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7 Top Metals to Use for Wire Forming Projects

material for cable

A wide variety of materials are available these days that can be used for wire or cable forming projects. Depending on the project requirements different materials can be used. Even while working with similar model if the wires will be used in two different conditions the wires will have to be made from different materials.

We have mentioned a list of some of the best materials to use for wire forming projects:

Stainless Steel Grade 304

SS grade 304 as an austenitic steel alloy boasts an extraordinarily high corrosion resistance. SS 304 is stronger than both SS Grade 316 and SS Grade 317 with a tensile strength of 621 MPa (90 ksi),—making it a perfect choice for use in environments with mild corrosives and for handling heavier loads.

Stainless steel Grade 304 has better oxidation resistance than plain steel or iron in most environments. This helps cable form made from 304 SS durable and needed not be replaced very often.

In high-temperature applications, SS 304 is suited for use in processes up to 870 degrees C (1,679 degrees F). At temperatures of 1,399 degrees C (2,550 degrees F) or higher, the alloy will begin to melt. So, while the material can more than take most oven-like conditions, it isn’t really a good choice for the toughest heat treat applications like Inconel would be.

Stainless Steel Grade 316

SS Grade 316 another austenitic stainless steel is even more corrosion resistant than SS 304. In particular, stainless steel 316 is better at resisting chlorides (like salt) and is often used in cookware and naval applications.

SS 316 has lower tensile strength as compared to SS 304, weighing in at 579 MPa (84 ksi). It is not a big difference, but it can be influential for applications with heavier-weight loads.

The maximum use temperature of this alloy tops out at around 800 degrees C (1472 degrees F)—less than the temperature recommended for 304 steel.

SS Grade 316 is most useful for applications where 304 SS would normally be used, but the project conditions are too corrosive or involve chlorides.

Stainless Steel Grade 434

SS Grade 434 a ferritic alloy of stainless steel, is noted for having exceptional pitting resistance. Due to the absence of nickel content in 434 SS, it is often less expensive than the austenitic stainless steels.

The highest temperature in which 434 SS is used is 815 degrees C (1499 degrees F), making it well-suited to the average high-temperature process, but still not ideal for heat treat applications.

Stainless Steel 434 is chemically less resistant than stainless steel 304, it can still resist corrosion, oxidation, and pitting better than plain steel. This results in stainless steel 434 being a good option for general-purpose in making steel wire products—and at a less price than 304.

Polyester TGIC Powder Coat

A specialized coating of secondary material is used by many wire forming projects to safeguard the actual wire form from exposure to harsh chemicals and high temperatures—help extending the duration of the functional life of the wire form.

One popular coating option is polyester TGIC (triglycidyl isocyanurate) powder coat. This coating boasts a relatively high “pencil hardness” of 2H-3H and resists getting deformed or chipped by abrasion. It also resists salt spray better than the Urethane powder coat, making it better for applications where chlorides are an issue.

However, the low melting point of polyester TGIC (300 degrees F) prohibits its use in any high-temperature application. This is a common weakness of most polymer materials.

Epoxy High Solid Coat

Epoxy High Solid coating material has higher pencil hardness (3H-5H) than polyester TGIC. Epoxy solid coatings provide outstanding protection for metal wire forms by strongly resisting tarnish, staining, scratching, moisture, and many solvents to.

However, it has poor resistance to ultraviolet (UV) light, and hence cannot be used in any outdoor applications.

Plastisol (PVC) Coat

Plastisol is a flexible coating material with properties that can vary based on what plasticizer and processes are used to apply it. Plastisol coating is an excellent insulator and is renowned for resistance to extreme severe corrosion, excellent chemical resistance and its ability to resist impact damage or scratching.


Inconel belong to superalloys that are specifically made to resist intense temperatures. Among all the materials listed in this article, Inconel is the most highly recommended for use at 1,093.3 degrees C (2,000 degrees F).

At room temperature, Inconel 625 has an ultimate tensile strength of 956.9 MPa (138.8 ksi). At a temperature of 2,000 degrees F, this drops to 91.7 MPa (13.3 ksi). Although a significant drop, it is still possible for the metal to retain its shape and carry lightweight parts—which is more than most metals can do at that temperature!

Inconel is usually recommended for applications that have very high-temperature heat treatment, but it is not cost effective to purchase and machine into shape for a wire form.

Stainless Steel Grade 330

SS Grade 330 is another alloy specifically formulated for use in high-temperature applications. With its high chromium and nickel content, Grade 330 stainless can withstand prolonged exposure to temperatures of up to 1,037 degrees C (1,900 degrees F).

Making it slightly less robust than Inconel 625. However, it requires low cost to purchase and machine, so it is often recommended as a substitute.

These are just a few different materials that can be used to make (or coat) a electric wire/cables. The best material or coat depends on solely what project you are planning on using it for, and the chemicals, temperatures, and processes involved.

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