Physical characteristics will help determine the correct strapping

Once you've identified the package type, you must know how the load's physical package characteristics will affect the strapping selection. Let's go over 4 characteristics of industrial packaging and what to look for.

Corners and Tension Transmission


Corners have a direct bearing on the type of strap which you select. For example, you don’t want to apply plastic strapping directly on a rigid load such as steel blanks. Without corner protection, the sharp metal edges will cut the strapping.

Corners and Tension Transmission

Sharp corners can also cause strapping to lose tension. However if you place an Angleboard, or a plastic edge protector, on the same corner, tension transmission will be significantly improved, resulting in a tighter strap.


Weight also impacts the type and size of strap recommended. For example, a 10,000-pound load of steel would not be strapped with light-duty polypropylene strapping. It’s just not strong enough. Similarly, you would not strap lightweight fragile products with heavy duty steel strapping, which could damage the contents. In addition to weight, however, you must also consider type of load, stacking, load handling and American Association of Railroad (AAR) requirements (if being shipped via rail).

Load Integrity or StabilityLoad Integrity or Stability

The integrity or stability of a load is another package characteristic that will affect strap selection. Loads made up of several packages tend to separate if they are not unitized with strapping. Strapping provides stability by helping to secure products in solid, stackable unit loads.

What's next?

Load stability, corner transmission and type, and load weight are package characteristics which play a critical role in determining which strapping to select. But, strap selection goes beyond even these considerations. How the load will be handled, stored and shipped must also be examined.