The Strapping Belt is one of the most commonly used means of unitization and bundling in the packaging industry. There are multiple types of strapping products available, as well as many application types, but strapping is especially used in environments such as:
Bundling together for handling and shipping: newspapers, pipe, lumber, concrete block, etc.
Attaching items to pallets, skids, and crates
Reinforcing wooden boxes, crates, and corrugated boxes, such as Gaylord
Attaching items to flatcars, flatbed tractor trailers, etc.
Strapping is most often used in complete horizontal or vertical bands. Typically, edge protectors are used to help spread the strap’s tension on the load at corners and reduce damage caused by that tension. Strapping can also be used in loops attached to holding locations such as rail cars, tractor trailers, or skids.
Main types of strapping available
Steel strapping: steel is the oldest, strongest, and highest tensile strength strapping available. It is available in a variety of widths and thicknesses, as well as variations in the grade of steel. Steel is used for heavy duty holding where high strength and minimal stretch are desired, as well as when the product may be sharp or hot.
Plastic strapping: Polypropylene and polyester strapping are the main types of plastic strapping today. PP Strapping is an economical material designed for light to medium duty unitizing, palletizing, and bundling. It is available in various widths, thicknesses, and polymer variations (e.g., copolymers). This product offers higher elongation but tends to have irrecoverable dead stretch with constant stress. Polyester strapping is the most rigid option, offering the strongest plastic strapping, and is used as a viable alternative to steel in many industries. Polyester provides excellent retained tension on rigid loads and its excellent recovery properties help a load absorb impact without strap breakage. It has significantly less elongation than polypropylene and retains tension over a longer period of time.
Polypropylene strap is typically embossed, feels more like plastic, and has a matte-style finish.
Polyester is a glossy, smooth strap; it does not resemble polyester fabric in any way.
Since polypropylene is the most common plastic strap option, the term “poly strapping” will generally refer to polypropylene.
Polyester Composite Strapping works best when you need higher initial tension; polypropylene is best when high initial tension is unimportant and only low retained tension is needed.
Because of its long history in the packaging world, there are lots of different types of strapping today; however, most strap is made from either steel or plastic. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages, making it critical to figure out exactly what works for your specific needs.