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What Factors Should I Look for When Choosing Strapping Material?

Strapping products are an essential tool in the warehouse and shipping industries. However, depending on your product, shipping method, and several other factors, deciding which type of material you should use for strapping may be a challenge. Should you go for steel due to its high tensile strength, or is the less expensive polypropylene material a better solution? What factors should you look out for? We have compiled the following guide to answer those questions and help advise you on what strapping material may suit your business.

Three Common Types Of Strapping Material

  • Steel Banding: The oldest and potentially most used strapping material in history, steel banding has a high tensile strength but is heavy and potentially dangerous to work with, making it an appealing option only for heavy-duty or weighty materials.
  • Polypropylene: Versatile and stretchy, polypropylene strapping is the most common material used for everyday goods. It is puncture-resistant and embossed for strength while available in numerous sizes and lengths.
  • Polyester: Anything steel can do, polyester can as well. Safer than steel and with potentially more tensile strength, polyester is the modern replacement for heavy-duty strapping material. However, it is more expensive and inconvenient for some shipping methods, specifically those where product strapping must be weatherproof.

What To Look For in a Strapping Material

  • Product Sizes: Depending upon the product’s dimensions, you may prefer one product over another. For equally distributed weight, like when shipping construction materials, steel or polyester may be optimal. However, for more oddly shaped or potentially top-heavy items, polypropylene products’ stretchy and versatile nature can give you a better hold without damaging the product.
  • Shipping Duration: For longer shipping routes, products with a thin width should be immediately discounted, as the pressure put on them over a long period can make more delicate strapping products break. Going for something that has more strength, like polyester, and a greater width than steel banding can keep products locked down. However, if you have bottom-heavy items that tend to settle or shift during shipping, polypropylene can be superior since it has some give without breaking or causing damage.
  • Shipping Method: One important note is that steel strapping is essential for any products that will be outside on rails.
  • Tensile Strength Needed: Finally, different products have varying tensile strengths. So, what is each material good at handling?
    • Steel: With a high tensile strength and weather-resistant design, steel strapping is best for heavy materials that won’t be damaged by the strapping itself or will be traveling on open railcars.
      • Heavy manufacturing and industrial equipment
      • Construction Materials
      • Metal Bundles
      • Secure Closure of Metal Containers
      • Railroad Shipping
    • Polyester Uses: The most robust material for strapping down heavy objects or those that require a lot of stability but without the sharp edges and potential dangers of steel strapping products.
      • Metals
      • Lumber
      • Pallets of Bottles and Cans
      • Bricks
      • Tiles
      • Any heavy load that requires stabilization
    • Polypropylene Uses: The lowest-priced strapping material available that excels when binding odd-shaped, delicate, or products that are prone to movement.
      • Printed Materials (Newspapers, Magazines, Books)
      • Mail
      • Millwork (moldings, handrails, etc.)
      • Flooring (hardwoods, laminates)
      • Appliances
      • Clothing
      • Foods

For More Information And To Explore All Your Strapping Options, Visit is your national provider for everything from steel to polyester strapping and the tools you need to make the most of each type of strapping material. Check out our professional blog for more professional tips and ways to improve your shipping business or warehouse. You can start your strapping product order by visiting us online or filling out our contact form. For more information, call us at 888-803-8140.

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