# Spacing around divide (|) symbol [duplicate]

This question already has an answer here:

LaTex by default sets fairly small spaces around "divide" symbol (|). Is there a way to force larger skip (e. g. force LaTex to treat | as binary operator or = symbol)? MWE would be fairly simple:

\documentclass{article}
\begin{document}
What is set by default:

$a|b$

What I want:

$a\hspace{0.28em}|\hspace{0.28em}b$ %for some reason I can't use mu in \hspace, but 1mu=1/18 em and 0.28em=5mu=\thickmuskip.
\end{document}