How is baling wire made?
Baling wire is made by taking raw steel and subjecting it to cleaning, coating, drawing, and (in some cases) heat treatment processes to produce a strong, durable, and workable product. Baling Wire Direct manufactures high-quality baling wire using a tightly monitored procedure that prioritizes quality control through every step of the process.
Our baling wire manufacturing process
Our manufacturing process involves the following steps:
- We begin by purchasing 100% American steel rods from select family-owned mills.
- The raw materials are shipped to our state-of-the-art factory where our team of over 120 trained technicians and 5 engineering experts get to work.
- The rods undergo an innovative mechanical reverse-bending descaling technique. This process reduces die wear and removes mill scale and surface rust, leaving behind a smooth surface. This process is also part of our commitment to environmental sustainability; mechanical descaling eliminates the use of harsh chemicals used in other descaling processes.
- Next, the wire rods are drawn through a bull-block continuous wire machine. The rods are progressively narrowed through increasing die gauges until the desired diameter is achieved. The inverse relationship between gauge and diameter means a higher gauge correlates to a smaller wire diameter.
- After the wire has been drawn to size, it is gently air-cooled to ensure consistent tensile strength.
- If the wire is to be galvanized or annealed, it is sent for further processing.
During the manufacturing process, we exercise strict quality control to ensure our wire meets and exceeds industry standards. Any wire that doesn’t pass testing is removed from supply, so our customers only receive high-quality baling wire.
Our galvanizing process
Galvanization is the process of adding a protective zinc coating to wire to improve its corrosion and abrasion resistance. We use a hot-dip galvanizing process that proceeds as follows:
- Surface preparation: first, the wire is cleaned to remove any impurities from the surface of the metal. This is important for ensuring proper adhesion of the zinc coating.
- Pickling: the wire is then immersed in an acid solution to remove any remaining oxides and scale. This process prepares the surface for galvanizing by creating a clean substrate.
- Fluxing: the wire is then immersed in a flux solution (zinc ammonium chloride), which helps to prevent oxidation and promotes a uniform application of the zinc coating.
- Galvanizing bath: next, the wire is dipped into a bath of molten zinc at a temperature of around 450°C (850°F).
- Alloy formation: while immersed in the molten zinc, a metallurgical reaction occurs between the iron in the wire and the zinc, resulting in the formation of a series of zinc-iron alloy layers. These provide excellent adhesion properties and corrosion resistance.
- Withdrawal: the wire is then slowly withdrawn from the zinc bath. The rate at which the withdrawal takes place is controlled to allow excess zinc to drain off and ensure the final product has an even coating.
- Quenching: the coated wire is then quenched in water or a quenching solution to cool it rapidly. This process solidifies the zinc coating and completes the galvanizing process.
We offer both Class 1 and Class 3 galvanization on our galvanized wire products. While Class 1 is cheaper, its thinner zinc coat wears out a lot faster. Class 3 galvanization features a thicker zinc coat that protects the wire for much longer, making it well worth the investment.
Our annealing process
Annealing enhances a wire’s ductility and flexibility while reducing brittleness and hardness. The three stages of the annealing process are:
- Recovery. This stage involves the softening of the metal through the removal of linear defects, leading to the restoration of the material's ductility and reduction of hardness and brittleness.
- Recrystallization. Next, the material undergoes a process where new grains are formed, resulting in the elimination of dislocations and the development of a new, strain-free microstructure, which further enhances ductility and reduces hardness.
- Grain growth. In the final stage, the microstructure of the material becomes coarse as it is cooled, potentially leading to a loss of some strength. However, any lost strength can be regained through subsequent hardening processes such as quenching and tempering.