Among the strapping accessories you use in your business, it’s likely you’ll use steel strapping, plastic strapping, and some form of strapping tape.
Strapping tape comes in two primary forms; either reinforced with fiberglass filament or with a plastic-type of reinforcement material, such as polypropylene or polyester.
Strapping tape is a pressure-sensitive material. It’s used in bundling, as well as in closing and securing packages and loads. Not only does strapping tape vary in tensile and breaking strength according to the backing material, but it’s also available with various forms of adhesive.
Regarding cost, the material used in strapping tape’s reinforcement, as well as the form of adhesive used, affects the cost of the tape.
When you’re considering a form of strapping tape, your first major consideration is the backing: will you choose filament or polypropylene?
Strapping accessories: filament or polypropylene strapping tape?
Filament or polypropylene strapping tape is used in many different industries, including:
- Foods and beverages;
- Automobile industry and automotive parts;
- Sporting goods;
- Metalworking and pipeline industries;
- Electronics industries.
When considering the two major types, filament or polypropylene, which type of strapping tape is best for your business?
Filament strapping tape: use it for heavy-duty applications
Of the two types of tape, choose filament strapping tape for heavy-duty applications. This tape includes fiberglass in its backing, making it suitable for the building and construction industries, as well as for the delivery of heavy fragile goods, such as white goods.
Backing for the tape is available in various forms. For example, it may consist of brown paper, with the filaments running along its length, or of clear plastic.
Filament strapping tape can also be used for reinforcing packages, as well as for securing packages to pallets so that they don’t move during shipment. Filament strapping tape is also commonly used by painters and welders because it can be applied securely, then removed without leaving an unsightly residue.
Polypropylene strapping tape: for lighter applications
Choose polypropylene strappingtape for smaller loads and lighter applications. It’s constructed of a high-tensile polypropylene backing material, combined with an adhesive, such as rubber.
Polypropylene strapping tape has often used as an alternative to wrapping pallets in stretch film. It’s stronger and because it stretches, it shrinks back after application. As a result, it holds the pallet’s load securely, ensuring it won’t move during transport. It also helps to protect the goods on the pallet from damage resulting from bumps. This tape is resistant to temperature variations, and rust, so used for securing fragile products.
It also prevents the theft of valuable goods or stores products for only a less duration of time. One can unwind it either manually or with another machine.
Choose your adhesive options for strapping tapes
Strapping tapes come with various forms of adhesive, or no adhesive at all. Instead of an adhesive, these types of tapes are self-adhering.
Three varieties of adhesive are most common in a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA.) They are natural rubber, synthetic rubber, and acrylics.
Pressure-sensitive adhesives bond instantly on contact. They don’t need water or heat to activate. They’re commonly used on strapping tapes which will be used on materials such as glass, plastics, and metal.
Rubber adhesive: popular in many applications
The rubber adhesive is popular because it’s flexible. It’s made from natural rubber with a chemical agent to make it tacky and adhesive. Although it’s meant to be used in many climates and temperatures, be advised by your supplier. Some forms of rubber adhesive are not suitable for use in cold temperatures, or in cold rooms and freezers.
The benefits of rubber adhesive include:
- Suitability for use in indoors and nonpermanent applications;
- Immediate adhesion;
- May be removed without leaving an adhesive residue.
However, rubber adhesive strapping tape has limitations:
- Poor adhesion in temperatures over 70 C;
- Fails in long-term situations: it loses its adhesion over time;
- It has a low resistance to UV light and humidity, so isn’t suitable for outdoor environments.
Synthetic rubber adhesive: lower cost than rubber adhesive
A manufactured adhesive, synthetic rubber adhesive has limitations in strapping tapes when compared with natural rubber. For example, it’s not as easily and cleanly removed as rubber adhesive—it leaves a sticky and unsightly residue.
Acrylic adhesive: manufactured for high performance
Because they’re manufactured, acrylic adhesives are available with different performance attributes. Therefore, before choosing a strapping tape with an acrylic adhesive, be guided by your supplier.
The benefits of acrylic adhesives include:
- Longlasting: they retain their performance over time;
- Excellent shear resistance at a higher temperature;
- Suitable for outdoor applications over the long term—they’re resistant to UV light.
However, acrylic adhesives also have limitations. They include:
- Lack of instant high adhesion: they need time to develop their adhesive properties;
- Reduced adhesion in cold climates and temperatures;
- Inclined to leave a residue on removal.
Choosing your strapping accessories: steel strapping, or strapping tape?
When looking at strapping accessories for your business, be advised by your supplier. Many options are available, especially in the various forms of strapping tapes.