Wire forms like handles, display hooks, food-service equipment, and medical equipment require careful attention to both appearance and functionality. In this blog post, we will explore various wire form finishes and materials to consider when aesthetics plays a crucial role in your design.
Most wire forms are not visible when assembled into a final product and appearance is not a concern. Other wire forms are easily visible, or are the product itself, and careful attention must be given to both appearance and functionality.
The majority of wires we initially manufacture have a naturally dull appearance. While stainless steel may be perceived as having a polished look, achieving this requires specific processes. For a balance between an attractive finish and cost-effectiveness, consider the following materials:
- Stainless Steel EPQ (Electropolished Quality): Though not truly electropolished, EPQ material boasts a semi-reflective finish.
- Galvanized Hard Drawn Steel: Electrochemically plated before forming, this material exhibits a bright reflective finish that serves as both an aesthetic element and a coating for corrosion resistance. Care must be taken during the forming process to avoid compromising the finish.
- Zinc-Coated Music Wire: Similar to galvanized hard drawn steel but with increased tensile strength. This is an excellent choice if your wire form also needs to function as a spring or will undergo repeated stress.
Beyond material choice, additional options exist to enhance the appearance of your wire form component or product:
- Powder Coating: Available in a wide array of colors, we collaborate with our vendors to provide a smooth, consistent, and durable powder coat finish.
- Painting: Similar to powder coating, wire-formed parts can be painted after forming. Generally more cost-effective than powder coating, but with the potential for chipping over time.
- Zinc Plating: Applied after forming to provide corrosion resistance and a bright reflective finish. Appearance can be customized with yellow, clear, and black zinc finishes.
- Electropolishing: This process involves chemically removing the top layer of material, leaving a bright and reflective surface.
- Tumble Deburring: Provides a smooth and dull finish while removing visible tool marks or small burrs from the part.
When designing your wire form, remember that appearance can also affect the overall functionality of the product. By carefully selecting materials and finishing processes, you can ensure that your wire forms not only meet performance expectations but also contribute to the visual appeal of the final product.
At Gifford Spring Company, we specialize in creating wire forms that balance both form and function. Contact us today to discuss how we can enhance the aesthetics of your wire forms while maintaining their functionality.