Selecting the right electric fence polywire or polytape

braithwaite-electrical
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Selecting the right fencing wire is an important factor in having a reliable and functional electric fence.

In electric fence terms it is also known by such names as:

Electric fence hot wire
Electric fence poly wire
Electric fence hot tape
Electric fence poly tape
Electric fence poly braid
Electric fence Tape rail
Electric fence poly rope

What is poly wire and polytape used for in electric fences ?

Poly wires and poly tapes are primarily used in electric fences for their ability to improve the presence of an electric fence.It is a well proven fact that all animals including humans will recall (after varying amounts of exposure) that the higher visibility of the wire basically means "stay away".


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Safety benefits of polywire and poly tape.

Its other primary use is to fence valuable stock when galvanized wire can cause heavy wounds and expensive vet bills.
Horses are generally the worst for causing injuries while in panic.

Its is also good for animals like dogs jumping fences.If an animal is entangled in the fence and strugles the poly products cause far less injury than plain fencing wire,galvanized wire and barbed wire which can cause very deep lacerations.


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What are all these funny names...How do I choose the right one for me?


There are many different names for polywire and polytapes on the market some are not really suggestive of the actual product or what they can do for you.

Past all these names there are a few factors in considering which one to choose:

Where is it made?(Quality checks)
Resistance values.
What colour should i choose?
What thickness should i use? (Poly wire,rope or tape)


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Where is it made?


Well we all know where the best place for your products to be made is here in Australia.
While you product is designed for Australian conditions and generally of a far better quality it aslo supports jobs and cash flow within the agricultural industry along with others.
Where ever possible buy Australian made and owned.

Other quality cross checks:
While being made in Australia is a good start there are several other factors that should be included i your product choice.

Metal fibers:
The most basic thing to consider is more and thicker wires are better.

There are three basic wire configurations on the market:

Copper wire:used in some fence products is highly conductive but it is not as strong as stainless steel and can fatigue, deteriorate, and break easily.

Stainless steel: is heaps stronger but slightly less conductive.

Mixed metal strands: can suffer corrosion if scratched resulting in shorter lifespan.

We use only stainless wires in our products while they are slightly less conductive the strength difference and general resilience to wear is more significant.
We make up for the slight conductive issues by having more and thicker metal fibers in our range than most others.

The make of the product.
Check that the poly wire or polytape is woven tightly.
Loosely wound or woven poly products ( usually found in imported products ) can fall apart very quickly.

Look for a nice tightly bound or woven product:
 

U.V. Treated


Make sure your poly product is U.V. treated or Ultraviolet treated.
This means it has gone through a process to protect it from breaking down under ultraviolet radiation (sunshine)


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Resistance values:

So when looking at hot wire and hot tape products the best thing to look for is the ohms or resistance values of the products.This will give you a good indication of how far a fence your product will be good for.

By Definition ohm is:


The ohm is the electric resistance between two points of a conductor when a constant potential difference of 1 volt, applied to these points, produces in the conductor a current of 1 ampere, the conductor not being the seat of any electromotive force.

Hmmm Or.....

Basically ohms is the amount of resistance hot wires have.This dictates the amount of electricity that can pump through you fence.

Think of it as water going through pipes, the thinner the pipes the more resistance so its harder to pump lots of water through.

In fencing terms this means the thinner and less of the metal wires the less electricity can go through,as well as the distance it can carry  for on you fence before running out of steam.

So you need to look for a product with low resistance values.

In Electric Fence Australia's range of poly product range you can see fron the table below that our Hi-shock range has significantly lower resistance than the standard range.The Hi-shock wires polywires poly ropes and polytapes have more and thicker wires than standard poly products resulting in less resistance (higher shocks and longer distance).This also means better stability in the case of wire fiber breakages and it can deal with power leakage better than standard wires and tapes.
 
 

Resistance per meter 
 
 
Electric Fence Australia
Standard polywire. 
 -7.4 ohms  
 
Electric Fence Australia
Hi-shock polywire. 
 -2.3 ohms 
 
 
 
Electric Fence Australia
Hi-shock polyrope. 
 -2.3 ohms 
 
 
Electric Fence Australia
Standard Polytape.
 -7.4 ohms
 
 
Electric Fence Australia
Hi-shock polytape. 
-2.3 ohms 
  
 
There are other things that can shorten the electricity flow.
If you get leaks in hot wires( earthed out ) in the form of voltage leaks from branches,grass and fallen post your electricity will leak out of the fence and into the earth.This is very bad and fence checks should be carried out at least once a week on average depending on the growth rates and decay ( falling branches ) of the local plant life.


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What colour should you use?


Poly wires and poly tapes come in many colours from white to black and all the colours of the rainbow.
When considering what colour will work best for you you take into account the surroundings of the paddock itself.
White is best in most cases with coulours like orange and reds used for snowy areas.
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 What thickness should i use? (Poly wire,rope or tape)


Thicker polyropes and polytapes are generally more visible and safer than thinner products like poly wire and are better for recognitive values but have a tendency to flap in the wind more,resulting in increased wear and tear in windy areas.

If you keep this in mind when selecting your electric fence insulators this problem can be overcome with smooth edged insulators that dont damage your hot wires.

So keep in mind the importance of the animal in questions in relation to the local weather conditions.
If you live in a windy area but have a very expensive horse you need to respect the fence,you may need to use a polytape and replace it at regular intervals or use a highly visible rope.But it would not be advisable you use a thin polywire.While the tinner polywire will last longer than the tapes it will not be as effective as the tapes for its designed purpose..a visual reminder and injury preventative tool.Every case is different.

Poly wire / hot wire :

Usually the thinner of the polyproducts it is generally like a thin polymer rope with metal fibers


Poly rope / hot rope :

Like polywire this is just like a polymer rope but generally quite thicker.Highly visible and safer than thinner wires. 


Electric fence poly tape

Like it's name suggest it is in the shape of a tape being thin and wide.This is the most visible out of the range of electric fence poly products.


Electric fecnce poly braid

For a bit of added strenght polybraid is the best.
Always keep in mind that an electric fence is not a physical barrier so tension is not always a factor.

Most poly product fences should be tentioned by hand only enough to take any slack out of the wires or tape.
 


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Our poly products are made in Australia for Australian electric fences.
All our electric fence wire and electric fence tape is U.V. stabilized for the harsh Australian environment.


 

 
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