Are you looking for the right strapping for your product packaging? Many options are available, so choosing the best type of strapping for your products, pallets, and various applications can be confusing.
The right strapping has benefits. You’ll minimize packaging and shipping costs while enhancing efficiency, productivity, and profitability.
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Secure, efficient strapping offers great packaging benefits
Good strapping not only avoids product damage during transportation and storage, it also ensures worker safety.
Strapping (or banding) products together provides better and stronger packaging, ensuring that products brace and strengthen each other. Loads won’t shift unexpectedly during handling and shipping.
A vital consideration: strapping products together saves space, which helps to lower transportation costs.
Are you using pallets? If so, strapping is essential: it secures products to their pallets, ensuring handling efficiency. It also reduces costs involved in product damages during handling and transportation.
When you’re choosing strapping materials, start by considering your products: their size and weight. How you’ll apply strapping: manually, or via machine, is also important. Next, consider your shipping methods and storage requirements. You can then select the best strapping.
Strapping materials: choose the best type for your products and materials
What kinds of loads are you strapping? It’s essential to assess and understand the type of load, and how the load will react, so that you can choose an appropriate strapping material.
For example, rigid loads, such as steel beams, will remain the same size: they won’t compress when strapped. However, some materials, such as bales of wool, are compressed during packaging: their strapping must be able to handle the constant expansion pressures. Other materials will shrink during strapping, so it’s essential that your chosen strapping material has good elongation and recovery capacity.
Let’s look at the various types of popular strapping materials to help you to make the right choice for your strapping needs and applications.
Steel strapping: traditional strapping, with a high break strength
Not only does steel strapping secure the heaviest and most challenging of loads, it has a high break strength. (Break strength is the amount of force a strapping material can withstand without weakening or breaking.)
Steel strapping suits many applications, because it’s available in a range of widths and thicknesses, as well as in different grades. It’s also available as stainless steel strapping, which has a higher break strength than standard steel strapping, but is more expensive. However, if you want to secure heavy, awkwardly-shaped valuable heavy loads, it’s a good choice.
Polypropylene (PP) strapping: light and elastic
Polypropylene strapping is another popular strapping material, often referred to as “poly strapping.” It’s used for light to medium loads. Not only is this material light and elastic, it’s flexible and gentle enough to secure fragile materials, either as bundles, or for pallet strapping.
Available in a range of widths and thicknesses, as well as in a variety of polymers, polypropylene strapping can be printed, and recycled too.
Polyester (PET) strapping: lightweight and absorbs impacts
Polyester strapping is a thermoplastic mono-filament, used only for commercial packaging and strapping. Unaffected by moisture, it won’t corrode, so it’s a good choice for strapping products which will be transported or stored in the open.
A major benefit of polyester strapping is that it will absorb impacts during shipping; this helps to minimize product damage. Not only does polyester strapping recover well when stretched, it’s lightweight and elongates when pulled over loads, holding a load securely.
Since it recovers tension so well, polyester strapping is is a good choice if you’re securing expansive loads, such as wool or cotton bales.
Composite strapping: as strong as steel strapping
Composite strapping is very strong. It’s composed of high-tensile polyester fibres, which are lined with polypropylene. Sometimes termed “synthetic steel” composite strapping is heat and chemical resistant, and has a higher break strength than steel strapping.
This strapping material is frequently used to secure cargo during transport and in containers for global shipping. Not only is composite strapping shock-absorbent, it can be re-tensioned if needed.
Woven strapping: lightweight and heat and chemical resistant
Woven strapping is manufactured from polyester yarns. If you’re looking for a soft strap that’s as strong as steel, but won’t damage your products, it’s a good choice. Lightweight, heat and chemical resistant, and reusable, woven strapping is cost-effective and suitable for the heaviest loads.
Strapping tools and machines: apply your strapping safely and economically
Once you’ve chosen your strapping, it’s time to select buckles and closures, as well as a tool to seal the strapping.
For low-volume strapping, hand-operated tools allow you to tension and seal the strap. However, for high-volume situations, consider a semi-automatic or fully automatic strapping machine