Benefits of black annealed wire

Black annealed wire is one of the most common types of wire for baling recyclables. Recycling operations choose annealed wire due to its:

  • Improved ductility
  • Increased elongation
  • Moderate corrosion resistance
  • Smooth baler feeding
  • Cost effectiveness
  • Versatility

The benefits of annealed wire derive from the annealing process, which involves heating and cooling the wire to alter its mechanical properties. Annealed wire is an effective solution for baling most recyclables.

What are the properties of annealed wire?

During the annealing process, steel wire is heated above its recrystallization temperature (typically 1100–1300°F), allowing atoms to migrate and altering the wire’s mechanical and chemical properties.

Improved ductility

Annealed wire is easier to work with (or more ductile) than regular or galvanized wire. Annealing reduced brittleness and hardness, resulting in a pliable, smooth wire.

Manual baling operations choose annealed wire because it is easier to tie than other wire. Annealed wire is also useful for binding materials that might shift or have awkward shapes.

Increased elongation

Annealing also improves wire’s ability to stretch (its elongation). Elongation measures the percentage a wire can stretch before breaking. While regular baling wire has an elongation of 12 percent, black annealed wire can stretch up to 25 percent of its length before breaking.

Annealed wire can safely bale expansive materials, such as tires, foam, and textiles. As materials expand, annealed wire stretches until the outward bale pressure reaches equilibrium with the wire.

Higher elongation can also help operations save money on baling wire. Recyclers can use less wire per bale by creating denser bales and letting them reexpand.

Moderate corrosion resistance

Annealing has a negligible effect on corrosion resistance. But after annealing, most manufacturers coat annealed wire in a wax or oil coating. This coating protects annealed wire from rust-forming oxides.

While galvanized wire is the best choice for harsh environments, moderate corrosion resistance is sufficient for baling most recyclables. Baling is generally an intermediary part of the recycling process. Recyclables such as cardboard and paper will deteriorate if stored in moist conditions. Black annealed wire has a level of corrosion resistance that safely contains bales as they move between processes.

Smooth feeding into balers

A rust-inhibiting oil or wax coating improves annealed wire’s performance with automatic baling machines. This surface treatment smooths the wire, allowing it to feed at high speeds through industrial balers. Compared to other wires, it snags less and improves operational efficiency.

Relatively cost-effective

Black annealed wire is popular because it performs well while costing less than galvanized wire. Untreated baling wire rusts quickly when exposed to moisture, and it has a lower elongation potential. Galvanized wire is highly corrosion resistant, but it costs more. With annealed wire, operations can use less wire and avoid paying for unnecessary rust resistance. 


Moderate resistance to corrosion and improved mechanics make annealed wire one of the most popular choices for the recycling, agriculture, and construction industries. It securely bales most recyclables, withstands corrosion, and provides ease of use for manual applications.

Best recyclables to bale with annealed wire

Due to its versatility, recyclers choose black annealed wire for the following recyclables:

Recyclables that only require short-term storage can be baled with annealed wire.

When not to use annealed wire

While versatile, annealed wire has some cons worth considering. Galvanized or regular baling wire are better choices when dealing with:

  • Extremely dense, heavy bales that require enhanced tensile strength
  • Sharp, abrasive materials such as scrap metal
  • Bales that require long-term, outdoor storage
  • Materials that contain harsh chemicals
  • Materials that will be processed quickly
  • Client-facing bales that require aesthetic appeal

Use regular baling wire when materials will be processed quickly or a shiny (bright) finish is preferred. Use galvanized wire when bales require long-term storage, storage in harsh conditions, or when bales contain jagged or caustic materials. Use high-tensile wire when baling exceptionally dense, heavy materials.

Our annealed wire products

We carry the following black annealed baling wire products:

  • Single loop bale ties: for manual horizontal or vertical balers. Single loop configurations allow for variable bale sizes, and annealing provides easy handling. We sell gauges 11–14.
  • Black annealed box wire: for auto-tie balers. We sell gauges 10–12 in 50 and 100-lb boxes. 
  • Black annealed stem wire: auto-tie wire for high-volume balers. We sell gauges 10–12 in 1,900-lb stems.

We also carry double loop bale ties, galvanized wire, and high-tensile wire in multiple gauges and lengths.

Baling wire products we offer

Baling Wire Direct sells the following high-quality baling wire products.

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