Authored by Pat McAssey
January 23, 2014
Strapping is the process of securing pieces of equipment together for shipment or for storage, and is also known as bundling or banding. This improves the organization of product being stored, which frees up costly warehouse storage space. Bundling your used material handling equipment secures it in racking, and makes it easier to retrieve, and virtually ready to ship.
Some of the common items that would get strapped include:
Boxes, crates, pallets, and skids
Coils of steel or paper
Concrete blocks or bricks
The four types of strapping that are commonly used are steel, polyester, nylon, and polypropylene. Steel strapping is the most commonly used in the industry and comes in high tensile and regular duty. Regular duty steel strapping is comprised of low carbon steel, which is good for medium and light duty applications. High tensile steel strapping utilizes high carbon steel that is heat treated. This allows the strapping to stretch slightly when under pressure to absorb shock. This is ideal for securing loads on a full trailer or an open top rail car.
Polyester strapping and nylon strapping are the strongest plastic strapping products, mainly due to its ability to provide retained tension on rigid loads. Nylon used to be utilized in its place, but due to its high price, is becoming a less realistic option unless the additional strength is needed. Nylon has the highest strength of the three types of plastic strapping. It also does not creep in cold applications, meaning it doesn’t become deformed due to mechanical stress.
Polypropylene strapping is one of the most economical material for strapping light to medium loads, and is available in various widths and thicknesses. Although it has high elongation at break, it can lose about 50% of applied tension within one hour. Strap slackness can occur if being used with a solid product like beams. Polypropylene strapping is also susceptible to UV damage, so it is better for products being stored indoors. Certain colors of polypropylene strap will also slow the UV ray’s effects, such as black.
There are also less common types of strapping that are still acceptable for certain applications. Corded or woven strapping has a higher elongation than other strapping, so it is typically used for sea and rail shipments. Paper strapping can also be used to strap paper products in between stages in the production process. Composite strapping is considered “synthetic steel” in the industry because it has filaments embedded into it.
As you can see, there are many different types of strapping to package your shipments. Make sure you are using the correct type of strapping for your specific operation, as product that gets loose and gets damaged is very costly to replace. Still unsure what type of strapping you should be utilizing? Give ASI a call, our sales team would be more than happy to give you some advice.