Well, there are many ways to find out if the winding wire is of good quality. For example, the number of wire breakages, scraps, process rejects during manufacturing and the increasing number of warranty claims etc. points to the inferior quality of winding wire used in your production.
Often, the low price of winding wire implies that they are quality compromised. They may be manufactured by using recycled copper or may not follow stringent quality checks. If you look closer, you can see that low-quality winding wires may be bought cheap, but the overall cost associated with them can be huge.
To find out if the winding wire is good quality, first, you need to understand how a good quality winding wire is manufactured. This gives you an insight into what all flaws can occur or which processes cannot be compromised. Or in other words, what exactly is critical for the quality of winding wires?
High-Quality Copper Enamelled Winding Wire Manufacturing Process
Copper enamelled round winding wire manufacturing consists of two main processes – drawing and enamelling. Drawing refers to the process of making fine wire shapes from a copper rod. These wires are then treated with enamel for uniform insulation coating.
To understand what is crucial for a high-quality winding wire, let us see these two processes in detail.
The drawing process involves transforming a pure copper rod into thin wires of the required diameter. This process involves elongating the wire in multiple stages, by sequentially passing them through dies of different diameters.
Essentially, the drawing process makes the larger wire thinner and longer while keeping the volume by weight constant. Here, the quality of copper, the sequence of drawing stages and the drawing dies used, are critical for achieving accurate dimensions of bare copper round wires. Once the bare copper wire reaches the desired diameter, it is then enamelled.
Pro Tip – Check with your winding wire supplier on the quality of the copper and the drawing process to ensure the quality of the enamelled wire.
At Geekay, we use pure copper from pre-approved vendors. By pure we mean more than 99.99% copper content in them. Also, we use diamond dies for the precise shaping of copper wires. To make sure that our customers receive the right kind of product they desire, we have installed the best wire drawing facility from Niehoff, Germany.
The next step in magnet wire manufacturing is enamelling.
The enamelling process involves different steps that ensure that the copper wire gets desired insulation coating for the required application. It involves –
The drawing process makes the copper wires hard as the grain structure may change due to cold deformation. The copper wires are made soft again by a process called annealing. It involves passing them through high temperatures. This recrystallizes the copper giving softness to winding wires.
The softness of winding wire is crucial for good windability and thus reduces wire breaks in the winding process.
Do note that it is critical to carry out this annealing in a protective environment to avoid oxidising of copper wire surface. If not, the oxidised layer may interfere with the proper adhesion of the insulation layer.
Pro Tip – Check the softness and fill factor of the winding wire. Is it easily windable or are they breaking easily?
At Geekay, we carry out annealing in a protected environment, thus ensuring proper adhesion of insulation on the copper wire. We take this step very seriously to offer you winding wires with the required softness.
To get the required insulation, the enamel is applied on the annealed bare copper wire as multiple coatings. Based on the required electrical and mechanical properties the choice of resin and the number of coatings vary.
The quality of enamel is critical for the precision of insulation properties. Equally important is the uniformity in coating thickness, and the concentricity of coating layer and conductor. Maintaining the viscosity of enamel solution at a predetermined level ensures uniform coating thickness throughout the length of the wire.
Pro Tip – During QC, are there variations in the performance or electrical characteristics?
At Geekay, we source our enamel from Elantas and Fupao. And our experience in manufacturing magnet wires since 1975 enables us to follow the best enamelling practices for making high-quality winding wire. We also offer special enamel coating like self-lubricating, self-soldering and self-bonding enamelled wires to make your usage easier.
Once an enamel layer is applied, the solvents in the liquid enamel is removed by a process called curing. Here, with the help of heat, residual solvent particles are removed from the enamelled wire.
The temperature applied is critical here, as high temperature may lead to making the enamel coating hard and brittle. This can result in cracks in the insulation coating in the enamelled wire when under mechanical stress.
On the contrary, low temperature during curing will leave behind too many solvent residues affecting the adhesion of enamel on copper wire. This lowers the mechanical and electrical properties of the enamelled wire.
Pro Tip – Does the insulation peel off from the winding wire during stretching or bending? Check if there are any small cracks on the insulation. Similarly, if the enamel comes off if you are trying high-speed winding, it also indicates poor curing.
At Geekay, we follow ‘single line single oven’ concept to maintain better thermal equilibrium in the oven. This ensures high-quality insulation strength.
The enamelled wires are then applied with a predetermined amount of lubrication for smooth winding.
Pro Tip – Is it easily windable?
At Geekay, we add enough lubrication to the winding wire for smooth winding. We also specialise in manufacturing self-lubricating wires for your convenience.
5. Tension Control
To enable continuous and consistent spooling of the enamelled wire, they are passed on through a tension control mechanism. This avoids wire elongation which could affect the resistance of the enamelled wire otherwise.
Pro Tip – Is there wire elongation or variation in the resistance of the winding wires?
At Geekay, we follow a tension control mechanism to avoid wire elongation.
Precision spooling ensures that enamelled wire is evenly wound with proper tension and pitch. The spool’s rotational speed and wire pitch are critical for this. This helps in good de-reeling of the enamelled wires avoiding trapped and tangled wires while unspooling.
Pro Tip – Are you able to unspool the enamelled wire easily?
At Geekay, we ensure that unspooling is easy and tangle-free for you, by following the best spooling practices.
As you can see here, winding wire manufacturing is a process that demands high precision. A minor flaw here or there can affect the quality of winding wires. Therefore, it is wise to buy winding wire from manufacturers who are committed to top quality. This provides you with winding wires of uniform properties that help you market products of consistent quality.
A quality-focused winding wire manufacturer will have proper quality control in place to ensure that the winding wire is of consistent quality throughout. And there will be appropriate certifications to support that.
Here are the quality certifications for GK Winding Wires –
To sum it up, to find out the quality of winding wire – ask the right questions and visit the manufacturing facility. Also, look for their quality control measures adopted and quality certifications received.
Geekay as High-Quality Winding Wire Manufacturer
Established in 1975, Geekay is an experienced player in winding wire manufacturing. Our customers have experienced lower market returns and at least a 50% drop in in-house rejections by switching to Geekay Winding wires.
We constantly strive to improve based on the feedback and suggestion from our customers, making ’Quality our Business’. Our strong R&D team keeps innovating to meet the changing market demands shaping us as a versatile magnet wire manufacturer for all your needs.
Here are some of the top brands that use our high-quality enamelled winding wires.