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Journal of Materials Processing Technology 210 (2010) 776783

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

Journal of Materials Processing Technology


journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/jmatprotec

Process design of multi-stage wet wire drawing for improving


the drawing speed for 0.72 wt% C steel wire
Sang-Kon Lee a , Seon-Bong Lee b , Byung-Min Kim c,
a
b
c

PNU-IFAM Joint Research Center, Pusan National University, 30 Jangjeon-Dong, Kumjeong-Gu, Busan, 609-735, South Korea
Faculty of Mechanical and Automotive Engineering, Keimyung University, 2800 Dalgubeoldaero, Dalse-Gu, Daegu, 704-701, South Korea
School of Mechanical Engineering, Pusan National University, 30 Jangjeon-Dong, Kumjeong-Gu, Busan, 609-735, South Korea

a r t i c l e

i n f o

Article history:
Received 23 September 2009
Received in revised form
30 December 2009
Accepted 15 January 2010

Keywords:
Wet wire drawing
Drawing speed
Wire temperature
Pass schedule
Wire drawing machine

a b s t r a c t
The objective of this study is the design of a multi-stage wet wire drawing process for improving the
drawing speed for high carbon (0.72 wt% C) steel wire. In this study, the pass schedule and the design of a
multi-stage wet drawing machine have been executed for achieving the objective. In the high-carbon steel
wet wire drawing process under high speed, the excessive rise in the wire temperature not only increases
the wire-breakage but also worsens the qualities of the drawn wire. In this study, a wire-temperature
calculation model for the wet wire drawing process is established. An appropriate pass schedule, which
can control the wire temperature, is achieved by using the temperature calculation model. Moreover,
a new multi-stage wet wire drawing machine is designed for carrying out a wire drawing experiment
to verify the new pass schedule. From the result of the experiment, the nal drawing speed can be
approximately doubled in relation to that of the current drawing process.
2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction
To maximize the productivity of a wire drawing process, the
drawing speed has to be increased as fast as possible without wirebreaks or deterioration of the qualities of the nal drawn wire.
In a multi-stage drawing process, using a series of dies, the wire
diameter is reduced in stages from the initial diameter to the nal
diameter. The wire drawing process can be classied according to
the nal diameter of the wire: large wire pertains to nal diameters of 1.58.0 mm, medium wire to 0.351.5 mm, and ne wire
to 0.010.50 mm (Phelan et al., 2001). Further, the multi-stage
drawing process can be classied into two types according to the
drawing condition: dry drawing and wet drawing (Hollinger et al.,
2003). Generally, ne wire is manufactured by a multi-stage wet
drawing process. In this process, the reduction ratio from the initial
to the nal wire is more than 90% and the nal drawing speed is very
fast. Specically, the nal drawing speed for ne high carbon steel
wire is over 1000 m/min. Therefore, if wire-breaks occur during
the process, the drawing process stops and signicant downtime
occurs owing to the need to thread the wire through the dies. This
causes a signicant decrease in the productivity.

Corresponding author. Tel.: +82 51 510 2319; fax: +82 51 581 3075.
E-mail addresses: o3man@pusan.ac.kr (S.-K. Lee), seonbong@kmu.ac.kr
(S.-B. Lee), bmkim@pusan.ac.kr (B.-M. Kim).
0924-0136/$ see front matter 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.jmatprotec.2010.01.007

Skolyszewski and Packo


(1998) have studied the wire temperature of drawing process. In a multi-stage wet wire drawing process
at high speed for producing ne high carbon steel wire, about
95% of the mechanical energy that is involved in the process is
transferred into heat that can increase the wire temperature by
about several hundred degrees Celsius. This adversely affects the
qualities of the nal wire. As the nal drawing speed increases,
the wire temperature increases dramatically. This embrittles the
wire and eventually causes the wire to break or weaken. Kalweit
(1997) showed that the control of wire temperature through the
appropriate process design is very important to control the wire
temperature.
The aim of this study is the design of a multi-stage wet drawing process to prevent the excessive rise in the temperature for
high carbon (0.72 wt% C) steel wire for increasing the nal drawing speed. For this purpose, a wire-temperature calculation model
has been proposed for the multi-stage wet wire drawing process.
Through the model, the wire temperature of a conventional drawing process has been predicted according to the increase in the
drawing speed. Based on the calculated wire temperature, a new
pass schedule has been established to decrease the wire temperature. Moreover, a new wet drawing machine has been designed
and manufactured for applying the newly designed pass schedule. Finally, the effectiveness of the new pass schedule and the
wet drawing machine has been veried through a wet drawing
experiment. In the experiment, it has been possible to increase

S.-K. Lee et al. / Journal of Materials Processing Technology 210 (2010) 776783

777

the nal drawing speed from 1100 m/min to 2000 m/min without
wire-breaks and the deterioration of qualities of the drawn wire.
2. Calculation of the wire temperature for wet wire
drawing
In the drawing process, heat is generated due to the plastic
deformation of the wire and the friction between the wire and
the die. As a result, the wire temperature increases, which has
a detrimental effect on the drawing process. From the studies of
Nakamura et al. (1976), Lee et al. (2009), Raemdonck et al. (1994),
and Geleji (1960), an excessive rise in the temperature can not only
cause wire-breaks during the drawing process but also decrease the
ductility of the drawn wire due to static or dynamic strain aging.
Therefore, it is important to keep the wire temperature as low as
possible during the drawing process. In this study, a model for calculating the wire temperature is established to predict the wire
temperature during the wet wire drawing process for wet wire
drawing. The model has been developed in light of the temperature rise in the deformation zone as well as the temperature drop
in the lubricant.
2.1. Temperature rise in the deformation zone
About 95% of the mechanical energy in the deformation zone is
transferred into heat in the drawing process. Therefore, the wire
temperature depends on the following parameters: the initial wire
and die temperatures; the heat generation due to the plastic deformation of the wire; the frictional heat on the interface between the
wire and the die; and the heat transfer from the wire to the die and
the surrounding lubricant.
Fig. 1 shows the geometry of the drawing die and a schematic
diagram of the rise in the wire temperature in the deformation zone.
As shown in Fig. 1, the rise in the wire temperature is attributed
to the volumetric deformation energy (WV ), the internal shear
deformation energy (WS ), and the frictional energy at the diewire
interface (WF ). Therefore, the total generated energy (Wt ) is calculated by:
WT = WV + WS + WF .

(1)

For Eq. (1), WV , WS , and WF can be obtained from the following


equations, respectively [9].
WV =

1
F km v z.
A

(2-a)

WS =

1
0.77 kfm f2 v z.
A

(2-b)

WF =

1
km Q  v z.
A

(2-c)

f2  c z(Texit Tinlet )


1
F km + 0.77 f2 kfm + m Q km  ,
A

where  is the density of the wire, c is the specic heat of the wire,
Texit is the wire temperature at the exit of the die, Tinlet is the wire
temperature at the inlet of the die, and m (the heat partition coefcient) denotes the quantity of heat that is transferred to the wire
due to friction at the interface. Geleji (1960) and Jo et al. (2002) proposed that about 80% of the heat generated by friction is transferred
to the wire and the rest is transferred to the die in dry steel wire
drawing. However, in this study, a heat partition coefcient of 0.6
is applied because the liquid lubricant interrupts the heat transfer
between the wire and the die in wet wire drawing. Therefore, the
wire temperature at the exit of the die is calculated as follows:
Texit = Tinlet +

The notation used in the preceding formulae is as follows: A,


the mechanical equivalent of heat; F, the deviation of the crosssectional area of the wire between the inlet (f1 ) and the exit (f2 ) of
the die; km , the average deformation resistance during the deformation of the wire; v, the drawing speed; z, the deformation time
of the wire. kfm , the mean yield strength before and after the deformation of the wire; , the semi-die angle; Q, the area of contact
between the die and the wire; , the frictional coefcient on the
interface between the wire and the die.
After the generated heat is calculated, the heat-balance equation
is required as follows:

Fig. 1. Rise in the wire temperature in the deformation zone. (a) Geometry of the
drawing die. (b) Schematic diagram of the rise in the wire temperature.

(3)

1
A f2  c

F km + 0.77f2 kfm + m Q km  .

(4)

2.2. Cooling after passing through drawing die


The excessive rise in the wire temperature promotes the occurrence of strain aging, which causes wire-breaks or deterioration of
the mechanical properties of the drawn wire in the high carbon
steel wire drawing process. Therefore, the wire temperature after
deformation in the drawing die should be dropped as much as possible. Fig. 2 shows the cooling zone before and after the die in the
wet wire drawing process. As shown in Fig. 2, the wire, capstans,
and dies are fully immersed in the liquid lubricant in the wet draw-

778

S.-K. Lee et al. / Journal of Materials Processing Technology 210 (2010) 776783

the machine ratio, K, which is calculated by the following equation:


K=

Ui+1 Ui
100
Ui

[%],

(6)

where Ui+1 is the speed of the (i + 1)th capstan and Ui is the speed
of the (i)th capstan. Ui+1 is always greater than Ui . Thus far, often
the speed ratio between the (i)th capstan and the (i + 1)th capstans
is equal. Therefore, the machine ratio is equal in the all passes of a
wet drawing machine.
The reduction ratio, RA, of the drawing die is given by:
RA =

ing process. In the cooling zone, the wire temperature drops rapidly
because the wire contacts directly with the liquid lubricant after
passing through the drawing die. Therefore, only convection heat
transfer from the wire to the lubricant is considered. The heat transfer between the wire and the capstan is ignored. To calculate the
wire temperature in the cooling zone, the time-dependent temperature is examined for the extremely small wire, which is exposed
to the lubricant. The following equation is used to calculate the
time-dependent wire temperature.

 4h  
lub
dc

t + Tlub .

f2
f1

100

[%].

(7)

In a multi-stage wet wire drawing process, the capstan speed is


faster than the wire speed. Therefore, the wire slides around the
capstans that transmit the necessary drawing force by the means of
friction between the wire and the capstans. The wire speed never
exceeds the capstan speed. The difference in speed between the
wire and the capstan is called Slip. The slip velocity rate, Svel ,
which is calculated by the slip and speed of the nal spool, is one
of the important process variables. Hisakatsu (2000) proposed the
appropriate range of Svel to reduce the wire-breaks through the wet
drawing experiment. Svel is calculated as follows:

Fig. 2. Cooling zone of the wet drawing process.

Ti+1,inlet = (Ti,exit Tlub ) exp

(5)

In Eq. (5), Ti+1,inlet is the wire temperature at the (i + 1)th die inlet,
Ti,out is the wire temperature at the (i)th die exit, hlub is the convection heat transfer coefcient of the lubricant, d is the diameter of
the wire, and t is the time while the wire is exposed in the lubricant.
3. Basic theory of the wet wire drawing process
Fig. 3 shows the layout of a multi-stage wet drawing process. The
wire wraps around capstans and each capstan provides a tensile
force on the wire at the exit of the corresponding die. The diameter of the wire reduces as it is drawn through the die. The drawing
speed depends on the capstan speed. Both the wire and capstan
speeds increase continuously from the rst to the last pass. Therefore, the latter capstan is faster than the former capstan. Terragna
(1976) calculated the basic parameters of the multi-stage wet
drawing process. In a multi-stage wet drawing process, the relationship between the former and latter capstan speeds is dened by

Svel =

Uv
100
UFinal

[%],

(8)

where U and v are the capstan speed and the wire speed at each
pass, respectively. UFinal is the speed of the nal spool. From the
study of Hisakatsu (2000), the wire-breaks decreased dramatically
when Svel was 38%.
4. Analysis of the current wet drawing process
First, the current drawing process, which is the nal drawing
process of the three drawing processes for producing high carbon
steel cord wire for reinforcing car tires, is analyzed. The applied
drawing process has 24 passes with a constant semi-die angle of
5 . The initial and nal wire diameters are 1.050 mm and 0.175 mm,
respectively. Therefore the total reduction ratio is 97.22%. The nal
drawing speed is 1100 m/min. The process conditions are summarized in Table 1.
Fig. 4 shows the reduction and machine ratios. The reduction
ratios are 13.015.3%. The machine ratio is a constant value of 12.0%.
The reduction ratio is always higher than the machine ratio because
of the slip (Terragna, 1976).
The material of the initial wire is 0.72 wt% C steel. The ow stress
curve obtained through the tensile test is as follows:
 = 2190 0.205 [MPa].

(9)

Fig. 5 shows the calculated wire temperature with a nal drawing speed of 1100 m/min. At the die exit, the wire temperature
increases gradually according to the pass number due to the plastic
deformation and the friction between the wire and the die. The wire

Fig. 3. Layout of multi-stage wet wire drawing.

S.-K. Lee et al. / Journal of Materials Processing Technology 210 (2010) 776783
Table 1
Process conditions of the wet drawing process.
Process conditions

Value

Number of passes
Semi-die angle
Dia. of the initial wire
Dia. of the nal wire
Bearing length

24
5
1.050 mm
0.175 mm
0.3Din mm (Din : inlet diameter
of wire)
1100 m/min
20.0 C
45.0 C
0.005 W/mm C

Final drawing speed


Initial wire temp.
Lubricant temp.
Convection coeff. of lubricant

Fig. 6. Wire temperature of the current drawing process (2000 m/min).

Fig. 4. The reduction and machine ratios of the current drawing process.

temperature after the nal pass is about 150 C. The wire temperature drops rapidly to the lubricant temperature (of about 46 C) at
all passes after the wire passes through the die. In order to evaluate
the inuence of the drawing speed on the wire temperature, the
nal drawing speed is increased from 1100 m/min to 2000 m/min
under the same process conditions. As shown in Fig. 6, the nal wire
temperature increases by up to 235 C. Moreover, the wire temperature at the die inlet increases gradually because of the excessive
generation of heat and insufcient cooling due to the extremely
high drawing speed. Nakamura et al. (1976) proposed that the wire
temperature has to be decreased to prevent static or dynamic strain
aging.

Fig. 7. Change in the wire temperature in the multi-stage drawing process.

Fig. 8. Reduction ratios of the new pass schedule (29 passes).


Fig. 5. Wire temperature of the current drawing process (1100 m/min).

779

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S.-K. Lee et al. / Journal of Materials Processing Technology 210 (2010) 776783

Fig. 11. The wire temperature of the new drawing process with a drawing speed of
2000 m/min.

ated in the multi-stage drawing process. Fig. 8 shows the reduction


ratios for the 29 passes. As shown in Fig. 8, reduction ratios in the
rst half of the passes are constant at about 13% and those in the
latter half of the passes taper down at a constant rate from 13% to
7.7%. Through this pass schedule, it is possible to decrease the heat
that is generated due to the plastic deformation and the friction
between the wire and the die.
5.2. Design of the multi-stage wet drawing machine
Fig. 9. Procedure of the process design for multi-stage drawing.

5. Process design of the multi-stage wet wire drawing


process
5.1. Pass schedule
Fig. 7 shows the general change in the wire temperature of the
multi-stage wire drawing process. As shown in Fig. 7, the wire temperature increases with the pass number. Therefore, we have to set
an appropriate pass schedule to not only prevent the excessive rise
in the wire temperature in the drawing die but also cause the wire
temperature to drop in the cooling zone.
In order to increase the drawing speed, the total number of
passes was increased from 24 to 29 to decrease the heat gener-

In this study, a new multi-stage wet drawing machine is


designed to apply the new pass schedule with a nal drawing speed
of 2000 m/min. In the design of the new drawing machine, it is
important to drop the wire temperature in the latter half of the
passes. Therefore, a tapered reduction ratio is applied. Moreover,
in a prior study, to decrease the incidence of wire-breaks, Svel was
adjusted between 3% and 8%.
Based on the reduction ratio of the new pass schedule, the
machine ratio was adjusted through the determination of the RPM
and diameter of each capstan. Fig. 9 shows the procedure of the
design of a multi-stage wet drawing process, including the pass
schedule and the design of the drawing machine.
The design procedure for multi-stage wet drawing process is as
follows.
Step 1. Pass schedule with a uniform reduction ratio.
Step 2. Modication of the designed uniform reduction ratio.
- First half of the passes: increase in reduction ratio 12% of the
uniform reduction ratio.
- Latter half of the passes: the application of a tapered-down reduction at a constant rate.

Fig. 10. The machine ratio and the slip velocity rate of the new drawing process.

Step 3. Calculation of the wire speed of the each pass by using


the nal drawing speed and reduction ratio of the each pass.
Step 4. Calculation of the RPM of the 1st driving shaft by using the
nal drawing speed, the calculated wire speed of the (n 1)th pass,
the slip velocity rate, and the 1st capstan diameter (max. diameter
of capstan).
Step 5. Repeat steps 14 to calculate the RPM of all shafts and
diameter of all capstans.
Step 6. Analysis of the designed process to evaluate the wire
temperature.
Fig. 10 shows the machine ratio and the slip velocity rate at
each pass. The newly designed drawing machine has no constant
machine ratio. In the early passes, the machine ratio increases and

S.-K. Lee et al. / Journal of Materials Processing Technology 210 (2010) 776783

781

Fig. 12. A multi-stage wet drawing machine.

then tapers down. In this study, the slip velocity rate has been set at
5%. The result of the wire-temperature analysis for the new drawing process with a nal drawing speed of 2000 m/min is shown
in Fig. 11. The wire temperature increases with the pass number up to the 15th pass. The maximum wire temperature is about
167.7 C. Then, the wire temperature shows almost a uniform value
of between 164 C and 167 C. Moreover, it can be inferred that the
wire temperature at the die inlet drops sufciently to the lubricant
temperature of about 48 C. Therefore, it is expected that the new
drawing process can prevent an excessive rise in the temperature
when the drawing speed is 2000 m/min.
6. Experiment in wire drawing
To verify the effectiveness of the new drawing process, a drawing experiment was carried out. The new drawing machine is
shown in Fig. 12.
The drawing experiment was performed in relation to various
nal drawing speeds. After the drawing experiment, the diameter of the wire, tensile strength, number of torsional fractures,
delamination, surface roughness, and the occurrence of wirebreaks were investigated. Fig. 13 shows the drawn wire for various

nal drawing speeds. To evaluate the surface condition of the


drawn wires, the surface roughness was measured by using roundtype roughness-measuring equipment, as shown in Fig. 14(a). The
surface roughness of the new drawing process is found to be
0.150.21 m. Although the surface roughness slightly increases
with the drawing speed, the roughness under a wire speed of
2000 m/min is less than that of the current drawing process.
Fig. 14(b) shows a comparison of the surface roughness between
the current drawing process and the new drawing process under a
drawing speed of 2000 m/min.
The number of torsional fractures and the occurrence of delamination were evaluated through the torsion test (Raemdonck et al.,
1994; Shimizu and Kawabe, 2002). In the drawn wire, delamination is characterized by longitudinal splitting at the wire surface
during the early stages of plastic torsional deformation (Lee et al.,
2009; Terragna, 1976). Under further torsion, the crack extends
along the sample length, imparting it a typical helical aspect, as
shown in Fig. 15(a). The wire without delamination assumes a at
fracture surface aspect in the torsion test, as shown in Fig. 15(b).
The torsion test was carried out by using a torsion test machine
with a sample of which the length was 100 times the wire diameter. As a result of the torsion test, the number of torsional fractures

Fig. 13. Drawn wire for various nal drawing speeds.

782

S.-K. Lee et al. / Journal of Materials Processing Technology 210 (2010) 776783

Fig. 14. Round-type roughness-measuring equipment.

is seen to vary between 63 and 65. In all cases, there is no delamination.


The wire temperature of the nal pass was measured by
using a contact type thermometer. The temperature ranged from

167.4 C to 170.6 C. Especially when the nal drawing speed


was 2000 m/min, the calculated wire temperature was 165.0 C.
Although the difference of wire temperature was about 5 C, the
calculated temperature shows good agreement with the mea-

Fig. 15. Fracture shapes of the drawn wire.

S.-K. Lee et al. / Journal of Materials Processing Technology 210 (2010) 776783

783

Table 2
Result of the drawing experiment.
Items

24 passes (1100 m/min)

Wire temp. [Tout , C]


Dia. [mm]
TS [MPa]
Number of torsional Fractures
Delamination
Roughness [m]
Wire-breakage

167.5
0.175 0.005
2697
63
No
0.26

sured temperature. No remarkable rise in the temperature is seen


when the drawing speed increases. This means that it is possible to prevent excessive rise in the wire temperature by applying
the new drawing process when the drawing speed increases up
to 2000 m/min. The tensile strength of the drawn wire is found
to range between 2737 MPa and 2786 MPa, which are above the
required tensile strength of 2697 MPa. The results of the drawing experiment are summarized in Table 2. From the experimental
result, it is possible to not only produce drawn wire without wirebreakage and the deterioration of the wire qualities by applying the
new drawing process but also dramatically increase the productivity.
7. Conclusions
To improve the productivity of a multi-stage wet wire drawing process, it is essential to increase the wire speed. In this study,
the rise in the wire temperature has been predicted. Further, the
pass schedule has been executed for preventing the rise in the wire
temperature. Moreover, a new drawing machine has been designed
for applying the new pass schedule at high speed for the improvement of productivity. The results obtained through this study are
summarized as follows.
When the nal speed of the 24-pass drawing process increases
from 1100 mm/min to 2000 m/min, the maximum wire temperature in the die increases by up to 235 C and does not sufciently
drop to the lubricant temperature (of about 46 C) because of the
extremely high drawing speed.
In order to increase the nal drawing speed from 1100 m/min
to 2000 m/min, the total number of passes can be increased from
24 to 29. The increase in the total number of passes implies a
decrease in the average die reduction at each pass. As a result of
the pass schedule with 29 passes that is based on the slip velocity rate, the reduction ratio in the rst-half passes are constant at
about 13% and those in the latter-half passes taper down from 13%
to 7.7%. From the result of the wire-temperature calculations at a
wire speed of 2000 m/min, the wire temperature is seen to increase
with the pass number up to the end of the rst half of the passes
(i.e., the 15th pass). At this pass, the maximum wire temperature
is about 167.7 C. Then, the wire temperature is almost uniform in

Final drawing speed [m/min]


1100

1400

1600

1800

2000

167.4
0.175
2766
63
No
0.16
No

167.2
0.174
2776
65
No
0.15
No

167.8
0.175
2737
64
No
0.16
No

169.3
0.175
2786
65
No
0.18
No

170.6
0.175
2776
64
No
0.21
No

the range, 164.0167.0 C. Moreover, the wire temperature at the


die inlet drops sufciently to the lubricant temperature of about
48 C.
A new drawing machine has been designed to apply the pass
schedule with a drawing speed of 2000 m/min. A drawing experiment has also been carried out. From the experiments, it has been
possible to not only produce drawn wire without wire-breakage
and deterioration of the qualities by applying the new drawing
process but also dramatically increase the productivity.
Acknowledgements
This research was nancially supported by the Ministry of Education, Science Technology (MEST) and the Korea Industrial for
Advancement of Technology (KIAT) through the Human Resource
Training Project for Regional Innovation and by the National
Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by Korean Government
(NRF-2006-K20601000004-09E0100-00410).
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