What Makes Guy Wire Great for Building Structures

Guy Wire Used on the Tallest Structures in the World

If you are building a tall structure that requires reinforcement and stability, guy wire is an excellent choice. Some of the strongest versions are used to stabilize some of the tallest structures in the world, including the tallest structure in the United States, the KYLY-TV mast in Blanchard, North Dakota. Built in 1963, it stands over 2,063 feet tall. The structure has several 2,382-foot pieces of guy wire attached to it to help keep it standing.

Other Various Uses for Guy Wire

Of course, you don’t have to travel to Blanchard, North Dakota to get a look at how guy wire works. In some cases, you can step right outside your home or office. Telephone and other utility poles are often stabilized by this type of wire. Other uses include wind turbines, sailboat and yacht masts, tents, radio and television towers, cell phone towers, antennas, extension ladders, and more. Guy Wire Bridge

What Makes Guy Wire Great for Building Structures

When guy wire is used to stabilize a structure, one end is attached to that structure, while the other is anchored into the ground. It can be anchored to both soft surfaces, like soil, and solid surfaces, like rock or concrete. As a matter of fact, its versatility is one of the main reasons why it is so popular amongst builders. Not only can it be used in a wide variety of situations, but it also comes in a number of sizes, as well as strengths ranging from utility strength to extra high strength. Another great advantage is that it is extremely resistant to corrosion. Because it is used in projects like utility poles, boats, and towers, it often exposed to weather, water, and other elements that could eventually lead to structural damage. However, guy wire is coated with zinc to extend its lifespan and prevent damage to your structure. With several distribution facilities in the United States, Madison Steel has the resources to provide guy wire to customers around the world, offering both competitive prices and fast shipment. To learn more about our products, contact our Atlanta headquarters at 404-343-4855.


8 Common Uses for Hard-Drawn Wire

Electric postHard-drawn wire is so common and affordable that you might not realize that many objects you use every day are made from it. As a matter of fact, it is a part of almost every industry in the United States.  Essentially, it is steel that is drawn to the required diameter without any extra processing. It is used in low-stress applications and can be bent into whatever form, size, or strength is necessary. Here is a look at 8 common uses for hard-drawn wire.

  1. Shopping Carts
    If you have ever pushed a shopping cart at your local grocery store, it was most likely made from hard-drawn steel or a combination of hard-drawn steel and plastic. The owner of Piggly Wiggly came up with the idea in 1937, and the American public has used them ever since.
  2. Baskets
    Many metal baskets are also made from hard-drawn steel, particularly the handheld ones offered in many retail and grocery stores. Like with shopping carts, because the steel is inexpensive, it is easy and not too costly to make them in large quantities.
  3. Car Parts
    Some parts of your car or vehicle may be made from hard-drawn steel, particularly springs used in the automotive industry. The price of the steel may even help keep the price of vehicles from climbing to unaffordable numbers.
  4. Hooks
    Whether you hang them on your wall or use them to fish with, most hooks are made from hard-drawn steel. They must be strong enough so that they do not bend with something hangs or is caught on them.
  5. Sewing Needles and Safety Pins
    Just like hooks, most basic sewing needles, as well as straight pins and safety pins, are made from hard-drawn steel. Again, it allows them to be mass-produced, and this is why you can buy a pack for a couple of dollars.
  6. Hair Accessories
    If you use any kind of metal hair accessories, like bobby pins or plastic clips with metal springs, they are most likely made from hard-drawn wire. Women have been using bobby pins to hold their hair in place since the late 19th century.
  7. Overhead Transmission Wire
    Next time you drive down the street, take a look up at the telephone or electric transmission wires overhead. Yes, they are usually made from hard-drawn wire, as well.
  8. Shelving
    Metal shelving is great for commercial and industrial use, but most stores do not want to pay much for study fixtures. That’s why they often choose shelving made from hard-drawn wire. Some other metal furniture is made from it, too.

If you are in the market for versatile, inexpensive hard-drawn wire, call Madison Steel at 404-343-4855.


5 Benefits of Using Oil-Tempered Wire

Cold-drawn and heat-treated, oil-tempered wire is used in a variety of applications. The process of oil-tempering it, essentially allowing it to cool after it is heated and then reheating it, makes it strong and durable, yet easy to bend. For this reason, it is often used to make springs for a variety of products.

  1. It Supports Heavy Equipment
    The springs in equipment like vehicles and garage doors are often made from oil-tempered wire. This is due to the fact that it is strong, yet flexible. It also absorbs impact and reduces noise and vibration.
  2. It is Easy to Handle
    Despite its durability, oil-tempered wire is easy to work with. You can bend, coil, or cut it without it becoming brittle, fatigued, or damaged.
  3. It is Inexpensive
    Oil-tempered wire is, perhaps, one of the least expensive wires on the market. This means it can be used on projects that require mass production or large quantities without driving up the prices in the end.
  4. It is Common
    Because it is so inexpensive and versatile, oil-tempered wire is also widely available. Most steel suppliers have it on hand and ready for purchase at all times.
  5. It is Durable
    The other reason why oil-tempered wire is often used in products like garage and warehouse doors or vehicles is that it’s built to last despite repetitive use.  It does require some stress-relief before use, but in exchange, it can last for years without breaking down.

If you are in need of oil-tempered wire, Madison Steel can help. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, they have been providing the international community with steel products for over three decades. Give them a call today at 404-343-4855.


8 Different Types of Steel Wire

Metal cable on a spoolSteel wire is an extremely useful and versatile material that can be found in many things you use everyday in the home, as well as in the car you drive. Steel wire is also useful in commercial, industrial and military applications—for cleaning, for spring-loaded devices, for reinforcing, for structural integrity, and even for making music.

However, not every piece of wire can be used for everything. Steel wire is manufactured to different levels of strength, elasticity and thickness for different purposes. Here’s a quick overview of 8 common types of steel wire.

MUSIC WIRE

Named for its use in piano strings, music wire could be considered the “work horse” of steel wire. Its high carbon content makes it a strong, durable, all-around wire that is excellent for high levels of stress and repeated loads (for example, in springs or surgical equipment).

OIL TEMPERED WIRE

Similar in structure to music wire, oil tempered wire is usually drawn to thicker diameters, then heated and “quenched” with oil to make it both strong and flexible. This wire is also used for spring applications, such as garage door springs.

BROOM WIRE

Most commonly used in the brushes of street cleaners, broom wire is usually a strong, high-carbon wire that is galvanized or PVC coated to endure repeated friction.

DUCT WIRE

This is a flexible coated wire that is commonly used to provide structure and flexibility, such as with heating and air ducts that have to curve around corners while retaining their shape.

HARD-DRAWN WIRE

This is steel wire that has simply been drawn to a certain diameter without any additional treatment or tempering. It’s a good all-around wire for bending into wire forms or springs, but it is unable to endure high amounts of stress the way music wire does. It’s frequently used in products like metal baskets, shopping carts, safety pins, and some auto parts.

CHROME SILICON WIRE

This steel alloy wire is cold-drawn and heat-treated to be exceptionally strong, able to withstand shock and high-impact loads that the typical wire spring could not withstand. It’s an excellent choice for recoil springs in guns or in high performance vehicles.

LOW CARBON STEEL WIRE

High carbon content makes steel strong, but at the expense of flexibility. For applications where the wire needs to bend more easily, (like low-stress springs or coat hangers) low carbon steel is a better option.

PATENT WIRE

Patenting refers to a specific treatment process by which steel wire is heated and quenched to make it stronger and more durable. Patent wire is useful for high tension applications and for wire rope.

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Uses For Duct Wire

The inside of electrical cableSteel wire is often valued for its strength and tensility, but sometimes these characteristics aren’t what you need in a steel wire. Sometimes the malleability of steel is more important than its strength; sometimes you simply need it to provide basic structure and flexibility, like duct wire.

Consider the duct you use on your clothes dryer, which vents the hot air of the dryer to the outside. Dryer ducts often need to bend in order to fit in tight spots or around corners, yet they need to remain open so as not to obstruct the air flow. This is a great example of how duct wire is used. It provides a skeletal structure around which the outer membrane is stretched so it can bend without crimping.

Understandably, duct wire is designed for low-impact applications, and is not recommended for high-stress or heavy weights. Duct wire is manufactured to bend, not to resist—for flexibility rather than strength. Thus, duct wire is useful anytime you need a flexible duct, as well as anytime you need a steel wire that can bend without crimping.

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What Is Music Wire?

Inside of a pianoThe term “music wire” must seem an odd term when it comes to steel products. The name is derived from only one of its many possible uses (namely, piano strings), but in fact, music wire is a versatile and affordable type of steel wire that is useful in a number of different high-stress applications.

HOW IT’S MADE

Music wire is made from steel with a high carbon content, which serves to strengthen and harden the steel. The steel is pulled through a die to form a thin wire (a process called “cold drawing” since it is done at room temperature), then heat-tempered to patent specifications. The end product is a wire that can endure high amounts of tension and stress repeatedly without losing its strength or elasticity.

WHY IT’S USEFUL

Let’s think about music wire again in its original context: piano strings. (Sometimes it’s even called piano wire.) The strings on a piano are stretched across a cast iron frame and stretched to an insane amount of tension. Then they are struck repeatedly with hammers attached to the piano keys to make sound. Yet, under normal circumstances, the piano strings will stay in tune for long periods of time. This is a good example of why music wire is useful: it can basically take a beating under huge amounts of stress without losing its consistency

WHAT IT’S USED FOR

Because of its tensile properties, music wire can be used for a wide number of personal, commercial and industrial purposes. Aside from its use in pianos, this wire is most frequently bent into springs for high-tension applications because it can bear repeated heavy loads. (For example, music wire is often used in spring-loaded windows.) It is also used for fishing lures, cheese slicers, crafts and hobbies, surgical tools, and so on. For pretty much anything that requires a steel wire able to endure repeated loads and high stress, music wire is an excellent choice.

LIMITATIONS

While music wire is highly versatile, it is not indestructible. It can endure heavy loads, but it can give way under “shock” loads—that is, sudden, high-impact levels of stress. Also, temperature extremes can affect its ability to perform, so it isn’t recommended in situations of extreme heat or cold. However, its ability to remain strong under stress makes music wire a great all-around choice.

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8 Common Uses for Aircraft Cable

Airplane tail with cablesThin, flexible and exceedingly strong, aircraft cable is one of the most useful types of steel cables available. It consists of thin steel wires that have been stranded together (usually between 8 and 28 strands altogether), giving the cable a fantastic blend of flexibility and strength. While usually no thicker than ¼ inch in diameter, aircraft cable is strong enough to secure an airplane in place (hence the name).

But aircraft cable isn’t just for aircraft; it comes in a variety of thicknesses and can serve a variety of personal, commercial, industrial and military purposes. Stainless steel aircraft cable is typically used in more strenuous applications because of its ability to withstand harsher temperatures and its resistance to corrosion. Galvanized steel cable is more affordable and nearly as strong, but it’s recommended for milder environments. Here are eight of the more common uses for aircraft cable:

Aircraft Control

Stainless steel cable is commonly used for securing and controlling aircraft (for example, during shipping and transport).

Securing Cargo

Aircraft cable is useful for tying down heavy cargo on ships. Again, stainless steel is recommended for this heavy-duty application because of exposure to the elements and salt water.

Boat Docks and Maritime Applications

Stainless steel aircraft cable is recommended for several uses with boats and docking, from securing boats to hoisting them out of the water. It is also useful for sailboat rigging, fishing boats, etc.

Pulleys and Winches

The strength of this cable makes it very useful for lifting and hoisting, so it is commonly used in winches and pulleys of different sizes and types. Depending on the particular context, both stainless steel and galvanized steel can be used.

Stage Rigging

Most live theaters are equipped with a series of rigging to open, close and lift heavy curtains, move backdrops, suspend, raise and lower lighting, and so on. Galvanized aircraft cable is perfect for most of these applications.

Zip Lines

Zip lines are increasingly used for amusement and recreation, and aircraft cable is sturdy enough to handle the weight and the activity. Both galvanized and stainless steel are used for these, depending on location and weather conditions.

Garage Doors

Because of its strength, aircraft cable is often found in garage door raising/lowering mechanisms (either galvanized or stainless steel).

Exercise Equipment

Aircraft cable (either galvanized or stainless) is quite useful in all types of exercise equipment, most commonly with weight machines.

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