How Baling Wire Has Been Used Over The Years
These days, baling wire is an essential commodity for a number of people and industries, who rely on its strength, malleability and versatility for a number of different jobs. But it is in no way a new product. Instead, baling wire has been used in one form of another for quite some time. And its uses in the past aren’t necessarily reflective of how we have come to rely upon it now. So here’s a brief history of baling wire, its many uses and how it came to be so essential to us.
Baling wire first came into existence in the 1800s, originally commandeered by the agricultural industry. However, it only started to be more widely used when a man called Charles Withington invented an early prototype of a baling press, the modern versions of which are now widely used. This being 1872, however, Withington’s version was obviously very different to the ones used today, relying, as it did, on horse-drawn power.
This press was used to secure bundles of hay together. The hay would go into the baling press and would then be ejected out of the back in bales, which then had to be secured by hand with baling wire. Back then, this system wasn’t without its flaws and baling wire could cause a number of problems for the farmers that used it. The wire created back then wasn’t as strong and durable as it is today, so it wasn’t uncommon for bits of the wire to snap off. Not only did this mean it wasn’t as reliable a product, but it could also cause serious harm, especially when animals came across some of the wire in the bales of hay and ate it. This could cause anything from serious injury to death, which in turn would cost the farmers dearly.
As time went on, the processes involved to create the baling wire became more sophisticated, resulting in a better and more hard-wearing wire, as did the presses and other machinery used in conjunction with it, that meant that many of the early problems with it were fixed. Tractors largely replaced horses when it came to baling the hay together, although it was still secured by hand. Eventually baling presses of the form we know today were invented, which meant that the wire could be fixed automatically and no longer required a manual approach.
By the 1960s, baling twine was introduced, which largely replaced baling wire in the agricultural industry, though it has still found a use for basic repairs and as a basic fix-all tool even today.
These days, baling wire is of more use to the industrial industry. Its basic function to package things together has been put to use in a similar capacity as it was with the hay, but for very different results.
It’s no surprise that general packaging is one of these uses. By using a baling press, palettes of wire can then encase parcels so they are securely fastened together before they are stored or transported. For more precious items that require a greater care, cut and looped baling wire can be used, which has been designed specifically for use by hand. This allows for the precision that is necessary and required for more delicate packages than a baling press can guarantee.
It’s also of use in the waste and recycling industries. Much in the same way as with the hay, old materials can be put into presses, which are then deposited out the other end in handily packaged bundles that are held together with baling wire. In the case of raw waste, huge amounts can be compacted into neat bundles, which can then be carefully handled before they’re ultimately disposed of in a landfill or incinerator, taking up less space and safely contained together in parcels. The same can be said of materials that have been recycled. Baling wire once again can be used to contain these recycled goods, compacting them into bundles that are safer to store and handle before shipping for resale.
Then there is the use of baling wire in the construction industry, namely with steel stockholders. Obviously the stockholders need to be able to transport the steel from there to the construction site where it will then be used. To do this safely, they need to be able to rely upon a product that is strong enough to fasten the steel together to ensure it travels without coming loose and causing harm. For this, baling wire in the form of catchweight coils is exactly the type of material that is durable enough to do so.
But packaging isn’t its only function. It can also be used to galvanise other metals, which is a process in which the metal is dipped into a molten solution—often zinc—which then covers the wire completely and creates a protective surface that helps protect the underlying metal from corrosive forces and generally extends its period of use. To galvanise the metal safely, a product that is strong enough to withstand the molten solution whilst it dips the metal in is essential. Luckily, baling wire can do exactly this.
And of course, just as it was of use in the 19th century as a general, all-purpose tool, many people still find it of use in this form today, using it for everything from fixing broken fences to doing basic repairs around the house or even on machinery.
In all of these industries, baling wire has become an essential commodity.
Although baling wires uses over the years have developed and changed, its value has not, which is why we still rely on it as much now as we ever have done. Thanks to more sophisticated technology, we are able to create baling wire of a better standard now that makes it incredibly durable and long lasting. And with the advent of modern technologies and the kind of baling presses we are used to today, it is easier to use now than ever.