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Drawing down Niobium wire

Today I tried to draw down some niobium wire. It was 2mm (12 gauge). I drew it through one hole on my draw plate and kept getting it stuck which left lines on each stop. I have since drawn it down 2 more times in the same hole each time and it still continued to get stuck and still has lines at each stop. I used wax on the wire, it is a new draw plate and I have drawn silver and gold wire before but never with this much trouble. Any ideas on why its so difficult. It also has stripes going down the wire so it now has a stripy matt finish instead of a shiny one.

I read this while searching Niobium. I was going to suggest annealing the wire if you haven’t already but it seems you will lose any color you have. Out of my depth on this one.

Don Meixner.
---- Monique Bickley wrote:

Hi. I work with niobium a lot and I’ve never even tried to draw down wire. My guessed is that you can’t really do it since it can’t be annealed in a studio. One of the attractions of working with it is that it takes a lot to work harden, but it’s not really soft either. My suggestion is to ask the folks at Reactive Metals Studio but probably best to just buy the gauge of wire you need.

Judi Forman

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Thanks Judy, I just assumed that because it takes a long time to work harden I thought it would be easy. Getting Niobium in Australia isn’t easy either, so I use what I have and had a new idea and needed to do it straight away. :crazy_face:

Hi Don, my wire isn’t anodised yet but it’s way to difficult to anneal. Thanks anyway.:+1:

You’ve found one of the problems in tooling Nb…it loves to gall! It will just wad up rather then go where you want it to. Annealing is another problem…it must be annealed in a vacuum annealing furnace. In saying that, Judi is correct–it will likely be easier to buy the correct gauge. Luckily we carry every even gauge (except 26ga) from 4 to 28 in stock, and we ship to Australia all the time. Let us know if we can help you.

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Thanks, I do have an account with you and have bought niobium from you before. Just Australia is making it harder to buy from overseas.

Hi Monique, didn’t realize that was you! We’ve heard they’ve changed the import rules. Sorry to hear that. If we can be of service in the future, please do let us know.

Reactive Metals Studio, Inc

928-634-3434, 800-876-3434, 928-634-6734fx