What type of strapping should I choose?

26 Jul 2022

Strapping is used to bundle together items and/or secure loads to pallets. What type of strapping you choose depends on the weight of the load and the conditions for which they're being secured for.

There are 3-4 main types of strapping materials. Plastic (polypropylene), Polyester (PET), Metal/Steel, and Woven polyester strapping. Each have different properties, and as a result have different breaking strains. Breaking strain is a figure measured in Kg's that assists in determining how much force or strain the strapping can take before it breaks. This is necessary information as you'll need to know this in order to choose the right strap based on the weight of your load and the force it may endure whilst in transport. Keeping in mind that the weakest point of any strapping application is the seal - and a poorly attached seal will undermine any strength the strapping may otherwise have provided. Below is a succinct explanation of each kind of strapping, the various breaking strains and what tools or machines they are used with.

 

Plastic polypropylene strapping

Plastic strapping has the lowest of breaking strains of all the different types of strapping, and so is best used for the lightest of loads and packages. It is commonly used in fulfillment centres and warehouses where lighter packages are bundled together for freighting purposes. Plastic strapping come in a range of widths of blue, white or black - which indicates different strengths, and come in either dispenser boxes or 1000m's used for hand strapping applications, or longer rolls used with strapping machines. The machines rolls have small variations in width and curvature to enable it to travel through a strapping machine smoothly.

Plastic strapping in a dispenser box:                                                  

 

Code

 Breaking Strain    

12mm x 1000m plastic strapping

3-PH-12

Breaking Strain up to 70Kg’s

Blue

15mm x 1000m plastic strapping

3-PH-15

Breaking Strain up to 140Kg’s

Blue

15mm x 1000m heavy duty plastic strapping

3-PH-15-HB

Breaking Strain up to 320Kg’s

Blue

19mm x 1000m heavy duty plastic strapping

3-PH-19-HB

Breaking Strain up to 400Kg’s

Black


Plastic machine strapping:                                                                   

 

Code 

 Breaking Strain

12mm x 3000m plastic machine strapping - Blue

3-PSA12-B

Breaking Strain approx. 120Kg’s

12mm x 3000m plastic machine strapping – Clear/White

3-PSA12-C

Breaking Strain approx. 120Kg’s

12mm x 2500m plastic machine strapping - Black

3-PSA12-BL

Breaking Strain approx. 270kg’s

15mm x 2500m plastic machine strapping – Clear/White

3-PSA15-C

Breaking Strain up to 130Kg’s

15mm x 2500m plastic machine strapping - Blue

3-PSA15-B

Breaking Strain up to 130Kg’s

 

What can plastic strapping be used with?

Plastic strapping is commonly used manually using a plastic strapping kit - which includes all the tools, seals, buckles, tension and crimper as well as the strapping itself. All items can also be purchased separately.
It can be used with a strap feeder if being used to strap together a light pallet load. The strapping is attached to the strap feeder and then fed under the pallet making the process a little easier and quicker.
Plastic strapping is also used with semi-automatic and automatic strapping machines as well as pallet strapping machines. It can also be used with Zapak and Zenithpack and even BettaPack battery powered strapping tools - where the tensioning and friction sealing is done by the strapping tool. (All supplied by Get Packed).

 

Polyester (PET) strapping

Polyester strapping has a significantly higher breaking strain than plastic polypropylene strapping and is used for heavier loads or loads where the handling means a more reliable strength is required. It is more commonly being used as a preference to steel or metal strapping as it has a similar breaking strain, but without the risk of sharp edges - and it can be recycled. It comes in either an embossed form or smooth form - with the smooth having a higher breaking strain as the overall thickness if the strap is constant/uniform and undisturbed.

12mm Embossed Poly Strapping 0.60mm thick

3-PS1205-E

Breaking Strain up to 260Kg’s

15mm Embossed Poly Strapping 0.70mm thick

3-PS15070-E

Breaking Strain up to 400Kg’s

15mm Embossed Poly Strapping 0.90mm thick

3-PS15090-E

Breaking Strain up to 500Kg’s

15mm Smooth Poly Strapping 0.88mm thick

3-PS15088-S

Breaking Strain up to 580Kg’s

18.5mm Smooth Poly Strapping 1.12mm thick

3-PS19100-S

Breaking Strain up to 850Kg’s

 

What can polyester strapping be used with?

Poly Strapping is also available in a strapping kit form and includes a tensioner, sealer, metal seals, a dispenser stand and a roll of strapping. Each of these are also sold separately. It is also commonly used with the battery powered strapping tools that will tension and friction seal the strapping - the Zapak strapping tool or the Zenithpack. Being battery powered makes them portable and flexible for different working situations. Get Packed also supplies a portable pallet strapping system (BettaPack BP-888) that feeds the strap under the pallet and includes it's own electric friction welding strapping tool connected to the pallet strapping machine. Poly strapping can also be used with a simple strap feeder, where the strapping is attached to the head of the feeder and simply slipped under the pallet.

 

Steel/Metal Strapping

Steel strapping is still used by those who prefer the traditional security of steel strap to keep heavy loads together like concrete pipes, scaffolding and building materials. It actually has a higher breaking strain to width ratio than poly strapping.

12.7mm x 0.5mm RIB Steel Strapping – 10Kg roll

3-RIB12740

Breaking Strain up to 543Kg’s

15.9mm x 0.5mm RIB Steel Strapping – 13Kg roll

3-RIB15945

Breaking Strain up to 629Kg’s

19mm x 0.56mm RIB Steel Strapping – 15Kg roll

3-RIB19056

Breaking Strain up to 893Kg’s

 

What can steel strapping be used with?

Steel strapping is only used in manual applications using hand tools. The materials required are sold separately or in kit form by Get Packed and includes a tensioner, sealer, metal seals and a stand to hold the roll of strapping.

 

Woven Polyester Strapping

Woven polyester strapping is another alternative to Poly and steel strapping as it has a similar breaking strains to both but is made of a interwoven polyester fibre, much like a car seat belt - with a stiffening agent added to suit industrial applications. It has no sharp edges, is more flexible with a high capacity to absorb any shocks suffered during transport. It is also weather and chemical resistant.

16mm x 1000m Woven Poly Strapping (standard)
1 Blue line

3-WPS-16S-BLUE 

Breaking Strain up to 350Kg’s

19mm x 850m Woven Poly Strapping (Light)
1 Blue line

3-WPS-19L-BLUE

Breaking Strain up to 620Kg’s

19mm x 800m Woven Poly Strapping (Standard)
1 Red line

3-WPS-19S-RED

Breaking Strain up to 750Kg’s

19mm x 500m Woven Poly Strapping (Heavy)
2 Red lines

3-WPS-19H-RED2

Breaking Strain up to 1000Kg’s

32mm x 125m Woven Poly Strapping (Heavy)
White

3-WPS-32H-WHITE

Breaking Strain up to 1200Kg’s

 

What can Woven Poly strap be used with?

Woven polyester strapping is used in manual applications - using a tensioner and metal buckles. However we do have a Zapak battery powered tensioner used specifically with woven strapping. The Zapak tensioner is particularly good for odd shaped loads, particularly rounded/circular shapes.

 

Things to Consider when choosing the right strapping for you

  • What conditions are you working in? Would sparks be a problem (so steel strapping is not recommended).
  • What flexibility do you need in your strapping applications. Some situations mean you need to be able to take your strapping tool to difficult places eg- farm, up power poles, under houses, building sites. Then maybe a battery powered Zapak strapping tool would work - in which case you are mainly only considering polyester strapping.
  • Are your goods just sitting on a shelf or is there likely to be a lot of handling (transport, cranes etc). The more handling the higher the breaking strain required.
  • How much strain will your load put on the strapping. Eg hay bales, wool bales means the goods will initially be compressed but will expand after strapping meaning a higher breaking strain is required.

For any information regarding the information above, or to purchase, please contact Get Packed via Industry Search or directly at sales@getpacked.com.au. Video's of most products are on the Get Packed website or our You Tube site.