Wire, Rod, & Bar
Wire is a long, thin string of aluminum that can carry electrical current or help screen bugs from your home. Made from rod or bar, wire is, by definition, less than three-eighths of an inch in diameter. Rod and bar are larger. Rod is round, while bar can have any number of flat sides.
The Production Process
One method of making these products is similar to rolling sheet. A
long, square ingot is heated, progressively reduced in cross-section by
passing it through a series of rolls, and then coiled. The coils are
heated for softening and, if they are slated to become wire, the rod is
pulled through smaller and smaller dies on a wire-drawing machine.
Electrical conductor is made by stranding several wires into a single
Bar, rod, and tube can also be made by the drawing method directly
from stock produced by hot extrusion. This process is also completed by
the progressive thinning of the aluminum material through the use of
Electrical conductor rod can also be drawn and stranded directly from molten aluminum.
Aluminum wire and cable are also used almost everywhere there is an electrical impulse to conduct: in commercial buildings, in machinery and equipment, and in transportation and consumer durables. Wire and cable are used for little jobs we seldom think about, including the non-rusting staples in tea bags and the retwistable twist in twist-ties.
Rod and bar become the rivets, nails, screws, bolts, and parts of all kinds of machinery and equipment. As chain-link fence material, aluminum wire keeps the dog at home, while up on the roof—as a lightning rod—aluminum protects our homes. Non-rusting nails keep redwood fences and decks looking prettier.
Drawn tube carries liquids in heat exchangers, food processing equipment, water treatment plants, and other industrial applications.