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Strapping is widely used for securing bundles, loads, and products for safe and efficient shipment. But the term strapping actually encompasses a lot of different types including poly strapping, woven cord strapping, and even steel strapping.
The type of strapping you need will depend on the type of load you are shipping. For example, bundles of 2X4s shipped from lumber yards will need different strapping than bundles of hay sent from a commercial farming operation. And recycled paper bags require a third kind of strapping.
So which kind do you need? Here’s some information to help you find out.
Types of Plastic Strapping
Plastic strapping is a category that includes several different types of strapping, including polypropylene strapping, polyester strapping, and nylon strapping.
Polypropylene strapping is probably the most widely used type of strapping in business and industry because its light to medium duty and is highly economical. It’s the kind of strapping most commonly used in palletizing, unitizing, and in carton closing and bundling.
Nylon strapping used to be popular because it was easy to determine its specific strength or the strength-to-weight ratio. However, because nylon is more costly than other types of strapping it has fallen out of favor.
The benefit of polyester strapping is that it can be easily woven to create greater strength. It is often used as a replacement for steel strapping.
Benefits of Steel Strapping
Steel strapping is the oldest type of strapping. Also called steel banding, it has been in use since the late 19th Century and is still used today to bind things like lumber, rolled steel, and for open top railcar and trailer loading.
Steel is the strapping material of choice for binding heavy loads that require maximum strength and minimum stretch. Steel also comes in a variety of surfaces, including paint, paint and wax, and galvanized steel to prevent corrosion.
Besides its cost, the downside of steel strapping is that it can rust over time. It also adds more weight to the load than polypropylene or polyester strapping.
Steel is also more likely to tear or scratch the cargo it is binding. Plus, if you aren’t careful when cutting steel bands, they can spring and lash, potentially causing injury.
Finally, steel won’t change shape. So if the load it is holding shifts, shrinks, or otherwise becomes smaller, the steel strapping will remain the same size and will no longer hold the cargo securely.