What gauge wire is best for baling copper?

The best wire gauge for baling copper depends on the type of baler and the size and weight of your bales. For horizontal and vertical balers, we recommend 11–12 gauge wire. For two-ram automatic balers, we recommend 10–11 gauge wire. Copper is heavy, so choose a thicker gauge for baling. 

Talk to your baler manufacturer, read your baler’s instruction manual, or talk to us to find the best baling wire for your machine.

Choose the right wire gauge based on the tensile strength and load strength requirements of your copper bales. Your wire’s load strength should exceed the weight of the bale. We suggest going with a heavier-duty wire with a higher load strength if there is any uncertainty.

Wire gauge is inversely correlated to wire diameter. The smaller the diameter, the larger the gauge, and vice versa. Lower gauges (thicker wires) offer a higher load strength than higher gauges. 

Best baling wire for copper baling

We carry several wire options for baling copper. The best type of wire for baling copper will also depend on storage conditions and duration. Here are some of the best options:

  • High-tensile wire is manufactured from high-carbon steel. It is a popular choice for baling copper due to its increased load and tensile strength, which can handle the weight and expansive pressure of copper bales.
  • Black annealed wire has an oily surface that helps it feed smoothly through high-volume automatic baling machines that are commonly used in copper recycling. The annealing process improved the wire’s elongation properties, which allows black annealed wire to expand with dense copper bales.
  • Galvanized wire has undergone hot-dip galvanization for enhanced corrosion resistance. Metal-on-metal contact is highly abrasive, and copper is often stored outdoors for long periods, making galvanized wire a great choice for recycling copper.
  • Single loop bale ties can be tied to different lengths to accommodate inconsistent bale sizes. They work with manual horizontal and vertical balers. We offer both black annealed and galvanized single loop bale ties. Galvanized bale ties offer enhanced abrasion resistance for baled recyclables that are often handled roughly.
  • Double loop bale ties are pre-cut to length. The double loop configuration accelerates the tying process, increasing productivity.

Benefits of recycling copper

The benefits of recycling copper include:

  • Reduction of energy requirements and CO2 emissions. The copper recycling process requires less energy than primary production and reduces CO2 emissions.
  • Conservation of natural resources. Precious fossil fuels and natural resources are conserved through recycling. The amount of copper recycled annually is almost equal to the amount of new copper mined each year.
  • Job creation. Many jobs are created to assist in scrap collection and the processing of recycled copper.
  • Reduction of landfill waste.

The copper recycling process

The copper recycling process involves several steps, including:

  1. Copper scrap collection. Recycled copper comes from waste streams such as demolition projects, old buildings, equipment, and infrastructure where copper-containing items such as pipe or wire are removed.
  2. Dissolution and recovery. Some copper recycling methods involve dissolving only the copper metal in a solvent, removing the remaining resin, and then recovering the copper for reuse.
  3. Melting and casting. Once the copper is pure, it is melted and cast into ingots or billets.
  4. Reuse. The reformed copper can be sold back to manufacturers for use in new products.

The copper recycling process promotes the circular economy, with a focus on avoiding waste and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Copper recycling tips

Copper is a valuable recyclable. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your recycling efforts:

  • Sort copper by grade. Separate high-grade copper such as clean copper tubing from lower-grade items such as copper with solder or paint to get the best price.
  • Clean the copper. Remove any insulation, paint, or rust before recycling.
  • Use a magnet to check for purity. Copper is non-magnetic, so if the magnet sticks, the material is not pure copper and should be separated.
  • Know the local laws. Some areas have specific regulations about selling scrap metal, including copper, to prevent theft.

Baling wire products we offer

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

Baling Wire FAQ

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