How is Wire Made?

how to make steel wire

What is Wire and When was it Discovered?

Wire is a single, flexible component or rod of metal used to bear mechanical loads or electricity and telecommunication signals.

The first use of wire dates back to the introduction of jewelry in Egypt during the second millennium B.C. Cylindrical strands of metal, assumed to be evidence of wire, has been found in archaeological sites for as long as 5,000 years.

The first wire mill which opened in 1568 was located in Great Britain. Wire played a big role in England during the medieval period, as it was needed to construct wool cards, pins, and other manufactured goods.

Why Do we Need Wire?

Wires and cables make the world go ‘round. Every aspect of the modern world is powered by a set of wires. Some of our most indispensable pleasures in life require wires, such as:

  • Heating/air conditioning
  • Refrigerators/freezers
  • Electricity
  • Hot water systems
  • Television
  • Lighting/Stoplights
  • Radio
  • Video games
  • Internet
  • Cell phones/computers/IPads

How is Wire Made?

As we know, there are many different types of wire, all of which are equally important to the functionality of major electrical units, and other mechanical equipment. Here are a few examples of how some of the different types of wires are made:

Electrical Wires


  • Start with aluminum or copper to make wire strands for the electrical wire
  • The machine heats the material, stretching and lightening the material into wire.
  • Another machine winds the new wire into a large bobbin.
  • Wires are fused together forming an electric conductor/cable.
  • New, thin wires need to be insulated, so are coated in a protective plastic casing.

Industrial Wire Ropes


  • Usually made for heavy industrial lifting
  • Start with large steel wire
  • Machine winds several of these wires together
  • Number of wires in a strand depends on the job the rope needs to perform
  • Wire is put into a steel bobbin and twists the wire into shape. The bobbin keeps the wires from unraveling
  • As the finished cable is being formed, it is coated in liquid steel for extra strength and protection

Razor Wire


  • This lethal and indestructible wire starts with 2,500 pound rolls of shiny stainless steel.
  • It is heated, mixed with chromium to make it resistant to corrosion.
  • The wire is pulled into desired consistency
  • Goes through a press, and like the other wires, rolled into a bobbin to avoid tangles.
  • A machine pulls the wires out, cutting sharp barbs into the wire.
  • The same machine rewinds the wire back onto the bobbin.

Shopping Carts are Wire too!