What is the best strapping for pallets?

Understanding the different types of strapping materials and their benefits

Strapping is a versatile, reliable method of securing loads to pallets ready for transport, distribution or storage. With three main types available – polyester, polypropylene and steel – there is a strapping material to suit all needs.

Polyester, polypropylene, and steel tend to be the best strapping materials for pallets. Finding the right strapping material depends on your packaging requirements, though: How heavy and what shape or size are the products you are palletising? And how long do they need to be strapped for?

To find the best strapping for pallets, it’s first worth understanding how strapping works, the different types available, and the questions to ask to find the right solution for your requirements:

How does pallet strapping work?

Pallet strapping secures products by applying tension around a load, holding goods securely to ensure pallet stability.

Why should you be strapping pallets down?

Strapping on pallets ensures load stability, thereby ensuring product security and worker safety. You should be strapping pallets down to ensure products on a pallet remain in place and secure, and where using pallet wrap alone may not offer the required load stability.

Three best strapping materials for pallets

Polyester strapping

Polyester strapping is the strongest and most flexible type of plastic strapping, offering high tensile strength. There are two types of polyester strapping – extruded, or corded polyester. Corded is also available as hot melt, woven, or composite and is able to be retensioned where loads might shift, expand or contract during transit.

Benefits of using polyester strapping

  • Ideal for heavy applications – typically offering 300-600kg breaking strength, and available with up to 1,000kg breaking strain
  • Suitable for strapping for long periods
  • Flexible – able to be stretch and be retensioned to ease or increase the tensile strength applied to loads
  • Versatile – able to be used across a range of product types or industries

Polypropylene strapping

Known as polyprop strapping or plastic strap, this is the most common strapping for parcels and bundling. It is flexible for a range of uses and industries as it can be applied either manually or by machine and can secure large loads on pallets or bundle, seal or close cartons. While it is made from a tough plastic, it is embossed to prevent slippage and is also supple and flexible, able to be used around irregular or uneven shaped loads. It is also durable enough for use in a range of weather conditions.

Benefits of using polypropylene strapping

  • Ideal for light applications – typically offering up to 300kg breaking strength
  • Suitable for strapping for short periods
  • Flexible – offering good elasticity, to wrap around irregular or uneven shaped loads
  • Durable – suiting usage in a range of weather conditions
  • Embossed – tensioning and giving strength to the strap
  • Available in a range of thicknesses, lengths and colours

Steel strapping

High strength steel strapping is used to secure and transport heavy materials. Offering high tensile strength, high resistance and little to no stretch, it suits movement of goods for industries like construction, manufacturing and shipping.

Benefits of using steel strapping

  • Ideal for very heavy applications – typically offering up to 1,200kg breaking strength per strap
  • Ideal for items which don’t move or change in size – very low elasticity
  • Durable & Resistant – suiting items with sharp edges which would cut through other strapping types, and resistant to UV or temperature changes

How do you choose a packaging strap?

Finding the right strapping material depends on:

  • What does the pallet load weigh, and what shape/size is it?

Different types of strapping offer different tensile strength. The weight of your load, along with typically a 50% safety, will determine how much breaking strain or breaking strength is required and, therefore, which type of strapping material is suitable.

  • What is the purpose of strapping?

Strapping can cover requirements from bundling, closing or sealing small cartons, up to securing heavy plant during transportation. Being clear on the purpose and requirements for your strapping is essential, including the length of time it needs to remain on the palletised load for.

  • How will you apply the strap? 

Strapping can be applied using a manual tensioning tool, or a semi-automatic strapping machine, or a portable machine like the ErgoPack. Tensioning tools can deliver the right tensile strength to all types of strapping, depending on their tensioning strength. Strapping machines run plastic strapping around a load then seal the ends forming a band. Strapping machines can help to streamline, simplify the strapping process, greatly improving health and safety for operatives.

Get the right strapping materials today with MorsaPack

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best strapping material?

The best strapping material will depend on your packaging requirements. The three most common types of strapping – polyester, polypropylene and steel – suit different needs depending on the weight and size of product being strapped to a pallet, and the length of time products need to be secured for.

Can you use pallet wrap and strapping materials together?

Yes. Strapping might be used in tandem with pallet wrap for the film to offer dust protection or a waterproof layer while the strapping ensures load stability. Sometimes, though, strapping can replace pallet wrap film by securing large products to a pallet, such as an individual item of furniture for storage or stacked boxes of products for distribution.

What material is used for pallet straps?

Polyester, polypropylene and steel are the most common materials used for pallet straps. Each suits different packaging requirements. Polyester strap suits heavy duty loads or where tension is required for longer periods. Polypropylene strap is typically used for light to medium dutyapplications, while steel strapping suits very heavy duty usage.

What is the strongest pallet strapping?

Steel strapping is the strongest pallet strapping, offering up to 1,200kg breaking strength per strap. It is used to secure heavy loads which don’t move or change in size, since it has very low elasticity. Polyester strap also offers strong strapping, with straps offering up to 700kg breaking strength.

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