Steel or Polyester Strapping – Which is right for you?
Gone are the days when steel strapping was your only option to secure your valuable pallets. With poly-woven, polypropylene and polyester (PET) strapping to also choose from, picking the right solution can be tricky.
To help make your decision a bit easier, we're comparing traditional steel strapping with PET strapping. Keep reading to find out the good, the bad and the critical factors that you need to be aware of regardless of which one you choose.
This type of strapping is used in a range of industries, such as warehousing, forestry and steel manufacturing, and is known for its superior strength.
However, compared to other solutions, it can also pose significant safety risks and handling difficulties for staff.
- Safety risks – due to its sharp edges (even when rounded), the chance of cuts and potential product damage (caused by the strap cutting into boxes and their contents) can increase. Due to these risks, safety glasses, gloves and steel-capped boots are a necessity.
- Handling difficulties – unlike PET strapping, steel can be difficult to handle. As it isn't particularly flexible, "snap back" is a common occurrence and can cause serious injury.
- Rust can also transfer to products, which could make them unusable by your customer.
As workplace safety and Continuous Improvement are becoming increasingly important when completing daily tasks and processes, considering an alternative solution could reduce the number of injuries and create a range of other savings.
A critical factor when considering this solution is the improvement in staff safety, as its soft edges reduce the risk of cuts and other injuries.
This material is also:
- Lighter, making it easier for staff to use and move if required
- Cheaper per metre, without compromising on strength
- Able to maintain strap tension, as there is minimal "creep" or "relaxing" when the pallet is in transit
Break loads are also an important factor to consider when choosing your strapping solution. While PET offers a very similar level of strength to steel, it is important to remember that the break load is usually slightly lower. PET is also a more cost effective solution to begin with.
The critical factor you need to know…regardless of which strapping you choose
What you might not know is that the weakest point of most strapping isn't the strapping itself, but the seal that holds it together.
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Strapping is not always a simple decision and should always be based on your business's specific needs. However, while steel and PET both offer superior strength, PET's safety, recycling options and possible cost saving benefits usually give it the winning edge.