Baling Wire Glossary of Terms

Baling Wire Glossary of Terms

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Have questions about the different terms associated with steel baling wire? We have compiled the below glossary of terms in order to help answer some of the most common queries that baling wire suppliers get. However, if you are unable to find the information you are looking for please get in touch and we would be more than happy to assist.

Annealed wire – wire that has been made softer and more flexible through its chemistry and heat treatment. Used as banding to secure bales.

Auto-tie system – a system that automatically ties off bales with wire or other banding.

Bale counter – a counter that tracks the number of bales coming out of a baler’s extrusion chamber.

Baling chamber – the area where material is compressed to form a bale. On extrusion balers, the baling and extrusion chamber are the same.

Banana effect – the slight curving of a bale, primarily because of inconsistent density, that causes the denser bottom portion to swell, stressing the banding.

Banding – the material, usually wire or nylon, wrapped around bales to secure them.

Charge box – the chamber below the hopper where the material sits in front of the ram, waiting to be compressed into the baling chamber. On vertical and ferrous balers, the charge box and the baling chamber are the same.

Charging – the process of filling the charge box with material to be baled.

Closed-end baler – a baler that has a single ram, but no extrusion chamber. Bales are compressed against a door that opens after the bale is completed.

Cycle time – the time it takes the baler’s ram to complete a single stroke and then retract.

Ejection nozzle – the opening in the baler where the bale is ejected or comes out. 

Extrusion chamber – the long baling chamber, attached to the charge box of a baler, that squeezes material as it moves forward.

Feed hopper – the unit that directs material into the charge box for baling.

Fingers – devices that pick up wire in an extrusion chamber and position it to tie off the bale. Also called needles.

Fluffer – a manual or automatic device that ruffles up the incoming feed material to remove any trapped air so the material will lay more evenly in the charge box.

High-tensile wire – high-strength wire used for banding bales. This type of wire, though still ductile, is more rigid than annealed wire and is used mainly in two-ram balers.

Horizontal Baler – a type of baler that compresses material in the horizontal plane.

Lamination counter – a distance or pressure clicker used to determine the proper length of a bale. Also known as a pad counter.

Laminations – a term used to describe the layers of baled material.

Liner – the bottom facing of a charge box that the ram rubs against or engages as it makes its stroke.

Log – a long, loose ferrous bale, usually 4 to 6 feet in length, formed to transport scrap metal efficiently to an automobile shredding plant.

Manual tie system – a system in which the banding has to be manually positioned to tie off the bale.

Memory – the return of a compressed material to its original state.

Multi-bin baler – a vertical baler that has more than one charge box to process different types or grades of material.

Open-end baler – in this type of baler, the bale is made by compressing and squeezing material through a long extrusion chamber. After the first bale (called a plug bale) is made, subsequent bales are made by pushing material against the back of the forward bale.

Operator control panel – the panel on the baler that contains all the controls for the operator to set up and properly operate the baler. Today’s versions are often touch screens.

Photo eye – a device that senses material that is fed into the charge box. It is used to measure the incoming material so that the proper amount can be compressed to finish off the bale at the correct size.

Plug bale – the first bale in an open-end baler.

Pre-load hopper – a gravity-fed hopper positioned above a scrap metal baler that holds pre-staged material.

Pre-press – a device that compresses material into the charge box prior to ram engagement. Pre-presses are used to hold down material in the charge box so there is no need for shearing. Also called a stamper or tramper.

Ram – a guided, hydraulically driven flat plate that exerts pressure on the material in the charge box. Also known as a platen or plunger.

Retainer dogs – devices that lock in from the side of the baling chamber of a single-ram baler to prevent material from backing into the chamber once the ram retracts.

Server island – a platform that slides a finished bale out from a side-eject baler so that a forklift can be positioned to accept the bale. Also found at the end of an extrusion chamber.

Shear/baler – a scrap metal baler that combines a baler and a guillotine shear.

Shear blade – the cutting edge of the top of the baling chamber that removes material above the ram face as the ram compresses the material into the baling chamber. Blades can be straight or serrated. Also refers to the shear at the end of a shear/baler for scrap metal.

Side-eject baler – a single-ram baler that bales material against a wall, then ejects the finished bale from the side of the baling chamber via a server island.

Side tie – tying off a bale with the banding encompassing the bale horizontally.

Single-ram baler – a type of baler that uses only one ram to compress material.

Stroke – the motion of the ram as it compresses material in the charge box.

Three-ram baler – a ferrous baler that uses one ram to compress from the side, another one to compress from the top and a third one to eject the bale. Not to be confused with a “three-compression” baler, which has a main ram and two sides that squeeze the bale.

Tip pan – the hydraulically powered plate that tips pre-staged scrap metal into the baler. Also called a table.

Top tie – tying off a bale with the banding encompassing the bale vertically.

Two-ram baler – a type of baler that uses one ram to compress the material to be baled and a second ram, moving perpendicular to the first one, to eject the finished bale.

Two-ram extrusion baler – a baler that uses a side pre-compression ram in the charge box that equals the ram force of the main ram. The addition of the second ram allows for a larger feed hopper.

Vertical baler – a type of baler in which a single ram makes downward strokes to compress material into a bale.