Recommended Uses for Oil Tempered Wire

The process of creating oil-tempered wire involves first drawing steel down to a specific diameter, before heating to extremely high temperatures and then rapidly cooling it through immersion in oil. This results in an extremely durable wire, with an excellent fatigue life and resistance to relaxation. Compared to music wire, another popular steel option, oil-tempered wire tends to be both cheaper and thicker – though of course it’s available in a variety of widths.

What, then, are the advantages of this process? And what sort of products might require oil-tempered wire? We’ve rounded up a couple of the major ones below:

Garage Door Springs

The strengthening effect of the oil tempering process makes this wire extremely hardy and gives it high-tensile properties. It’s quite a popular material for springs – especially those that see relatively constant loads, in contrast with ones that are heavily stressed and frequently cycled. This makes oil tempered wire a perfect fit for garage door springs, which support considerable forces for longer periods of time, with fairly infrequent movement.

Automotive Parts

From combustion engine valves to clutches to transmission dampers, the tensile strength and fatigue life of oil-tempered wire allows for springs that satisfy the extreme demands of precision auto parts. Tempering reduces brittleness and ensures more uniform mechanical properties, compared to wires that are simply cold-drawn, meaning that these ultra-important components on which your vehicle’s life (and your safety) depends are extremely resistant to breakage and very slow to wear down.

Wire Forms

These small, typically custom-made wire pieces fit a variety of applications, and are integral components to all sorts of commodities. When choosing a material to construct your forms from, oil-tempered wire is a serious contender. Its sturdy, resilient properties make it a great general-purpose material and a reliable part of any end product.

For more information about oil tempered wire and other steel products, contact Madison Steel today.


Guy Strand | Madison Steel

Common uses of Guy Strand

Guy Strand is commonly used in projects that require a lot of strength and stability. Some of the strongest variations  are used to stabilize the tallest structures in the world. When Guy Strand is used to stabilize a structure, one end is attached to that structure, while the other is anchored to the ground. Guy Strand can be anchored to both hard and solid surfaces. This type of versatility is what make guy strand popular across multiple industries.

Telecommunications

We see Guy Strand used frequently in the telecommunications industry. This is perhaps the most commonly seen use of this product. Telephone and other utility poles are often stabilized with this type of wire. This is possible because guy wire can be manipulated to be extremely resistant to corrosion. A zinc coating is often put on top of guy strand during production to create a barrier between the wire and the elements. We often see guy wire covered with a yellow sleeve. This is to make the strand stand out from a distance.

Guy Strand

 

Cable Railings

Another commonly seen use of guy strand is cable railings. Cable railings are often used in places where one wants an unobstructed view.  Cable railing is used in both residential and commercial products. You often see cable railings in parking decks, balconies, and public walkways. Guy Strand is optimal for this because it is resistant to the elements and can be installed post-construction. The overall cost of maintenance of cable railing is low.

 

For more information on Strand steel products, or to place and order, contact Madison Steel, Inc.

 

 


Oil Tempered Wire

Oil tempered wire is a cold drawn, heat treated wire. The process of tempering increases the strength and hardness of the wire without making the wire more brittle. Tempering makes oil tempered wire perfect for springs and wire forms.

The springs used in car seats are often oil tempered wire springs. When oil tempered springs are covered with cloth cushioning, it provides plenty of comfort and support. The springs are often coated to avoid noise. This is especially important for infant car seats.

 

Another use of oil tempered wire in the automotive industry is in the filtration system for air bags. This filtration system is used to filter out dust and smoke in the air bag as well as smother flames during combustion. Oil tempered wire is perfect for this because it can handle the stress and heat pressure.


Using Steel to Reinforce Concrete

Reinforced concrete bridgeConcrete embedded with steel reinforcement bars, plates, or fibers is one of the world’s most commonplace construction materials. Reinforced concrete, as it is known, can be found in everything from massive bridges and skyscrapers to individual home foundations and the roads underneath our feet. Here’s a quick look at why this composite material is so popular, and how it’s made:

Isn’t Concrete Strong Enough? Why Does it Need Reinforcement?

While concrete is an exceptionally tough material, resistant to compression forces, it’s also rather susceptible to cracking under extreme tensile stress. This makes it vulnerable to earthquakes, heavy vibrations, and other calamities against which architects must take consideration.

How Steel Helps

Consider reinforced concrete to combine the best of both worlds: concrete itself, while strong under pressure, is weak when stretched; while steel, somewhat more flexible, withstands bending and pulling forces better. The resulting composite material retains the inexpensive, easily moldable, weather resistant, and fireproof traits of concrete while standing up much more reliably to tensile stress.

 

How is the Reinforcement Done?

reinforced concreteReinforced steel is most commonly produced by pouring liquid concrete into a mold around a steel rebar or cable skeleton. These steel rods are typically placed at points where the greatest tensile stress is anticipated, if not throughout the entire structure.

Often, construction engineers will create pre-stressed concrete, in which the concrete is poured around heavy steel bars or cables that are already under considerable tensile stress. Once the concrete is poured and hardens, static friction transfers these tensile forces directly into it as compression. Subsequent tensile stress on the concrete is transferred directly onto the reinforcing structure.

Occasionally, small fibers of steel (or even other materials like glass or synthetics) may be incorporated directly into the concrete mix – this results in a material with improved resistance to cracking over regular concrete, though perhaps with less of a strength increase than is found in rebar-embedded concrete.

Questions about rebar or steel-based reinforcement in general? Contact the metal experts at Madison Steel today.


What is Welded Wire Mesh?

Also referred to as welded wire fabric, or simply “weldmesh”, welded wire mesh is a prefabricated grid of low carbon or stainless steel wires. These are welded together at each intersection, providing a highly durable and uniformly structured material suitable for a variety of applications.

weldmeshSteel wires come in an assortment of thicknesses, and depending on the size of the wires themselves as well as the openings between them, the resulting mesh may be sold in either rolls or flat panels. The openings themselves may be square or (oblong) rectangular in form.

 

Common uses for weldmesh

You’ll find welded wire mesh in a variety of industries, from agriculture and horticulture to transportation, mining, and construction. Here are just a few of the most common uses:

  • Rebar

Thicker instances of welded wire mesh can make a good internal framework for reinforced concrete structures. This addition provides substantially increased tensile strength to a material that is otherwise quite vulnerable to cracking under the forces of vibration, twisting, and warping.

  • Fencing

Those looking for a relatively cheap security solution that’s tougher than chain link and still allows visibility will often turn to welded wire mesh. Application sites range from lower-security prisons and military installations to private offices and residences. It may even be placed within factories and other industrial buildings as a guard material surrounding heavy machinery.

  • Grating

A perfect combination of strength, low cost, and ease of installation makes welded wire mesh a popular choice for grating roads – especially providing ventilation for subway systems – and for covering street-side drains.

  • Decorative purposes

Welded wire mesh is available in multiple colors and coatings, and can in fact make for a visually appealing framework for trellises, flowerbed enclosures, and birdcages – among others. Some find it a perfect fit for elevating plants above the ground, or for shelving in garden sheds, closets, and even retail stores.

 

Contact the expert suppliers at Madison Steel for all your welded wire mesh needs.


Solid vs. Stranded Wire

Even with all the various sizes and shapes of wire, and their massive number of applications, it’s possible to break them down into just two basic categories – solid and stranded wires. Solid wires are exactly as they sound: a single, (relatively) thick thread of metal; while the alternative is actually a series of extra-thin wires wrapped together.

Though both styles are equally effective in conducting electricity, they do have some subtle distinctions that make them suitable for different purposes. Learning the differences will help you make the best pick for your specific situation.

Flexibility 

When the need of the hour is flexibility, stranded is the way to go. This loose rope of minute wires is highly flexible, easily bending and wrapping around corners. Extension cords and other long appliance cables are typically made of stranded wire, as Stranded Wirethey’re frequently folded, twisted, and tucked out of the way. For more static applications, where the wire won’t be subjected to repetitive movements, a solid wire is an excellent alternative.

Widths

Stranded wires tend to be larger than solid wires with the same current-carrying capacity (as defined by area of conductive material). This is because stranded wires are composed of rounded wire threads, which do not fit neatly against one another and will thus have small air-filled spaces between them. Solid wire offers a more compact option, if the rigidity is not an issue for you.

Cost

Though this will, naturally, be dependent on a number of factors like width, stranded wire tends to be slightly pricier than solid wire, as additional processing is needed to assemble this wrap of conductive threads. Of course, you should weigh installation costs against maintenance costs – running solid wire is cheaper initially, but in high-motion environments it will not last as long as stranded wire. Careful planning will ensure the most economical selection for your needs.

If you have questions or other inquiries regarding steel wires, contact the experts at Madison Steel today.


Is Recycled Metal as Strong as New Metal?

Almost all types of ferrous metals can – and should – be recycled. The process serves to reduce not only landfill waste, but also manufacturing costs and the labor and energy required to extract additional raw materials. Fortunately, this recycling can even be done without compromising the strength and integrity of the reclaimed product. To see how, let’s run through an example with steel – the most recycled metal in the world, and easily the most widely used and versatile, with applications from theRecycle Metal creation of common household items to the building of massive skyscrapers.

How is Steel Manufactured?

The creation of steel solely from raw components requires the combination of iron ore, limestone, and coke (a coal-based fuel) in a furnace, where it is smelted down to remove impurities and add carbon. Today, much of the steel we use is produced by recycling existing materials – for each ton of reused steel, we’re able to save 120 pounds of limestone, 1,400 pounds of coke, and 2,500 pounds of iron ore, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute

There are two primary methods of creating steel with reclaimed scrap: through an EAF (Electric Arc Furnace) or BOF (Basic Oxygen Furnace).

In the EAF process, the raw material is almost entirely scrap steel. High-powered electric arcs quickly melt the material down to liquid crude steel, after which it is refined further in secondary steelmaking processes. Much of the steel used in construction, such as reinforcement bars, steel plates, and structural beams, is made through the EAF process, since the end result produced is incredibly strong.

The BOF process, on the other hand, uses only about 30% recovered steel at most. Here, molten iron is combined with pure oxygen to blow out impurities. The steel produced by this method is used to make industrial drums, pails, cans, refrigerator encasements, and automobile fenders.

What Type of Scrap Metal can be used?

Thanks to steel’s versatility and popularity, there is a huge supply of scrap available cheaply. Common sources for recycled steel components include:

  • Scrap MetalBodies of old vehicles
  • Old machinery, engine blocks, pipes, and iron baths
  • Domestic scrap, such as old appliances, cans, water tanks, roofing sheets, etc.
  • Factory waste that remains after shaping or drilling metal
  • Industrial waste and commercial scrap such as old columns, beams, channels, plates, implements and more

How is this Material Recovered?

Since iron and steel have magnetic properties, they can be easily separated from other waste. Once segregated, these metals are kept in scrapyards and by heavy machinery, for ease of transport and to reduce necessary space on the conveyer belts that feed blast furnaces.

Recycling steel is both the economical and environmental choice, and provides an incredible end product for use in any application. For more information, contact Madison Steel today.


Ferrous vs Non-Ferrous Metals

Metal building materials can be separated into two general categories depending on whether they do, or do not, contain iron – referred to as ferrous and non-ferrous, respectively. The strengths and weaknesses of iron lend these two groups both certain advantages and disadvantages. Though each is valued for its own specific qualities, note that ferrous scrap is frequently in ready supply, thanks to the massive popularity of iron and steel in the construction and automotive industries. Non-ferrous metals
, including aluminum, copper, zinc, and titanium, have a lower availability for recycling, and as such tend to be more expensive even in scrap form.

Differentiating between Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Metals

There are a couple of steps that you, as a consumer, can take to determine whether or not a given metal or piece of scrap is ferrous. Rust is, by definition, an iron oxide – so it’s a pretty good rule of thumb that if you see rust, you’re dealing with a ferrous metal. Note that wrought iron – a form so pure that it will resist oxidation – and stainless steel – with its high chromium content – are both ferrous materials that are protected against rust. Another method for differentiation is the use of a magnet. Though exceptions exist on both ends, most ferrous metals are magnetic, and nearly all non-ferrous metals are not.

Uses of Each Type

Generally speaking, ferrous metals are used for high-strength applications, such as engineering, construction, and automobile manufacturing. You’ll also find them in just about any appliance or component that needs a magnetic feature, like the household refrigerator.Ferrous Metal

Non-ferrous metals, on the other hand, are typically best for applications that require a combination of strength and low weight. Metals like aluminum and magnesium are commonly used in the manufacture of aircraft, for instance. Resistance or immunity to rust is a useful characteristic as well, and one of the primary reasons that aluminum is used in the canning industry. The non-magnetic properties of most of these metals also make them ideal for electrical and electronic insulation applications.

Recycling Processes

Millions of tons of metal scrap, both ferrous and non-ferrous, are recovered each year. Modern recycling processes are generally quite efficient at reclaiming usable material – and, in fact, even new metals can sometimes require recycled ones as a component. Elements like aluminum are so prized that the value of scrap can easily exceed the cost of the recycling process. Metals must first be sorted into ferrous and non-ferrous groups – magnets are often helpful here – and like materials are then melted down and re-shaped into ingots.

Madison Steel is a leader in the supply of steel and non-ferrous recyclables and reclaimed material. Contact us today for more information on our services.


Why Steel Wire is a Better Reinforcement than Wood

Reinforcement

From concrete and asphalt to walkways and flooring, almost all types of construction need reinforcement. The question is whether you should use wood or steel wire. History has proven that steel wire works much better than wood. Here is a look at why:

The Price

Steel wire tends to be less expensive than wood or any other quality product that can be used for reinforcement for that matter. Though prices are always changing and may be affected by a number of variables, steel can be up to 20 percent less expensive than wood.

Versatility

Steel also tends to be more versatile. Wire mesh, for example, is available is a range of weaves and strengths. Rebar is available in a variety of strengths and diameters. PC Wire, which is often used to counteract concrete’s low-tension qualities, is also available in a variety of diameters and strengths.

Durability

Steel wire has also proven to be more effective than wood reinforcements. It is quick and easy to install and work with, but it also brings a unique quality to any project. For example, wood might be prone to pest problems, but wire is not and wire mesh may even prevent certain pests from entering a structure. For projects where the steel reinforcements may be exposed to weather and other elements, it can be epoxy-coated or galvanized. This process makes it last for a long time.

Rotten Wood

Common Uses for Steel Wire Reinforcements

Whether you are working on a commercial or residential project, you might be surprised to learn just how many structures and projects can be built using various types of steel wire reinforcements. These include buildings, cement poles, railroad tracks, bridges, mines, crane beams, homes, roads, and much more. If you are in need of steel wire reinforcement products for your construction projects, Madison Steel can help. Call us a 404-343-4855 to learn more about our competitive prices and wide variety of products.


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.