More than a century ago, the invention of barbed wire was referred to as the invention that tamed the west. Prior to its use, livestock roamed “free range” with unpleasant consequences. Cattle could wander off, causing a rancher to lose a portion of the herd. In addition, cattle could roam into cropland, destroying a farmer’s crop.
Wire was the inexpensive alternative to other forms of fencing. Stone fences were very labor intensive projects, especially when covering large areas. Hedgerows of thorny plants took a large number of plants and years to mature. Barbed wire allowed a farmer or rancher to create an enclosed area using only wire strung out between fences posts placed a standard distance apart. Acres of fencing could be erected in a day by an efficient crew. Besides the agricultural industry, it is also used in high security areas to deter intruders.
Barbed wire is still used extensively in farming and ranching operations and is probably the most popular form of fencing for those endeavors. Modern equipment can manufacture wire in metals such as steel or aluminum, with or without a PVC coating. PVC provides corrosion resistance and rust prevention, resulting in a longer useful life of the wiring.
A machine will heat the metal to be used to a workable state and extrude it through the wire manufacturing machine of the proper diameter. A second heating will be performed with chemicals to remove rigidity to the wire and provide flexibility. The wire tying machines will then wrap the strands of wire to the desired size. The wire barbs are created by twisting a third wire around the main wire to create the barbs.
A high quality machine will be able to produce barbs of varying lengths. It will also have to capacity to place the barbed ties at different intervals, depending on the needs of the user. It will also contain a counter to keep the barb count and wire length accurate. Finally, the feeder will coil the finished wire for easy delivery and installation of the product. The coiled product can then be transported to the field for attachment to the fencing.