Strapping is the process used to reinforce, combine or fasten an item or many items together using a flat flexible band made from steel or various plastics. This process is also referred to as bundling or banding and is a commonly used practice in the packaging industry.
The ends are joined once the strap is tensioned using different methods depending on the material of the strapping. Steel can be joined with a seal and notch joint or a seal and crimp, plastic is often joined by melting the ends together.
Types of Strapping
Steel is the original strapping due to its availability in different grades and its high tensile strength. Steel is used for heavy-duty applications and exhibits a minimal amount of stretch. The steel can be given a surface finish like wax which is used for better distributing the tension around the strapping. Typical applications include, steel coils, bricks, pavers and baling wire. It is available in various widths and thicknesses.
Polypropylene is economical and is predominantly used for light to medium applications. The strapping is available in various widths and thicknesses and is often embossed. Polypropylene cannot deal with constant stress like steel strapping can and is susceptible to UV degradation.
Polyester is considered to be a viable alternative to steel strapping for some industries as it is able to retain tension and has excellent recovery properties.
Nylon was once a popular choice as it has the greatest strength of all the plastic strappings, however it is now rarely used except in cold room applications.
Corded and woven strappings are reusable and use a buckle joint allowing them to have a great deal of strength. They are also a lot softer and lighter than other strapping materials.
Uses of Strapping
Strapping can be used in many industries and is often applied in a complete vertical or horizontal band around the products. Examples are:
Agricultural products such as bales
Coils of steel
Attaching items to pallets
Bundling products ready for shipment