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Jan 26th, 2022

When Should You Use the 3 Different Types of Pallet Strapping?

Pallet strapping is an integral part of shipping, moving, and storing goods on pallets safely, for both the items and for the people who work around them. It's the oldest way to secure items to a pallet for shipping or storage. There are three common types of strapping on the market, but how do you know when to use each of them?

Here's a rundown on the different types of strapping and when each should be used.

Types of Pallet Strapping

Polyester Pallet Strapping

Polyester holds the biggest market share in strapping, though it's not the most widely used type in the US. It's a heavy-duty, high tensile strength plastic strapping option that can be sealed with hand and power tools using metal seals and may be smooth or embossed. Most varieties of polyester strapping are recyclable; check with our sales reps to determine the recyclability of a given product.

Polypropylene Strapping

Polypropylene is the most common and least expensive type of strapping used to secure pallets. This type of lightweight plastic pallet strapping is available in countless sizes, grades, and colors and is often embossed to give it texture. Polypropylene straps can be sealed using a variety of methods including friction welding, buckles, clips, or punches. Though it has a lower tensile strength than polyester or steel, it has more stretch to allow for small load shifts without breaking.

Steel Pallet Strapping

As you might imagine, metal pallet strapping is the most heavy-duty variety. It's also the most expensive type. It's heat resistant and moisture resistant in the short term, though it will corrode over time if exposed to the elements. The biggest downsides of steel are the lack of elasticity, sharp edges, and heavy reels, all of which can make it less safe than other types of pallet strapping.

Which Type of Strapping is the Right One for Your Pallet?

Polyester strapping works great for most warehousing applications. It's the best plastic strapping choice for pallets that will endure the elements since it holds up better than polypropylene to moisture and high temperatures. It is also, generally speaking, stronger than polypropylene, though it doesn't stretch as much and therefore is more likely to break if a load shifts in transit or it's hit with a sharp corner. Many types of polyester strapping are AAR approved for intermodal use.

Polypropylene pallet strapping is a great option for average loads during shipping. Since it has a little more give than polyester strapping, it allows the load to shift some without breaking. It's a great budget pallet strapping option, especially for lighter loads that don't require a heavy-duty strap. Polypropylene is not an appropriate choice for pallets that will be transported by rail.

Steel straps are best for extremely heavy loads. They're commonly used for construction and building materials. Since steel strapping poses more safety concerns than polyester or polypropylene varieties, it is best used only when necessary to bear heavy loads or when transit requirements call for steel specifically. When applied appropriately, many types of steel strapping are AAR approved for rail transit.

Securing Your Pallet Strapping

There are as many ways to secure pallet strapping as there are types of pallet strapping. It can be applied with hand tools, battery-operated tools, or by a strapping machine. The type of tool you use is highly dependent on the application and the time (and budget) you can afford to dedicate to securing pallets via strapping. There are several pallet strapping kits available on the market for every budget.

Still not sure which type of strapping is the best for your business? Reach out to the packaging experts at Trinity by calling 856-520-8332 for advice, quotes, and ordering information.