What to Know About Poly Strapping

Poly strapping or plastic strapping is a packaging tool that’s used to secure pallet loads or combine multiple items into a single unit for transport. Poly strapping is a common need for suppliers who ship products in large bundles. This type of strapping is an alternative option to steel strapping, which is generally more difficult to work with and more expensive.

Poly strapping has duller edges compared to steel strapping, which makes it easier to apply. It’s also cheaper than steel strapping and much easier to recycle. Another benefit is that poly strapping is lightweight compared to steel strapping, which helps keep your limits in check for freights or shipping containers.

Important things to note about poly strapping are the elongation and the recovery rates. Poly strapping is stretched during the tensioning process by hand tools, battery-operated tools, or machines. Once it’s stretched, it will attempt to return back to its original state, which is called recovery. Elongation refers to how much the strapping will stretch during tensioning or under impact while it travels. Some elongation is necessary to keep fragile products from being damaging under tension, but too much elongation might cause your pallets to fall apart before they arrive at their destination.

There are three main types of poly strapping to know: polyester, polypropylene, and nylon.

Polyester strapping is most commonly used to replace steel strapping because of its ability to maintain tension during travel. It has a low elongation that helps minimize the impact of sudden movement to prevent strap breakage. This type of strapping is good for loads that will experience shifting along the way. It gives some flexibility when movement happens, but it also comes back together to keep items secure. There's also a variation of polyester strapping known as cord strapping, which is frequently used to secure items to truck beds. 

Polypropylene strapping is the most economical option for companies who deal with light or medium loads. It has a higher elongation but a lower recovery, which means it will stretch more and not always return back to its original state. One benefit is the low strength it applies, which is good for products that can be damaged by too much tension. There’s a lot of flexibility on the journey, so your products can shift and move without being harmed by the strapping. Polypropylene strapping is frequently used to secure compressible or expandable items because the elongation will prevent the strap from damaging the products as they expand during transit. 

Nylon strapping is another form of plastic strapping that provides a high break resistance. It has a slight elongation under pressure, but not as much as polypropylene. Nylon strapping is capable of retaining tension and shrinking with the pallet load to maintain optimal stabilization. This type of strapping is ideal for cold room applications, food processing, and loads that settle, such as stacks of paper or lumber.

Poly strapping is incredibly usful for bundling items together or creating secure pallet loads, especially if you want to do away with steel strapping to reduce costs and improve worker safety. Now you have a simple understanding of the different types of poly strapping and what types of loads they're used on. We have plenty of strapping supplies at The Packaging Group, so feel free to browse our inventory to find the materials and tools you need for your application.