ASTM A555/A555M – 05(2009) Standard Specification for General Requirements for Stainless Steel Wire and Wire Rods

Designation: A555/A555M 16
Standard Specification for
General Requirements for Stainless Steel Wire and Wire
This standard is issued under the fixed designation A555/A555M; the number immediately following the designation indicates the year
of original adoption or, in the case of revision, the year of last revision. A number in parentheses indicates the year of last reapproval.
A superscript epsilon (´) indicates an editorial change since the last revision or reapproval.
This standard has been approved for use by agencies of the U.S. Department of Defense.
1. Scope*
1.1 This specification covers general requirements that shall
apply to stainless wire and wire rods. Wire rods are a
semifinished product intended primarily for the manufacture of
wire. Wire is intended primarily for cold forming, including
coiling, stranding, weaving, heading and machining as covered
under the latest revision of each of the following ASTM
specifications: A313/A313M, A368, A478, A492, A493,
A580/A580M and A581/A581M.
In case of conflicting requirements, the individual ma-
terial specification and this general requirement specification
shall prevail in the order named.
1.3 General requirements for flat products other than wire
are covered in Specification A480/A480M.
General requirements for bar and billet products are
covered in Specification A484/A484M.
The values stated in either SI units or inch-pound units
are to be regarded separately as standard. The values stated in
each system may not be exact equivalents; therefore, each
system shall be used independently of the other. Combining
values from the two systems may result in non-conformance
with the standard.
1.6 Unless the order specifies the applicable metric specifi-
cation designation, the material shall be furnished in the
inch-pound units.
2. Referenced Documents
2.1 ASTM Standards:
A262 Practices for Detecting Susceptibility to Intergranular
Attack in Austenitic Stainless Steels
A313/A313M Specification for Stainless Steel Spring Wire
A368 Specification for Stainless Steel Wire Strand
A370 Test Methods and Definitions for Mechanical Testing
of Steel Products
A478 Specification for Chromium-Nickel Stainless Steel
Weaving and Knitting Wire
A480/A480M Specification for General Requirements for
Flat-Rolled Stainless and Heat-Resisting Steel Plate,
Sheet, and Strip
A484/A484M Specification for General Requirements for
Stainless Steel Bars, Billets, and Forgings
A492 Specification for Stainless Steel Rope Wire
A493 Specification for Stainless Steel Wire and Wire Rods
for Cold Heading and Cold Forging
A580/A580M Specification for Stainless Steel Wire
A581/A581M Specification for Free-Machining Stainless
Steel Wire and Wire Rods
A700 Guide for Packaging, Marking, and Loading Methods
for Steel Products for Shipment
A751 Test Methods, Practices, and Terminology for Chemi-
cal Analysis of Steel Products
E112 Test Methods for Determining Average Grain Size
2.2 Federal
Fed. Std. No. 123 Marking for Shipment (Civil Agencies)
2.3 Military
MIL-STD-129 Marking for Shipment and Storage
MIL-STD-163 Preservation of Steel Products for Domestic
2.4 Other
Primary Metals Bar Code Standard
3. Terminology
3.1 Definitions
of Terms Specific to This Standard:
This specification is under the jurisdiction of ASTM Committee A01 on Steel,
Stainless Steel and Related Alloys and is the direct responsibility of Subcommittee
A01.17 on Flat-Rolled and Wrought Stainless Steel.
Current edition approved Jan. 1, 2016. Published January 2016. Originally
approved in 1965. Last previous edition approved in 2014 as A555/A555M 05
(2014). DOI: 10.1520/A0555_A0555M-16.
For referenced ASTM standards, visit the ASTM website,, or
contact ASTM Customer Service at For Annual Book of ASTM
Standards volume information, refer to the standard’s Document Summary page on
the ASTM website.
Available from U.S. Government Printing Office Superintendent of Documents,
732 N. Capitol St., NW, Mail Stop: SDE, Washington, DC 20401, http://
Available from Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG), 26200 Lahser Rd.,
Suite 200, Southfield, MI 48033,
*A Summary of Changes section appears at the end of this standard
Copyright © ASTM International, 100 Barr Harbor Drive, PO Box C700, West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2959. United States
3.1.1 bar—wire that has been straightened and cut (see
A484/A484M). However, a straightened and cut
small diameter product is often called straightened and cut
3.1.2 wire—as covered by this specification and the speci-
fications itemized in
1.1, is any round or shaped cold-reduced
product, in coils only, produced by cold-finishing coiled wire
3.1.3 wire rods—semifinished product intended primarily
for the manufacture of wire. They are hot rolled generally to an
approximate round cross section in continuous length coils.
4. Materials and Manufacture
4.1 The material may be furnished in one of the conditions
detailed in the applicable material specification, that is,
annealed, bright annealed, cold worked, or as otherwise speci-
fied on the purchase order.
4.2 A variety of finishes, coatings, and lubricants are avail-
able. The particular type used is dependent upon the specific
end use. Unless otherwise specified, the finish, coating, and
lubricant will be furnished as required by the individual
material specification or purchase order.
5. Chemical Composition
5.1 Heat or Cast Analysis—The chemical analysis of each
heat shall be determined in accordance with the applicable
material specification and Test Methods, Practices, and Termi-
5.1.1 The analysis of each heat shall be made from a test
sample taken during the pouring of the melt, or from the
in-process product later in the manufacturing flow.
5.1.2 The heat analysis shall conform to the chemical
requirements for each of the specified elements for the grade
ordered, as listed in the applicable product specification.
5.1.3 All commercial metals contain small amounts of
elements other than those which are specified. It is neither
practical nor necessary to specify limits for unspecified ele-
ments that can be present. The producer is permitted to analyze
for unspecified elements and is permitted to report such
analyses. The presence of an unspecified element and the
reporting of an analysis for that element shall not be a basis for
rejection unless the presence of that element causes the loss of
a property typically expected for that metal for the type and
quality ordered.
5.1.4 The purchaser is permitted to require in the purchase
order a maximum limit for an individual element not specified
in the product specification. Such a requirement for an element
not listed in the product specification, when acknowledged in
the order acceptance, shall be treated as a specified element,
with determination of chemical analysis and reporting of that
5.1.5 The purchaser is permitted to make the requirements
for any element more stringent, that is, require higher mini-
mums for elements having minimum requirements or ranges
with minimum requirements, or requiring lower maximums for
elements having specified maximums, or ranges with maxi-
mums. The purchaser is not permitted to make chemical
requirements less stringent.
5.1.6 Analysis limits shall be established for specific
elements rather than groups of elements, including but not
limited to “all others,” “rare earths,” and “balance,” unless all
elements in such a group are similar in technical effect and are
associated in typical methods of chemical analysis.
5.2 Product Analysis—When required, a product analysis
shall be determined in accordance with Test Methods,
Practices, and Terminology
A751. The chemical composition
thus determined shall conform to the tolerances shown in
5.3 The steel shall not contain an unspecified element for
the ordered grade to the extent that the steel conforms to the
requirements of another grade in the referencing product
specification, and any of the product specifications within the
scope of this general specification, for which that element has
a specified minimum.
6. Permissible Variations in Dimensions
6.1 Unless otherwise specified in the purchase order, the
product shall conform to the permissible variations in dimen-
sions as specified in
Tables 2-5 of this specification.
7. Workmanship, Finish, and Appearance
7.1 The material shall be of uniform quality consistent with
good manufacturing and inspection practices. Imperfections
that may be present shall be of such a nature or degree, for the
type and quality ordered, that they will not adversely affect the
forming, machining, or fabrication of finished parts.
8. Lot Size
8.1 A lot for product analysis shall consist of all wire made
from the same heat.
8.2 For other tests required by the product specification, a
lot shall consist of all product of the same size, same heat, and
produced under the same processing conditions. All austenitic,
ferritic, and free-machining stainless steels, as well as marten-
sitic grades when annealed to Condition A and precipitation or
age hardening grades when solution treated, may be heat
treated in more than one charge in the same furnace or in
several furnaces, utilizing controlled processing and equipment
(see appendix). However, when heat treating martensitic stain-
less steels to Condition T or H and when age hardening the
precipitation hardening stainless steels, a lot shall consist of the
same size, same heat, and the same heat treat charge in a
batch-type furnace or under the same conditions in a continu-
ous furnace.
9. Number of Tests and Retests
9.1 Unless otherwise specified in the product specification,
one sample per heat shall be selected for chemical analysis and
one mechanical test sample shall be selected from each lot of
wire. All tests shall conform to the chemical and mechanical
requirements of the material specification.
9.2 One intergranular corrosion test, when required, and one
grain size test, when required, shall be made from each lot. It
is often convenient to obtain test material from the specimen
selected for mechanical testing.
A555/A555M 16
9.3 If any test specimen shows imperfections that may affect
the test results, it may be discarded and another specimen
9.4 If the results of any test lot are not in conformance with
the requirements of this specification and the applicable
product specification, a retest sample of two specimens may be
tested to replace each failed specimen of the original sample. If
one of the retest specimens fails, the lot shall be rejected.
10. Retreatment
10.1 Where failure of any lot is due to inadequate heat
treatment, the material may be reheat treated and resubmitted
for test.
11. Test Methods
11.1 The properties enumerated in applicable specifications
shall be determined in accordance with the following ASTM
11.1.1 Chemical Analysis—Test Methods, Practices, and
11.1.2 Tension Test—Test Methods and Definitions
11.1.3 Intergranular Corrosion (when required)Practice
E of Practices
11.1.4 Grain Size (when required)Test Methods
TABLE 1 Product Analysis Tolerances
NOTE 1— This table specifies tolerances over the maximum limits or under the minimum limits of the chemical requirements of the applicable material
specification (see
1.1); it does not apply to heat analysis.
Upper Limit or Maximum
of Specified Range, %
Tolerances over the
Maximum (Upper
Limit) or Under the
Minimum (Lower
Upper Limit or Maximum
of Specified Range, %
Tolerances over the
Maximum (Upper
Limit) or Under the
Minimum (Lower
Carbon to 0.010, incl 0.002 Cobalt over 0.05 to 0.50, incl 0.01
over 0.010 to 0.030, incl 0.005 over 0.50 to 2.00, incl 0.02
over 0.030 to 0.20, incl 0.01 over 2.00 to 5.00, incl 0.05
over 0.20 to 0.60, incl 0.02 over 5.00 to 10.00, incl 0.10
over 0.60 to 1.20, incl 0.03 over 10.00 to 15.00, incl 0.15
over 15.00 to 22.00, incl 0.20
Manganese to 1.00, incl 0.03 over 22.00 to 30.00, incl 0.25
over 1.00 to 3.00, incl 0.04
over 3.00 to 6.00, incl 0.05 Columbium to 1.50, incl 0.05
over 6.00 to 10.00, incl 0.06 + over 1.50 to 5.00, incl 0.10
over 10.00 to 15.00, incl 0.10 tantalum over 5.00 0.15
over 15.00 to 20.00, incl 0.15
Phosphorus to 0.040, incl
over 0.040 to 0.20, incl
Tantalum to 0.10, incl 0.02
Sulfur to 0.040, incl
over 0.040 to 0.20, incl
over 0.20 to 0.50, incl
Copper to 0.50, incl
over 0.50 to 1.00, incl
over 1.00 to 3.00, incl
over 3.00 to 5.00, incl
over 5.00 to 10.00, incl
Silicon to 1.00, incl
over 1.00 to 3.00, incl
Chromium over 4.00 to 10.00, incl
over 10.00 to 15.00, incl
over 15.00 to 20.00, incl
over 20.00 to 30.00, incl
Aluminum to 0.15, incl
over 0.15 to 0.50, incl
over 0.50 to 2.00, incl
over 2.00 to 5.00, incl
over 5.00 to 10.00, incl
Nickel to 1.00, incl 0.03 Nitrogen to 0.02, incl 0.005
over 1.00 to 5.00, incl 0.07 over 0.02 to 0.19, incl 0.01
over 5.00 to 10.00, incl 0.10 over 0.19 to 0.25, incl 0.02
over 10.00 to 20.00, incl 0.15 over 0.25 to 0.35, incl 0.03
over 20.00 to 30.00, incl 0.20 over 0.35 to 0.45, incl 0.04
over 30.00 to 40.00, incl 0.25
over 40.00 0.30 Tungsten to 1.00, incl 0.03
over 1.00 to 2.00, incl 0.05
Molybdenum over 0.20 to 0.60, incl 0.03 over 2.00 to 5.00, incl 0.07
over 0.60 to 2.00, incl 0.05 over 5.00 to 10.00, incl 0.10
over 2.00 to 7.00, incl 0.10 over 10.00 to 20.00, incl 0.15
over 7.00 to 15.00, incl 0.15
over 15.00 to 30.00, incl 0.20 Vanadium to 0.50, incl 0.03
over 0.50 to 1.50, incl 0.05
Titanium to 1.00, incl
over 1.00 to 3.00, incl
over 3.00
Selenium all 0.03
A555/A555M 16
12. Inspection
12.1 For Civilian Procurement—Inspection of the material
shall be as agreed upon between the purchaser and the supplier
as part of the purchase contract.
12.2 For Government Procurement—Unless otherwise
specified in the contract or purchase order: (1) the seller is
responsible for the performance of all inspection and test
requirements in this specification, (2) the seller may use his
own or other suitable facilities for the performance of the
inspection and testing, and (3) the purchaser shall have the
right to perform any of the inspection and tests set forth in this
specification. The manufacturer shall afford the purchaser’s
inspector all reasonable facilities necessary to satisfy him that
the material is being furnished in accordance with the inspec-
tion. Inspection by the purchaser shall not interfere unneces-
sarily with the manufacturer.
13. Rejection and Rehearing
13.1 Material that fails to conform to the requirements of
this specification may be rejected. Rejection should be reported
to the producer or supplier promptly, preferably in writing. In
case of dissatisfaction with the results of the test, the producer
or supplier may make claim for a rehearing.
14. Certification
14.1 A certified report of the test results shall be furnished at
the time of shipment. The report shall include the ASTM
designation, year date, and revision letter, if any.
14.2 A document printed from or used in electronic form
from an electronic data interchange (EDI) transmission shall be
regarded as having the same validity as a counterpart printed in
the certifiers’ facility. The content of the EDI transmitted
document must meet the requirements of the invoked ASTM
standard(s) and conform to any existing EDI agreement be-
tween the purchaser and the supplier. Notwithstanding the
absence of a signature, the organization submitting the EDI
transmission is responsible for the content of the report.
15. Identification of Material
15.1 For Civilian Procurement—Each lift, bundle, or box
shall be marked using durable tags (metal, plastic, or equiva-
lent) showing heat number, type, condition, product specifica-
tion number, and size.
TABLE 2 Permissible Variations in Size of Hot Finished Round
Wire Rods
Specified Size,
in. [mm]
Permissible Variations Specified
Size, in. [mm]
in. [mm]
Over Under
[6.35] 0.008 [0.20] 0.008 [0.20] 0.011 [0.28]
[6.35] to
[10] 0.006 [0.15] 0.006 [0.15] 0.009 [0.23]
[10] to
[16] 0.007 [0.18] 0.007 [0.18] 0.010 [0.25]
[16] to
[22] 0.008 [0.20] 0.008 [0.20] 0.012 [0.30]
[22] to 1-
[28] 0.010 [0.25] 0.010 [0.25] 0.015 [0.38]
over 1-
[28] to 1-
[34] 0.012 [0.30] 0.012 [0.30] 0.018 [0.45]
Out-of-round is the difference between the maximum and minimum diameters of
the wire rod measured at the same cross section.
TABLE 3 Permissible Variations in Diameter and Out-of-Round
for Round Wire
Specified Diameter, in. [mm]
Diameter Tolerances, in. [mm]
Over Under
1.000 [25.00] and over 0.0025 [0.06] 0.0025 [0.06]
Under 1.000 [25.00] to 0.500
0.002 [0.05] 0.002 [0.05]
Under 0.5000 [13.00] to 0.3125
[8.00] incl
0.0015 [0.04] 0.0015 [0.04]
Under 0.3125 [8.00] to 0.0440
[1.00] incl
0.001 [0.03] 0.001 [0.03]
Under 0.0440 [1.00] to 0.0330
[0.80] incl
0.0008 [0.02] 0.0008 [0.02]
Under 0.0330 [0.80] to 0.0240
[0.60] incl
0.0005 [0.015] 0.0005 [0.015]
Under 0.0240 [0.60] to 0.0120
[0.30] incl
0.0004 [0.010] 0.0004 [0.010]
Under 0.0120 [0.30] to 0.0080
[0.20] incl
0.0003 [0.008] 0.0003 [0.008]
Under 0.0080 [0.20] to 0.0048
[0.12] incl
0.0002 [0.005] 0.0002 [0.005]
Under 0.0048 [0.12] to 0.0030
[0.08] incl
0.0001 [0.003] 0.0001 [0.003]
The maximum out-of-round for round wire is one half of the total size tolerance
given in this table.
When it is necessary to heat treat or heat treat and pickle after cold finishing, size
tolerances are double those shown above for sizes 0.024 in. [0.60 mm] and over.
Size tolerances have not been evolved for wire produced by cold rolling.
These tolerances apply to small diameter straightened and cut wire (sizes below
in.). Refer to Table 5 in Specification A484/A484M for bars
(greater than approximately
TABLE 4 Permissible Variations in Size for Drawn Wire in
Hexagons, Octagons, and Squares
Specified Size
in. [mm]
Size Tolerance, in. [mm]
Over Under
1.000 [25.00] and over 0 0.005 [0.12]
Under 1.000 [25.00] to 0.500 [13.00] incl 0 0.004 [0.10]
[13.00] to
[8.00] incl 0 0.003 [0.08]
[8.00] to
[3.00] incl 0 0.002 [0.05]
When it is necessary to heat treat or heat treat and pickle after cold finishing, size
tolerances are double those shown above.
Distance across flats.
TABLE 5 Permissible Variations in Thickness and Width for Flat
Width, in. [mm]
Permissible Variations in Width, Over and
Under, in. [mm]
For Thicknesses
in. [6.5 mm] and
For Thicknesses
in. [6.5 mm]
[1.50] to
[9.0] 0.005 [0.12] 0.005 [0.12]
[9.0] to 1.0 [25.00] 0.004 [0.10] 0.004 [0.10]
over 1.0 [25.00] 0.006 [0.15] 0.004 [0.10]
Thickness, in. [mm]
Permissible Variations in Thickness, Over
and Under, in. [mm]
Up to 0.029 [0.70], incl 0.001 [0.03]
Over 0.029 [1.70] to 0.035
[1.00], incl
0.0015 [0.04]
Over 0.035 [1.00] 0.002 [0.05]
When it is necessary to heat treat or heat treat and pickle after cold finishing, size
tolerances are double those shown in the table.
A555/A555M 16
15.2 For U.S. Government Procurement—In addition to any
requirements specified in the contract or order, marking shall
be in accordance with MIL-STD-129 for military agencies and
in accordance with Fed. Std. No. 123 for civil agencies.
16. Preparation for Delivery
16.1 Unless otherwise specified, the wire shall be packaged
and loaded in accordance with Practices
16.2 When specified in the contract or order, and for direct
procurement by or direct shipment to the Government, when
Level A is specified, preservation, packaging, and packing shall
be in accordance with the Level A requirements of MIL-STD-
17. Keywords
17.1 general delivery requirements; stainless steel wire;
stainless steel wire rods
(Mandatory Information)
A1.1 New materials may be proposed for inclusion in
specifications referencing this specification subject to the
following conditions:
A1.1.1 Application for the addition of a new grade to a
specification shall be made to the chairman of the subcommit-
tee which has jurisdiction over that specification.
A1.1.2 The application shall be accompanied by a statement
from at least one user indicating that there is a need for the new
grade to be included in the applicable specification.
A1.1.3 The application shall be accompanied by test data as
required by the applicable specification. Test data from a
minimum of three test lots, as defined by the specification, each
from a different heat, shall be furnished.
A1.1.4 The application shall provide recommendations for
all requirements appearing in the applicable specification.
A1.1.5 The application shall state whether the new grade is
covered by patent.
(Nonmandatory Information)
X1.1 It is generally recognized that material described as a
lot must be “produced under the same processing conditions,”
which means the same manufacturing order number, same size,
same heat, same heat treating procedure, and same subsequent
processing. Under those conditions, single samples can be
selected to be representative of the total lot, with at least one
sample for each 20 000 pounds of material.
X1.2 Following the principle described in
X1.1 generally
requires that the producer control each of several furnace loads
constituting the same lot so that
X1.2.1 Set point temperature and process tolerance match,
X1.2.2 Time at temperature for all thermal treatment shall
match within 10 %,
X1.2.3 All furnaces used be similar in size and meet the
uniformity requirements of a documented furnace quality
assurance program, and
X1.2.4 The quench systems are the same with respect to
volume, type of quenchant, and circulation rate.
X1.2.5 Further, it would be expected that grouped loads be
handled within a relatively short time period, and that hardness
testing be performed on at least one sample per charge.
X1.3 The old definition of a lot for mechanical testing based
on simply the words “same size, heat, and heat treatment
charge in a batch furnace” assumes that heat treating is the only
process affecting properties. This kind of definition ignores the
effects of other processing, prior to and subsequent to heat
treating. Moreover, it assumes that each heat treat batch will be
uniform and unique rather than reproducible. In reality, heat
treating is a process which can be controlled easily throughout
a batch and from batch to batch, with the net result that
multiple batches can be considered part of a single lot if
equipment and processing parameters meet the mandates of
X1.1 and X1.2.
X1.4 The sampling specified for mechanical properties is
not a statistical sampling plan. Therefore, it provides only
typical data. Assurance of uniformity within the lot can be
obtained only by the producer adequately controlling the
processing parameters.
A555/A555M 16
X2.1 Bar coding to identify steel is not specifically ad-
dressed in Committee A01 specifications. Committee A01
endorses the AIAG Bar Code Standard for primary metals for
steel products and proposes that this bar coding standard be
considered as a possible auxiliary method of identification.
A01 has identified the location of selected changes to this standard since the last issue
(A555/A555M 05 (2014)) that may impact the use of this standard. (Approved Jan. 1, 2016.)
(1) Removed language related to trace elements from
ASTM International takes no position respecting the validity of any patent rights asserted in connection with any item mentioned
in this standard. Users of this standard are expressly advised that determination of the validity of any such patent rights, and the risk
of infringement of such rights, are entirely their own responsibility.
This standard is subject to revision at any time by the responsible technical committee and must be reviewed every five years and
if not revised, either reapproved or withdrawn. Your comments are invited either for revision of this standard or for additional standards
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A555/A555M 16

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