What’s in a Wire?

2023 08 29 10 14 00 Major product overview folder 2023 Google Drive

Standard Wire vs. Stainless Steel Wire vs. OPTIMUMWIRE

By Serge Raymond, MAJOR product specialist


Maximizing production efficiency is the top priority for mineral processing operations. With so many different screen media options on the market, understanding the differences between them can help you capitalize on your investment and achieve peak screening performance. While often overlooked, wire quality plays an essential role in a screen’s performance.


Here’s how: 


Standard Wire

Steel is the main component in wire production. The basic steel manufacturing process has the wire drawn through a conic die to a specific dimension. There are three common manufacturing methods to achieve this. Hard drawing is the cheapest and most common option, but it has a limited impact on a molecular level. While it improves the wire’s tensile strength, it doesn’t produce significant hardness or ductility.

Another option is oil-tempering: this process attempts to improve the molecular structure of the steel. The wire is drawn through a conic die, heated and then oil quenched. Doing so improves the hardness and tensile strength of the wire, but greatly deteriorates the molecular structure and its ductility, meaning the wire breaks more easily under impact and is more likely to micro-break when being crimped.


The third and most elaborate method is called patenting.



MAJOR’s patented OPTIMUMWIRE® is the industry’s longest-lasting steel wire and can extend the wear life of your screen media up to five times longer than traditional wire options. The patented wire is made with an optimum content of carbon and manganese.


The manufacturing process differs from traditional steel wire because the rod is heated first and then cooled at a controlled temperature to optimize the molecular structure before being drawn through a conic die. This process improves tensile strength, hardness and ductility, making OPTIMUMWIRE resistant to abrasion. It is also less susceptible to damage during high-impact conditions compared to standard or oil-tempered wires.


Through close collaboration with steel mills and wire manufacturers as well as through our own specifications and laboratory quality controls, all wires used to make MAJOR screen media have the optimum content and recipe of carbon and manganese per application. When matched against alternative screen media, MAJOR’s OPTIMUMWIRE was still processing material to spec after four weeks and 180 hours of screening extremely abrasive material while the former had to be replaced.


Stainless Steel Wire

Stainless steel is a special wire option for screen media. Many screen media manufacturers use some version of stainless steel for wire mesh; however, not all standard and stainless steel wire are made equal. Ensuring the quality of the wire is difficult without manufacturing it in-house. Due to recent shortages and high production costs, some screen media manufacturers altered their purchasing habits to keep purchase prices low and maintain manufacturing timelines. Unfortunately, this direction leads to a lack of screening consistency, diminished product quality and shorter wear life.


MAJOR uses 304 stainless steel wire, which is the most common type of stainless steel wire available. By adding 11% or more chromium to steel, the alloy becomes non-staining under most conditions that corrode carbon steel. This type of wire is comparable to high-carbon wire in ductility, but it has inherently lower abrasion resistance. A big advantage of stainless steel wire, apart from its corrosion resistance, is its smooth surface that allows for a higher resistance against material sticking to it. This quality makes it the material of choice for decks with smaller openings and materials with critical moisture content. MAJOR does not alter its steel wire selection to ensure consistent and quality screening.


Partner for Success

Contact us today or reach out to your local MAJOR dealer to learn more about how OPTIMUMWIRE maximize your screening performance and profits.