How converting from steel strapping to polyester strapping can save you money

By |2018-02-12T09:30:21+00:00February 12th, 2018|Packaging Strategy|0 Comments

Does your operation use a pallet of steel strapping a month?  If you answered yes to that question, your company is in a perfect position to save money with polyester strapping.

Now, there are situations and applications where polyester strapping simply isn’t going to hold up to the needed demands of the load. Often times, however, steel strapping is being used in applications where polyester strapping could actually handle the job.

First things first:  A few terms you should understand.

The difference between steel and polyester strapping has a lot to do with the following key terms.

  • Tension.  Tension occurs when you put strapping in a tool and pull (or stretch) the strap tight.
  • Elongation.  Once you apply enough tension to the strap, the strap begins to stretch, otherwise known as elongation.
  • Recovery.  If you elongate the strap far enough, it returns to its original state. This is the recovery of the strap.
  • Working Range.  When you elongate the strap to a point where it wants to recover but not so much that it will not recover, you are within the strap’s working range.  This is where your strap performs the best.

Elongation is critical because it enables your strapping to act like a rubber band, and settle around your products even if they begin to settle during transit.  Steel strapping, although very strong, offers little elongation.

  • Tension Decay – Tension decay is the point at which the strap begins to lose its initial tension.  It is dependent on three factors:  1) the type of strapping material, 2) the amount of applied tension, and 3) how long the strap keeps that initial tension.  Polyester strapping offers the least amount of tension decay.  

Below is a comparative table that highlights each key aspect of the different types of strapping:

Strapping materials comparison table - Axis Packaging

Polyester Strapping:  the economical & safe option

Safety precautions are essential working around steel strapping.  If a worker applies too much tension to the strap, and that strap snaps, the worker can sustain serious injuries.  In addition, steel strapping coils normally weigh approximately 100 lbs. If not picked up correctly, workers can sustain injuries.  Conversely, polyester strapping can withstand a large amount of tension, but it will not cause serious injuries if it comes loose.  Polyester strapping also weighs approximately four times lighter than steel strapping and each coil has almost four times the amount of material compared to steel strapping!  That, in and of itself, is a huge win for many companies.

Polyester strapping can save up to 50% in material costs over steel strapping

You also want to take into consideration that polyester can eliminate the use of metal seals, providing for even more savings to your bottom line.

Tooling Requirements

Steel strapping requires the use of two separate tools.  Polyester, conversely, needs only one.  Not only is that cost-effective, it is faster.

Potential Damage

Is your product painted, or fragile?  Steel banding can mare the surface of fragile items.  By nature, it can also rust and/or stain the surface of a load.  Polyester strapping is weather resistant, clean, and non-abrasive. 

Main takeaway:

Steel strapping is still popular today for the transportation of heavy loads traveling long distances, and in many applications it’s the right strapping for the application.  However, if you are looking for a material that is both ergonomic and economic, as well as product friendly and reliable, polyester strapping is a great cost savings option to consider.

Streamline your packaging process while reducing material costs

Unsure if a steel to polyester strapping conversion is right for you? A quick 10 minute chat with one of our packaging specialists at 877-410-5564 can answer that. You’ve got nothing to lose to verify what you’re already using is correct, and you actually stand to gain improvements and costs savings with a quick assessment.

We’re also a full-service strapping distributor and we save companies money on their strapping every day. We can almost certainly do the same for you.

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