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Aluminum Wire, Rod, Bar, Tube

The aluminum wire, rod, bar, & tube formation process uses a combination of a continuous caster wheel and a series of rolling stands. The multi-wavelength Williamson model MW-20-20 aluminum infrared temperature sensor is used to measure the temperature of the aluminum as it exits the caster wheel and as it passes through the rolling stands. A short-wavelength pyrometer is used to monitor the temperature as the aluminum is coiled.

Pyrometer Benefits:
  • Improved Mechanical Properties
  • Improved Surface Quality
  • Improved Line Speed
  • Improved Product Consistency

Wavelength Technology:

  • Multi-wavelength technology assures an accurate measure of temperature for non-greybody materials like aluminum.
  • Short-Wavelength technology assures highly accurate measure of temperature for low-temperature, low-emissivity material at the coiler.

Caster Wheel Temperature

Application Overview

The temperature of the caster wheel needs to be warm enough so that when the molten aluminum is poured onto the caster wheel, it does not crack or break (around 400°F/205°C). The wheel cannot be too hot otherwise the aluminum will not solidify enough to be rolled into the proper shape (rod or bar). The measurement is often taken just before the molten aluminum is poured onto the caster wheel. The difficulty is finding a close enough mounting location to the wheel where the pyrometer does not get overheated.

Cast Surface and Rolled Surface

Overview of Williamson Pyrometer measuring aluminum cast and rolled surface temperatures
Application Overview

Once the aluminum is cast, it passes through a series of rolling stands to mold the aluminum into the proper size and shape. Temperature control is critical throughout this process to ensure the right mechanical properties and to improve the efficiency of the line. Because aluminum is a non-greybody material, multi-wavelength technology is required to accurately measure the temperature of the rod/bar.

Winder or Quench

Williamson Pyrometer measuring aluminum wire temperature as it enters the winder
Application Overview

Aluminum is highly reflective and has a low emissivity, so efforts to measure the temperature using an optical device are strongly affected by the background temperature. This dictates that a short-wavelength pyrometer must be used to measure the aluminum near the winder or after the quench where the minimum temperature is in the range of 180°F (83°C) to 220°F (100°C).

  • To measure the individual wire the model SW-29-20 with D/100 optical resolution is required because the wire is so small in diameter. However, this model can only measure as low as about 100°C when viewing aluminum.
  • To measure lower than 100°C, the model SW-29-08 may also be used; however, with D/35 optical resolution, this pyrometer must be aimed at the spool where the wire is wound.


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