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What Does a Baling Press Do?

The UK produced over 222.9 million tonnes of waste. Without suitable waste management equipment, like the baling press, we’d quickly find ourselves surrounded by garbage.

This is where a scrap metal baling press comes into play.

If you’re unsure as to what a baling press is, how it’s useful, and what it’s made of, read on.

What A Baling Press Is

A baling press, or baler, is a large piece of scrapping machinery which compresses industrial waste. The waste can consist of recyclable materials such as paper, plastic, metal, or foam. It helps support better material handling, transportation, and storage using powerful compression to reduce or eliminate the space between items.


baling press


Compressing these bulk products can greatly reduce the costs associated with handling, storage, and transport.

Generally, a scrap baling press improves the material handling for recycling facilities. They do so by making the scrap denser, smaller, and easily stackable. This can provide economic benefits when it comes to hauling the items, and can improve throughput by speeding up the feeding process.

Types of Balers

Not all scrap baling presses are created equal. The type of baler you choose depends on the material, loading methods, required transport and milling dimensions, purity, and overall throughput.

Below is a brief description of the different types of baling presses and how they’re used.

Vertical Press

These balers use downward force to compress recyclable materials. The materials include cardboard, scrap metal, plastics, and foam.

An operator loads materials directly into the compression chamber. Once filled, a downward-moving ram engages to compress the materials.

Horizontal Balers

As the name implies, horizontal balers compress materials using horizontal force. An operator loads materials into a hopper located on top of the machine. With horizontal balers, you don’t load materials directly into the compression chamber.

Pieces of machinery, such as shredders, sorting, and conveyor systems, can be included to improve efficiency.

Horizontal balers are much larger than their vertical counterparts and can process higher volumes of scrap.

Single Ram Balers

Single ram balers produce compressing using one hydraulic cylinder. Most often used in material recycling, single ram balers come in both horizontal and vertical varieties. They are sub-divided into closed-door and open-end extrusion types.


These balers use a single ram to compress scrap materials against the door of the compression chamber. Once compression is complete, a door opens to release the bale.

Open-End Extrusion

These machines are often referred to as continuous horizontal baling. An open-end extrusion baler works by compressing materials through a long chamber (extrusion chamber). A ram compresses a bale against the side of a previously compressed bale, resulting in a faster compression rate than closed-door balers.

A convenient aspect of open-end extrusion balers is the automatic tying system. It can prove useful for products that tend to rebound after compression, like cardboard or textiles.

Two-Cylinder Balers

These balers use two hydraulic cylinders to compress the material. They come in both horizontal and vertical styles and create denser bales than single ram balers.

These are often used to compress high-rebound materials like rubber.

Liquid Extraction Balers

Liquid extraction balers provide two benefits. They compact the materials and extract liquid from them. Liquid extraction balers are usually comprised almost entirely of stainless steel. Anti-wear and anti-corrosive paint covers the remaining parts to protect them from damaging liquids.

Ferrous Balers

Ferrous balers are often used as a metal scrap baling press. They have two or three rams specifically designed to handle heavy materials. The two-cylinder models consist of a wing door or pressing lid that compresses the metals in addition to the main ram.

The three-cylinder variety differs from its two-cylinder counterpart in that it compresses the metals in all directions.

SBL (Shear/Baler/Logger)

These multi-stage machines compress materials into a log-like shape and then either sheared into length or compressed further by another compression bale. SBLs are often called scrap shears because they produce sheared logs as well as high-density bales.

These balers are advantageous due to their portability. They’re often used in small junkyards, site cleanup activities, and demolition projects because they can be easily transported via trailer lorries and can easily be mounted on-site.

Tractor Baler

Tractor balers bale agricultural materials. They’re usually pulled by a tractor and collect forage throughout a field. As the forage is gathered, it is conveyed into the compression chamber where belts and rollers roll the material.


Tractor Baler
Tractor baler


Once the proper density and dimensions are achieved, the bales are automatically wrapped with mesh netting. After the bale is wrapped, the baler opens and the bale is released.

Common Baler Uses

As mentioned, balers are most often used in the recycling of scrap metal. Below are several common baler types and their suggested uses.

Recycling Steel

For compacting lighter materials, such as cans, and sheets, a two-ram baler should suffice. For heavier materials, ferrous balers may be more useful.

Paper and Cardboard

Horizontal, single-ram balers with automatic tying mechanisms are recommended for compacting paper and corrugated cardboard at large facilities. For smaller facilities, vertical baling machines should work fine.


Plastic films, PET and HDPE bottles, electronic and automotive scraps are a little more complicated. Before baling can occur, plastics must be sorted according to their origin, type, and specific characteristics.

Foam Baling

Foams are lightweight, low-density materials and often take up a lot of space when stored. Unfortunately, most foams aren’t recyclable and are either incinerated or stored.

With foam, balers help minimize the amount of space these materials take up and can compress hundreds of kilos to fit into a much smaller space.

Textile Baling

Textile baling is different from other types. It uses less force, but the process must be clean and cannot produce any stains. More often than not, the objective of textile baling is to decrease the amount of space the material consumes to maximize transportation efficiency.



Baling Solutions for Your Industry

Regardless of your industry, there is a type of baling press that can meet your specific needs. They come in many shapes and sizes, and can help your business become more efficient, as well as save on costs.

If you would like to know more about us and how we can help, check out our services page.