design, high energy conversion efficiency, very low gas consumption and gives the operator the ability to target mechanical properties with a great degree of accuracy. Rapid heating and reduced time of recrystallization results in fine grain size with uniform crystal structure. The PlasmaANNEALER can cold start production in few minutes and can be stopped imminently. This avoids the lengthy heating-up and cooling-down times and associated energy costs that are symptomatic for a conventional tube furnace. The installation in the layout drawing below features a line with a double-head takeup with automatic spool changeover functionality. This allows for long continuous drawing runs and minimal operator assistance.

The annealer can process different type of materials used in applications such as: fine wire for mesh and textile, filter wire, EMS mesh wire, electronics resistance wires, heating element wires, copper clad steel and copper clad aluminium wires, as well as wires, ropes and tubes for medical, jewellery, aerospace, automotive and similar applications.