Wire rod is a semifinished product rolled from billet on a rod mill and is used primarily for the manufacture of wire. Steel wire rod is usually cold drawn into wire suitable for further drawing; for cold rolling, cold heading, cold upsetting, cold extrusion, or cold forging; or for hot forging. The article explains these operations, along with the several recognized quality and commodity classifications applicable to steel wire rods. The heat treatments commonly applied to steel wire rod, either before or during processing into wire, include annealing, spheroidize annealing, patenting, and controlled cooling. When the end product must be heat treated, the heat treatment and mechanical properties should be clearly defined. Carbon steel rods are produced in various grades or compositions: low-carbon, medium-low-carbon, medium-high-carbon, and high-carbon steel wire rods. Rod for the manufacture of carbon steel wire is produced with manufacturing controls and inspection procedures intended to ensure the degree of soundness and freedom from injurious surface imperfections necessary for specific applications. This article also describes the various quality descriptors applicable to the rods as well as standard qualities and commodities available in alloy steel wire rod.
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