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SURFACE TREATMENT by voestalpine Wire Technology

22 December 2020 | 

voestalpine Wire Technology focuses on three aspects in the further development of wire products: the material structure itself, the properties achievable by forming, and last but not least the properties of the wire surface.

You want smooth wires without grooves, cracks or seams. You want surface coatings that optimally support your processes. You want metallic coatings on your wires for meeting certain requirements of your customers.

Perfect wire surfaces support flawless products, maximum output, uniform forming properties, perhaps even minimized forming forces, the elimination of cleaning steps or a perfect ecological balance.

Surfaces are not easy to test and design. It is less a problem of testing one or two square meters per wire rod bundle, but the fact that the wires running speed at a control point or a treatment point can be 1.5 to 430 km/h. The challenge is comparable to correctly pushing a key into the door lock of a passing Ferrari.

Our Competence

Our aim is providing perfect surfaces without surface defects or the design of specific surface properties that can support you in your processes.

To do this, we optimize our forming processes, be it hot rolling or cold drawing or cold rolling. We develop surface coatings with our partners and look for the perfect production parameters and the perfect chemistry for electrolytically supported processes. For the good of our environment, we pay attention to the constant improvement of our cleaning and pickling processes. This also helps the product quality, which is another advantage for you.

Perfect surfaces start with optimized and monitored forming processes. Surface defects can already occur during continuous casting. These defects can be found at an early stage with AI-supported visual system during billet rolling. If the requirements are very high, our surface crack test on the billet can help you. This is mainly a manual process, which significantly minimizes the risk of undetected surface defects. Optical monitoring before the walking beam furnace also limits later defects. In order to provide perfect surfaces already for wire rods, we are constantly developing our optical monitoring systems and high-temperature eddy current testing device. The eddy current test is also an essential control instrument for cold drawing and rolling. Additionally, keeping an eye on all wear parts at all times avoids unnecessary grooves and rough wires.

We will adapt mill scale properties if you tell us whether and with which media you pickle or which mechanical descaling you prefer. We also deliver pickled and then limed or soaped or polymer-coated or phosphated wire rod, if it serves your production process.

Surface coatings are in constant development. Usually the focus stays on minimizing forming forces. For this purpose, we have created our own testing facilities that quickly show us whether the material structure and surface fit together. Focus of current development activities is the phosphate-free surface, on the one hand to minimize the ecological footprint, on the other hand also to optimize customer processes by eliminating washing processes or avoiding ferritic transformations after heat treatment.

Depending on the product requirements, we also manufacture wires with galvanic coatings. These can be chemical or electrolytically supported layers based on copper, brass, zinc or nickel. If required, we can offer hot-dip galvanized wires with pure zinc or zinc-aluminum layers.

Internally, we reduce the ecological footprint by constantly optimizing our wire cleaning after drawing processes, the alkaline cleaning and acidic pickling, and the inline wire drying processes. Wherever cleaning or coating does not help anymore, we offer customer-specific solutions for storage and transport so that you can be sure that you are holding a perfect product in your hands.

Customer orientation, quick and knowledgeable reaction to your requirements, flexibility and innovation are just some of the factors that have a decisive influence on our wire production and processing. Only by that, we can make a difference for our customers.