Aluminum rod and bar is produced by several different processes namely extrusion, rolling and coiling, or drawn directly from molten aluminum. These processes elongate the aluminum into circular or bar-shaped pieces that can be machined into all kinds of applications. Many machine and equipment parts, such as rivets, nails, screws and bolts, are made from rod and bar. Aluminum wire is used pervasively in electrical transmission applications due to its superior conductivity and non-corrosive nature. Every-day products produced from wire, rod and bar include chain-link fence material, aluminum antennas, zippers and those handy re-twistable twist-ties used to keep food fresh.
What’s the difference between rod and bar aluminum? Both are made by extrusion or a process similar to sheet rolling and elongated through the use of dies. Aluminum rod is circular in shape where bar aluminum can have any number of flat sides. Wire, is by definition, less than 3/8 inch in diameter and can carry an electric current.
Electrical transmission lines are by far the largest application for aluminum rod and bar products. This is a market in which aluminum has virtually no competition from other metals. Aluminum is simply the most economical way to deliver electrical power. Aluminum wire and cable are also used almost anywhere there is an electrical impulse to conduct—in commercial buildings, machinery and equipment, transportation and consumer durables. Wire and cable are used for little jobs we seldom think about, such as the non-rusting staples in tea bags and re-twisting twist-ties.