Metal wire is a versatile material. When choosing which type to use, from industrial projects to outdoor art, there are a lot of factors to consider. Two main differences between wire material and composition types are strength and durability. Choosing between galvanized wire and stainless steel for specific applications, the pulling forces on the wire, and the effect of the wire’s environment on its material are what will guide your choice. How much tensile strength do you need, and what kind of moisture, chemicals, and other sources of degradation will it be exposed to? In addition, especially for larger projects, there are considerations of purpose, wear resistance, appearance, and price.
Stainless Steel Wire Strengths
Tensile strength is an important advantage of stainless steel wire, which is made from steel that has been augmented with chromium. The mixture also improves the steel’s rust resistance and heat resistance, increasing the applications for which it is suited. Stainless steel wire is excellent for harsh environments where it can be used without additional coatings in ovens, industrial cleaning baths, and other industrial processes. It can endure chemicals, saltwater, and other sources of corrosion over extended periods of time. It’s good for most applications, including aerospace, with strong advantages over galvanized steel. Stainless is an excellent choice for projects that need its characteristics or where budgets allow.
Galvanized Wire Advantages
Rather than incorporating corrosion resistance into the core metal, for galvanized wire, a hot-dipped zinc coating is the key. Zinc protects the steel, preventing damage to the wire core by the elements. It’s a top choice for outdoor use, with hot-dipped galvanized steel lasting about 70 years typically. The American Galvanizers Association says that in the ocean, galvanized wire can typically last between 8 and 12 years. In freshwater, wire longevity can vary with the characteristics of the water. Galvanized wire has a cost advantage that should be factored into comparisons with stainless steel.
Call the Wire Experts to Get Specific Project-Based Recommendations for Your Wire Selection
At Wickwire Warehouse Inc., we not only stock and deliver a wide range of wire types, but we also have the expertise to help you choose the one that’s right for you. Give us a call with your questions, and we’ll be glad to provide specific information about our products and their applications.