Chainwire: Varieties and purpose of barbed wire


Not all inventions of human genius are equally enjoyable. But even the most “harsh” of them is sometimes necessary. For example, barbed wire is used in security, which is indispensable for warehouses, military facilities, and industrial production. Consider the varieties, options, and methods of using this popular chainwire product.


There is a state standard for barbed wire. It was approved back in 1969 to replace the hopelessly outdated standards of the 1941 edition. Barbed wire is classified by coating use and manufacturing accuracy. The largest dimensions of individual elements and permissible deviations for these indicators are strictly normalized.

The list of technical requirements established:

  • base material;
  • spike material;
  • the location of the thorns;
  • unacceptable metal defects;
  • features of various coatings;
  • surface density of coatings.

The state standard even says how long the barbed wire should be in one coil. One coil contains 380 running meters of clarified or galvanized barbed wire, and its weight is 35 kg (with a deviation of 2 kg up or down). But it’s not that simple. Some sources indicate that more than 400 running meters of chainwire can be in the bay.

It is impossible to name just one name of the person who invented the barbed defense. But it is quite obvious that the weak holding ability of ordinary flat chainwire pushed to its creation. It can hardly be seen as a serious chainwire barrier for animals in pastures or for criminals in prisons. 

Wrapping them with metal chainwire without sharpness helped to prevent the displacement of the spikes.

For the first time in the United States, it is widely used advanced methods of metal melting, which made it possible to reduce the cost of production. And it was also Gates who ran an advertising campaign showing that dozens of cows are securely held by a chainwire fence. The cheapening of the finished product and bright marketing did their job – soon the “thorn” was bought not only by those who were looking for an effective replacement for the wooden fence around their home. They began to use it where the abundance of forests made it possible to build traditional corrals because it turned out to be easier and more profitable.

Main types

There are two main types of barbed wire. Let’s consider them in more detail.


For all the external similarities, modern barbed wire is not exactly the one that was patented at the end of the 19th century. By now, about 450 patents have been issued for it. Collectors of chainwire fences (it turns out, there are some) number up to 2 thousand different types and samples. In the catalogs of manufacturers, only 2 dozen main varieties are often mentioned. The simplest option is a single-core corrugated construction with spikes throughout.

The thickness of such a product is most often 2.8 mm. It is this option that is usually used in summer cottages and fences around private houses.


Coating with a protective zinc layer does not always help to solve the assigned tasks. Sometimes a more significant strengthening of the enclosing structure is required. Such options are known:

  • Bruno’s spiral (turns of different diameters);
  • flat corrugated tape with a pointed edge;
  • “Chain-link” with diamond-shaped cells;
  • spikes that complement the main fence.

A biaxial (more precisely, two-base) thorny chainwire barrier is also in demand. For the most part, it is made of galvanized metal.

A typical barbed wire texture looks like this.

Products operating under-voltage must be rated for a current of 2-10 kV. They are mainly produced for livestock and penitentiary purposes. Returning to tape designs, it is worth pointing out that they can damage significant areas of soft tissue. They are used to protect structures, including those mounted on frames and supports. And the classic type of barbed wire is used mainly on its own.

The traditional version is often referred to as “thread” . It is always a galvanized material with a thickness of 2.5 to 2.8 mm. Going beyond these limits is strongly discouraged. There are threads both from one wire and from two strands braided into a “pigtail”. This distinction is also made between the thorns. Stamped studs are mainly used where the maximum degree of protection is needed.

The elastic “thread” is relatively strong and has a small cross-section. Such material is more resistant to the negative effects of temperature changes. Resistance to mechanical stress is also increased. As a result, “threads” with increased elasticity are used for the construction of large spans. As for the “soft” chainwire, it is much more convenient when fastening.

However, over time, such a fence weakens and begins to sag intensively. This disadvantage is especially pronounced with a significant length of spans. The problem is not too significant if you mount the chainwire in small areas. In addition, technologists distinguish piercing-cutting tape and reinforced “twist” in a special category. All the rest, experts consider them only subspecies of the three main types of barbed wire.

The “thorn” brand “Egoza” is in demandThis enterprise manufactures its products in the immediate vicinity. This location immediately creates an impressive logistical advantage. The main shop was equipped with two automated lines, and the products are painted with a powder-polymer composition. Hot zinc coating is available upon customer’s request; the thickness of its layer can vary from 70 to 120 microns.