The PROCESS OF MAKING WIRE by drawing operations through dies, as distinct from hammering, though believed to be several thousand years old, until the last century was performed only by man‐, horse‐ or water‐power, so that production was slow and small. These old methods could not meet the greatly increased demand that then arose for wire of all kinds, such as copper wire for electrical purposes, and consequently power‐driven multi‐die benches were developed. Drawing speeds were still limited to several hundreds of feet per minute because of the rapid wear of the chilled iron and steel dies then used; but with the introduction of tungsten carbide dies and diamond dies, speeds were again increased, and now figures of 2,000 ft. per minute for steel wire, and 5,000 ft. per minute or more for copper and aluminium, are commonplace. These advances have required improved drawing lubricants, and future increases in drawing speeds likewise largely depend on improving lubricants still further. The general problem is to provide adequate lubrication for long die life, coupled with the intensive cooling that higher drawing speeds compel.
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