What is the Purpose of a Wire Straightener?
Posted by Jeff Miller on
Whether it arrives on a reel, in a box, or simply sealed in shrink wrap, the wire we use generally comes coiled. Unfortunately, stresses built into the wire during the manufacturing process, along with those added when packaged, almost always cause the wire to adopt a curved cast, and in many cases, an axial helix.
Depending on the size and type of the wire, these curved and helical distortions can make using the wire difficult, and, in extreme cases, impossible. When the person trying to use the wire spends more time battling with these distortions than actually using the product, is when a wire straightener can help.
Wire straighteners are designed to relieve constructional and natural stresses by forcibly bending the material past its yield point. This process can remove or reduce wire distortion creating a product that can be applied with greater accuracy and efficiency. Our products focus on processing insulated cable, which presents unique challenges, but the same principles of straightening apply to other materials such as non insulated copper and aluminum bare wire.
As a word of caution, though, don’t think that a wire straightener is the panacea for all your manufacturing problems. It’s important to consider all aspects of your process including quality of input materials, handling and storage methods, manufacturing process, and post processing practices. It would be safe to say that a straightener will reduce curvature, but usually it won’t transform a corkscrew into a perfectly straight laser beam. What a straightener will do is make your wire’s handling and application characteristics more consistent and predictable. So, if you find yourself fighting with wire in an attempt to make it easier to route, stay where you placed it, or control the ends, a straightener may be the solution.