Draw plate

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Two drawplates for different wire gauge Draw plates-two.jpg
Two drawplates for different wire gauge

A draw plate is type of die consisting of a hardened steel plate with one or more holes through which wire is drawn to make it thinner. A typical plate will have twenty to thirty holes so a wide range of diameters can be drawn. [1]

A die is a specialized tool used in manufacturing industries to cut or shape material mostly using a press. Like molds, dies are generally customized to the item they are used to create. Products made with dies range from simple paper clips to complex pieces used in advanced technology.

Hardened steel

The term hardened steel is often used for a medium or high carbon steel that has been given heat treatment and then quenching followed by tempering. The quenching results in the formation of metastable martensite, the fraction of which is reduced to the desired amount during tempering. This is the most common state for finished articles such as tools and machine parts. In contrast, the same steel composition in annealed state is softer, as required for forming and machining.

Wire drawing metalworking process

Wire drawing is a metalworking process used to reduce the cross-section of a wire by pulling the wire through a single, or series of, drawing die(s). There are many applications for wire drawing, including electrical wiring, cables, tension-loaded structural components, springs, paper clips, spokes for wheels, and stringed musical instruments. Although similar in process, drawing is different from extrusion, because in drawing the wire is pulled, rather than pushed, through the die. Drawing is usually performed at room temperature, thus classified as a cold working process, but it may be performed at elevated temperatures for large wires to reduce forces.


With a mandrel, a draw plate can be used to draw tubes of metal. Plates are available in many different sizes and shapes for drawing different shapes of wire, including round, square, oval, half-round and hexagonal. The plate has rows of holes drilled through it which are slightly wider at the back.


A mandrel is one of the following:

Drawing wire

Drawing silver wire by hand pulling Wiredrawing.jpg
Drawing silver wire by hand pulling

When drawing, the plate is held securely in a vise or other fixture. Annealed wire is filed at one end to give it an initial taper. The tapered end is inserted into a hole with a final diameter just smaller than its current width. Special pliers, called draw tongs are used to hold the tip of the wire and pull it through, sometimes with the aid of grease or wax as a lubricant. Small diameter wire may be drawn manually, while very thick wire may require a drawing bench with a crank. Often, a wire can be drawn three times in a row before it needs to be re-annealed. This must be done because drawing wire work-hardens it, which causes the wire to become brittle. Brittle wire that has not been annealed may snap during the drawing process (or develop microscopic or macroscopic cracks, which may weaken the piece or "grow" with further working).

Annealing, in metallurgy and materials science, is a heat treatment that alters the physical and sometimes chemical properties of a material to increase its ductility and reduce its hardness, making it more workable. It involves heating a material above its recrystallization temperature, maintaining a suitable temperature for a suitable amount of time, and then cooling.

Pliers tool with two legs, can fix or modify a workpiece

Pliers are a hand tool used to hold objects firmly, possibly developed from tongs used to handle hot metal in Bronze Age Europe. They are also useful for bending and compressing a wide range of materials. Generally, pliers consist of a pair of metal first-class levers joined at a fulcrum positioned closer to one end of the levers, creating short jaws on one side of the fulcrum, and longer handles on the other side. This arrangement creates a mechanical advantage, allowing the force of the hand's grip to be amplified and focused on an object with precision. The jaws can also be used to manipulate objects too small or unwieldy to be manipulated with the fingers.

Tongs kitchenware used for picking up items

Tongs are a type of tool used to grip and lift objects instead of holding them directly with hands. There are many forms of tongs adapted to their specific use. Some are merely large pincers or nippers, but most fall into these few classes:

  1. Tongs that have long arms terminating in small flat circular ends of tongs and are pivoted at a joint close to the handle used to handle delicate objects. Common fire-tongs, used for picking up pieces of coal and placing them on a fire without burning fingers or getting them dirty are of this type. Tongs for grilling, tongs for serving salad or spaghetti are kitchen utensil of the same type. They provide a way to move, rotate and turn the food with delicate precision, or fetch a full serving in one grab.
  2. Tongs consisting of a single band of metal bent round one or two bands joined at the head by a spring, as in sugar-tongs, asparagus-tongs and the like.
  3. Tongs in which the pivot or joint is placed close to the gripping ends are used to handle hard and heavy objects. Driller's round tongs, blacksmith's tongs or crucible tongs are of this type.

Draw plates reduce the thickness of wire by reshaping the metal; increasing length while decreasing diameter. As such, a piece of wire will become considerably lengthened during the drawing process.

See also

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Electrical discharge machining

Electrical discharge machining (EDM), also known as spark machining, spark eroding, burning, die sinking, wire burning or wire erosion, is a manufacturing process whereby a desired shape is obtained by using electrical discharges (sparks). Material is removed from the work piece by a series of rapidly recurring current discharges between two electrodes, separated by a dielectric liquid and subject to an electric voltage. One of the electrodes is called the tool-electrode, or simply the "tool" or "electrode," while the other is called the workpiece-electrode, or "work piece." The process depends upon the tool and work piece not making actual contact.

Blacksmith person who creates wrought iron or steel products by forging, hammering, bending, and cutting

A blacksmith is a metalsmith who creates objects from wrought iron or steel by forging the metal, using tools to hammer, bend, and cut. Blacksmiths produce objects such as gates, grilles, railings, light fixtures, furniture, sculpture, tools, agricultural implements, decorative and religious items, cooking utensils and weapons.

Forging manufacturing process involving the shaping of metal

Forging is a manufacturing process involving the shaping of metal using localized compressive forces. The blows are delivered with a hammer or a die. Forging is often classified according to the temperature at which it is performed: cold forging, warm forging, or hot forging. For the latter two, the metal is heated, usually in a forge. Forged parts can range in weight from less than a kilogram to hundreds of metric tons. Forging has been done by smiths for millennia; the traditional products were kitchenware, hardware, hand tools, edged weapons, cymbals, and jewellery. Since the Industrial Revolution, forged parts are widely used in mechanisms and machines wherever a component requires high strength; such forgings usually require further processing to achieve a finished part. Today, forging is a major worldwide industry.

Grommet ring or edge strip inserted into a hole through thin material, typically of metal or plastic

A grommet is a ring or edge strip inserted into a hole through thin material, typically a sheet of textile fabric, sheet metal or composite of carbon fiber, wood or honeycomb. Grommets are generally flared or collared on each side to keep them in place, and are often made of metal, plastic, or rubber. They may be used to prevent tearing or abrasion of the pierced material or protection from abrasion of the insulation on the wire, cable, line being routed through the penetration, and to cover sharp edges of the piercing, or all of the above.

Drill bit

Drill bits are cutting tools used to remove material to create holes, almost always of circular cross-section. Drill bits come in many sizes and shapes and can create different kinds of holes in many different materials. In order to create holes drill bits are usually attached to a drill, which powers them to cut through the workpiece, typically by rotation. The drill will grasp the upper end of a bit called the shank in the chuck.

A reamer is a type of rotary cutting tool used in metalworking. Precision reamers are designed to enlarge the size of a previously formed hole by a small amount but with a high degree of accuracy to leave smooth sides. There are also non-precision reamers which are used for more basic enlargement of holes or for removing burrs. The process of enlarging the hole is called reaming. There are many different types of reamer and they may be designed for use as a hand tool or in a machine tool, such as a milling machine or drill press.

Swaging is a forging process in which the dimensions of an item are altered using dies into which the item is forced. Swaging is usually a cold working process, but also may be hot worked.

Sheet metal metal formed by an industrial process into thin, flat pieces

Sheet metal is metal formed by an industrial process into thin, flat pieces. Sheet metal is one of the fundamental forms used in metalworking and it can be cut and bent into a variety of shapes. Countless everyday objects are fabricated from sheet metal. Thicknesses can vary significantly; extremely thin sheets are considered foil or leaf, and pieces thicker than 6 mm (0.25 in) are considered plate steel or "structural steel."

Work hardening strengthening of a metal by plastic deformation

Work hardening, also known as strain hardening, is the strengthening of a metal or polymer by plastic deformation. This strengthening occurs because of dislocation movements and dislocation generation within the crystal structure of the material. Many non-brittle metals with a reasonably high melting point as well as several polymers can be strengthened in this fashion. Alloys not amenable to heat treatment, including low-carbon steel, are often work-hardened. Some materials cannot be work-hardened at low temperatures, such as indium, however others can only be strengthened via work hardening, such as pure copper and aluminum.

Drawing (manufacturing) metalworking process

Drawing is a metalworking process which uses tensile forces to stretch metal or glass. As the metal is drawn (pulled), it stretches thinner, into a desired shape and thickness. Drawing is classified in two types: sheet metal drawing and wire, bar, and tube drawing. The specific definition for sheet metal drawing is that it involves plastic deformation over a curved axis. For wire, bar, and tube drawing the starting stock is drawn through a die to reduce its diameter and increase its length. Drawing is usually done at room temperature, thus classified a cold working process, however it may be performed at elevated temperatures to hot work large wires, rods or hollow sections in order to reduce forces.

Boring (manufacturing) process of enlarging a hole that has already been drilled

In machining, boring is the process of enlarging a hole that has already been drilled by means of a single-point cutting tool, such as in boring a gun barrel or an engine cylinder. Boring is used to achieve greater accuracy of the diameter of a hole, and can be used to cut a tapered hole. Boring can be viewed as the internal-diameter counterpart to turning, which cuts external diameters.

English wheel

The English wheel, in Britain also known as a wheeling machine, is a metalworking tool that enables a craftsperson to form compound curves from flat sheets of metal such as aluminium or steel.

A jewelry wire is wire, usually copper, brass, nickel, aluminium, silver, or gold, used in jewelry making.

Deep drawing

Deep drawing is a sheet metal forming process in which a sheet metal blank is radially drawn into a forming die by the mechanical action of a punch. It is thus a shape transformation process with material retention. The process is considered "deep" drawing when the depth of the drawn part exceeds its diameter. This is achieved by redrawing the part through a series of dies. The flange region experiences a radial drawing stress and a tangential compressive stress due to the material retention property. These compressive stresses result in flange wrinkles. Wrinkles can be prevented by using a blank holder, the function of which is to facilitate controlled material flow into the die radius.

Tube bending

Tube bending is the umbrella term for metal forming processes used to permanently form pipes or tubing. One must differentiate between form-bound and freeform-bending procedures, as well as between heat supported and cold forming procedures.

A die in polymer processing is a metal restrictor or channel capable of providing a constant cross sectional profile to a stream of liquid polymer. This allows for continuous processing of shapes such as sheets, films, pipes, rods, and other more complex profiles. This is a continuous process, allowing for constant production, as opposed to a sequential (non-constant) process such as injection molding.

Rule based DFM analysis for forging. Forging is the controlled deformation of metal into a specific shape by compressive forces. The forging process goes back to 8000 B.C. and evolved from the manual art of simple blacksmithing. Then as now, a series of compressive hammer blows performs the shaping or forging of the part. Modern forging uses machine driven impact hammers or presses which deform the work-piece by controlled pressure.


  1. Littell, Eliakim; Littell, Robert S. (1892), The Living age, 195, Littell, Son and Co., p. 512.