Steel has been used for strapping longer than any other material because of its strength and its formative abilities. It varies in size and thickness, from 3/8″x.015 to 3/4″x0.30, and is recyclable. Out of three tons of steel, two tons will have already been recycled from steel and its byproducts. Every year in North America 69% of steel is recycled.
Steel strapping is used for bundling, as well as sustaining, shipments of materials being sent out by different corporations who want to be sure the package arrives at its destination safely and unscathed. Steel strapping is sold as regular steel strapping, high tensile steel strapping, and portable steel strapping, along with the accessories needed to go with the strapping such as dispensers and seals. Most steel strapping suppliers will offer a wide variety of different types of strappings and strapping tools.
Strapping is a popular and widely used way for packaging companies to handle the bundling of certain products, for instance; newspaper, concrete blocks, piping, and lumber. It is used to protect steel and lumber shaped in coils. Strapping is used to reinforce crates, as well as wooden and corrugated boxes. In addition, it is used to hold together agricultural products. When large products need to be attached to a flatbed tractor trailer or a similar means of transportation, strapping is used to secure the item to the bed. Steel, being the oldest means used for strapping, is the best material to use when strength is imperative along with the least amount of stretch. There are several coatings to steel strappings. Some of these are bluing or zinc and wax, or paint and wax. A finish of wax is necessary on steel strappings because it will easily be able to move the tension of the bundle.
If the bundle being strapped is heavy and substantial, then steel is the best type of trapping to use. If it will be moved on and off of different types of transportation, again, steel is the way to go. In addition, if the load will need to travel a long way before reaching its destination, this material is also the best choice for strapping. Because of its strength and durability, it has earned its longevity in the packaging industry.
There are other types of strapping used in packaging; for instance, there is polypropylene strapping and polyester strapping. Each of these materials are excellent for packaging, however they lack the overall strength of steel strapping. Polypropylene will start out with good tension, but within the first hour will lose 50% of that tension. It is also susceptible to the elements, losing further tension as temperatures rise. Polyester strapping will keep its tension, and is also nick resistant. Both Poly strapping materials are easy to recycle.