Season 1 Challenges

REWARD: INR 1,00,000  |  OPENED ON: 11 JAN 2017  |  CLOSED ON: 17 JAN 2017   
Descaling Of Wire Rod Coils

Short Description:

Wire rods are made using billet as the base material. The coils tend to rust over a period. Looking for solution of mechanical removal of all scale and oxide without any chemicals.

Challenge Details

Wire rods are made using billet as the base material. The billet undergoes the following process to transform into wire rod - straightening, shot blast cleaning, heating, rough rolling, intermediate rolling, fine rolling. Wire rods typically range in diameter from 5 mm to 20 mm. After the fine rolling operation, the wire rods are bundled into coils. These coils form the base material for making other finished products. Some of them are:

  1. General use: To produce nail, wire-netting, barbed wire, wire mesh and so forth.
  2. Welding Wire
  3. Fastener
  4. Construction Industry
    1. Prestressed Concrete Steel Wire (PC Steel Wire) for reinforced concrete structure
    2. PC strand wire for large, high-quality construction
    3. Wire rope for cable use
  5. Springs
    1. Hard-drawn Steel Wire & Oil Tempered Steel Wire for mechanical springs
    2. Oil Tempered Piano Wire for Valve spring & Oil Tempered Piano Wire
  6. Automobile Industry


Depending on the type of application the wire rods have different chemical compositions. For e.g.:
General use wire rod is usually made of low carbon steel and is zinc plated to prevent corrosion. Welding wire are low carbon steels with sulfur content less than 0.023%. Fastener contain carbon less than 0.5%. Construction industry wire rods are made of high carbon steels.

The coils are stored in the yard before they are taken for further processing. The coils tend to rust over a period. Rusting occurs due to prolonged exposure of coils to atmospheric conditions such as moisture/ rainfall.  Because of rusting the coils don’t look appealing for the customers. They prefer to buy them in their original rolled (un rusted) condition.

Currently, the rust is not removed and the coils are sold as it is acceptable (as stated above) by BIS and ASTM standards. Rust removal process is difficult, especially in mass production scenarios where coils are manufactured in thousands of tons.

Rusting is not a reason for rejection of the coils, however, the weight, dimensions, cross-sectional area and tensile properties of a hand-wire-brushed test specimen has to meet the requirements Section 12 of ASTM A 615-96a specification which is equivalent to the clause mentioned BIS 1786-2008 clause 4.3.1. In case the requirements are not met the coils are rejected.

We are therefore interested in a solution with the following requirements:

  • It should be simple, and facilitate mechanical removal of all scale and oxide without any chemicals.
  • Chemical and other similar processes are not preferred as it involves laborious processes. It also becomes difficult as the volume of steel wires are very huge. Disposal of used chemical and process waste becomes another challenge.
  • Environmentally friendly system with low generation of noise
  • Excellent wire quality with almost no rust fractions of dry powder (if any abrasive is used)
  • Clean and smooth wire surface with ideal properties for further processing
  • No damage of wire surface due to the processing
  • Easy integration in existing drawing or cold rolling line
  • Large working range from 2 mm to 20 mm
  • Cleaning media should be readily available, preferably it should be a standard industrial item
  • Cleaning media should not “disturb” rod surface
  • Equipment should be self-adjusting, minimizing operator attention
  • Equipment should need a minimum of on-going maintenance.

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