Resistance wire is a type of alloy with several uses, with some types being made from a range of alloys. This material receives its name because it works as a heating element and performs as a heating wire. As such, it is able to resist all flow of electricity, as well as the heat produced from electrical energy. In addition to repelling heat, resistance wire is resistant to corrosion.
This material is generally found packaged in a plastic bag and is available in a variety of lengths, including 25, 50, 75 and 100 feet (7.62, 15.24, 22.86, and 30.48 meters). Some resistance wire, however, is available on reels, in drum packs, and even on coils, which are generally used for larger sizes and lengths of wire.
As a rule, all resistance wire must meet BS 115 requirements. This means that it must meet the specifications for all metallic resistance materials intended for electrical use. If, however, the wire has a diameter of less than 0.32 mm, it must meet BS 1117 requirements, which are set forth for bare and fine resistance wire used for electrical equipment.
Nichrome is a well-known form of resistance wire. It is used to resist heat created from certain jobs, such as foam cutting and working with polyurethane and certain fabrics. There are also some forms of this material that contain strong heating elements appropriate for industrial heating, process heating, and customized heating. These are ideal for use in kilns.
The temperature of operation when using resistance wire usually becomes a factor when the material being used and the atmospheric temperature are both taken into consideration. Therefore, each is considered when creating a new element design. The temperature can also change with the resistance of the metal. For these reasons, there are temperature calculators available in stores where this material is sold. There are also operation conditions available with the appropriate equations for determining the proper resistance wire to use for a specific job.