Issue. 20151217FZ001

Issue. 20151217FZ001

Publisher: EASTLEADS, Inc.

Topic: How to select cost effective dies for wire drawing line?

It is always good to hear new and fancy product in wire drawing industries. However, it becomes more and more difficult for wire drawing manufactures to figure out the best dies for their wire drawing lines. Every experienced plant manager understands that the best dies is not the most expensive one. Today, let’s talk about how to find the best dies for your production line.

The answer to this question was given by Dieter, Dr. George, a professor emeritus of mechanical engineering in University of Maryland back to 2003. A summary of his book was listed below (G.E.Dieter 2003)

Metal to be drawn Wire sizemm          inch Suggest die types   Round                         Special Shaped
Carbon Steel <1.57 <0.062 Diamond(natural or synthetic)  



M2 or Tungsten carbide

>1.57 >0.062 Tungsten carbide
Stainless Steel, Titanium tungsten, molybdenum and nickel alloys <1.57 <0.062 Diamond(natural or synthetic)
>1.57 >0.062 Tungsten carbide
Copper <2.06 <0.081 Diamond(natural or synthetic)
>2.06 >0.081 Tungsten carbide
Copper alloys and Aluminum Alloys <2.5 <0.098 Diamond(natural or synthetic)
>2.5 >0.098 Tungsten carbide
Magnesium alloys <2.06 <0.081 Diamond(natural or synthetic)
>2.06 >0.081 Tungsten carbide


As a scientist, the above table is totally agreed. However, as a technology provider for wire production industry, the cost factor need to be considered. The cost of diamond dies is much higher than tungsten carbide dies. At the same time, it is widely agreed that diamond dies is very brittle, which means the accidental damage is much higher during production. Therefore, it is suggested that carbide dies should be considered for all wire drawing engineers. For small diameter wire drawing, an optimized design using a combination of tungsten dies and diamond dies should be conducted.

Also, from the table, we can see the wide application of tungsten carbide dies. Nowadays, the performance of tungsten carbide has been greatly improved by adding other metal additives. Therefore, the application of tungsten carbide is spreading.


G.E. Dieter, H.A. Kuhn, S.L. Senmiatin. 2003. Handbook of workability and process design. illustrated . ASM International.

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