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Wire rod is a rolled alloy or nonalloy steel product, produced from a semi (e.g. bloom) and having a round, rectangular or other cross-section. Particularly fine cross-sections may be achieved by subsequent cold forming (drawing). Wire rod is wound into coils and transported in this form.

Quality / Duration of storage

The value of steel products is in particular reduced by the effects of corrosion and mechanical damage.

One particularly frequent cause of damage is rust due to seawater, rain, condensation water in the means of transport, cargo sweat or condensation inside the packaging. Unsuitable means of transport, ships with poor hatch covers or without ventilation facilities, damaged containers, uncovered railroad freight cars and trucks, incorrect storage in the open, use of unsuitable tarpaulins, exposed loading in wet weather conditions, and variations in temperature and climatic conditions during long voyages may result in rust damage.

In the case of hot-rolled steel, it is usual to store it in the open and to transport it without protection, such that no protection is provided against rain etc.. Such sheet therefore generally exhibits a layer of surface rust (rust film). Since the rust is removed from the steel (by pickling) prior to further processing, the quality of the steel is not impaired. Protection should be provided from seawater or chemical residues because corrosion must remain within reasonable bounds, since pickling cannot remove uneven local corrosion or pitting corrosion.

High-grade wires (e.g. prestretched wire or prestressed concrete wire) should be protected from all kinds of corrosion by selecting the correct packaging, warehousing and means of transport.

The degree of rusting of steel consignments should be recorded in the shipping documents before acceptance of the consignment, possibly using the following definitions:
- Wet before shipment
- Partly rust stained to rusty
- Gear marked
- Contaminated by foreign substance
- Contaminated by saltwater
- Chafed in places
- Packing torn exposing contents

Intended use

Wire rod is used for many different products. Depending upon how it is cold formed and heat treated, wire is used, for example, to produce not only wire ropes, barbed wire, wire mesh and nails, but also springs, welded wire mesh and reinforcement wire.