How to choose the right strapping product: What type of package do you have?

*Updated 11-27-17*

Do you know how to choose the right strapping product?

If you’re using strapping to package your products, knowing what kind of package you have will help you to determine what kind of strapping you need to purchase.

Do you know that there are five main types of packages on which you’d use strapping? Knowing what kind of package you’re looking to unitize will help you determine the right strapping to use.

How to choose the right strapping product: Know your package type

Knowing what kind of package you’re strapping will help you to choose the right strapping product for your specific needs.

But first, you have to understand the differences in the packages.

  • Rigid or Self-stacking – these are the packages whose load dimensions remain constant before, during, and after strapping
  • Expanding – these packages have dimensions that become larger after strapping
  • Shrinking – these packages have dimensions that become smaller after strapping
  • Compressible – these packages have dimensions that become smaller after compression, but will slightly rebound after the strapping is removed
  • Combination – these packages will compress when strapping is applied or when products are stacked on top and will rebound when the strapping or top level products are removed

The dimensions of rigid or self-stacking loads (for example: steel sheets) will remain constant before, during, and after being strapped; thus, they require strapping that can be applied with high initial tension and that will retain high tension during storage, handling, and shipment.

Cotton bales are an example of an expanding load. These loads are first compressed in a baler, and then strapped; since the load rebounds significantly when compression is removed, the right strapping must be able to withstand the high pressure.

Shrinking loads need strapping that shrinks as the load gets smaller.  A cube of bricks stacked and strapped together would be an example of a shrinking load because as the bricks rub together during transport, they become smaller.  To compensate for the shrinkage, the strap must have excellent elongation and elongation recovery properties.

A newspaper bundle is an example of a compressible load because its dimensions become smaller under compression; however, unlike the expanding load, a compressible load will rebound only slightly after the pressure is removed, so these loads require a strapping product that won’t expand.

Unitized, knocked down, corrugated containers would be the ideal example of a combination load.  The load is compressed when strapped, expands when compression is removed, shrinks when other loads are stacked on top of it, and expands once again when the loads stacked on top are removed.

Now that you know the type of package, it’s time to learn about it’s physical characteristics.

Learn more about how to choose the right strapping, as well as more about the different types of strapping available, in our Definitive Poly & Steel Strapping Guide, available online for free.

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