Strapping Glossary

Snap-on Seals


Ssnap-on seals for steel strapping
Its Open Design Makes It the Most Popular Seal for Steel Strapping

Used for regular steel strapping applications. Snap-on seals or placed over the overlapping metal strap ends either during or after tensioning the strapping. It eliminates pre-threading since they can be snapped on the strapping due to its open style.

Printed Strapping

A message printed right on top of the plastic strapping.

Printed strapping is applied with a special printer using a custom designed plate and is applied in the final stage of the plastic strapping production. A special waterproof ink is used that also dries right away to avoid smudging your printed message.

Printed strapping is used to indentify products when it is hard to do on the product itself when no extra packaging is used like lumber and brick strapping. It is also used for product security and for product branding.

For more info on printed strapping, click on this link.

Ribbon Wound Steal Strapping

Steel strapping where the winding is narrow as in a spool of ribbon.  If the steel strapping width is half an inch, that the width of the strapping coils is also only half an inch.

Sealess Steel Strapping Tool


Columbia Sealless Steel Strapping Combination Tool
Manual Tensioner and Sealer Combination Tool For Steel Strap – No Seals Required


Seal Less Strapping Seal
Joins Steel Strapping by Crimping The Two Ends, Reduces Packaging Costs

Also called a combination tool, a sealless steel strapping tool creates a seal in the strapping by crimping the two ends of the steel strapping without using a strapping seal. Therefore the name “Seal – Less”.

In recent years, sealless steel strapping tools are becoming more popular as they save both, labor and material cost due the fact that you don’t need strapping seals anymore to create a perfect metal strapping joint.

Quality Strapping stocks all major brands of sealless combination tools including:

  • Columbia
  • Midwest Industrial Packaging
  • Orgapack

Semi Automatic Strapping Machine


Semi Automatic Strapping Machine Model # FS-600
The FS-600 is a typical semi automatic strapping machine by Quality Strapping.

A strapping machine without a strapping arch is called a semi-automatic strapping machine. These machines are designed so that the user places a box or other object to be strapped on the strapping machine table top. The user then manually places the plastic strapping around the object and into the strapping slot. The strapping machine then automatically tensions the strapping around the product, seals the strapping, cuts the strap and dispenses more plastic strapping for the next strapping cycle.

Most semi-auto strapping machines can be adjusted for the amount of strapping to be pre-dispensed, the tension strength and the heat used to seal the plastic strapping.

Quality Strapping stocks a full line of semi automatic strapping machines including closed and open case bottom types.

Serrated Seals


Serrated Strapping Seal


Orgapack OR 4000
The single-lever combination tool for use with PP and PET straps.

Serrated seals have a serrated finish inside the strapping seal to grip the strapping. The serrated designs helps eliminating the plastic strapping from getting loose inside the seal, also know as strapping slippage.

Serrated seals are mostly used with polyester strapping since they come in a smooth finish and do not have good strapping friction. They are also widely used with regular polypropylene plastic strapping.

Strapping Tools to Use with Serrated Seals

To use serrated seals, you will need a special sealer for serrated seals also call an Offset Sealer. Unlike regular strapping sealers, the jaws in the sealing mechanism is bigger on one side and smaller on the other side.

Other very popular tools are Strapping Combination Tools. In these combination tools the user inserts the strapping seals in a special slot and then tensions and seals the strapping, all in one tool. Common combination tools are the Orgapack OR4000 available for 1/2 inch and 5/8 plastic strapping.

Quality Strapping stocks all Orgapack tools and offers replacement parts and service.

Serrated seals offered by Quality Strapping are compatible to Orgapack ORP 2100/2300.

Shock Resistance

The ability of strapping to stretch (give) and return to its almost original state after impact without breaking.

Side Sealing Strapping Machine


Fully Automatic Stainless Steel Strapping Machine
Model DS-700 Side Sealing Strapping Machine from Quality Strapping

Designed to use in wet, damp or dusty environments. Sides sealing strapping machines have the strapping sealing mechanism on the side rather than on a table top. This prevents product waste, dust and other debris from entering the strapping machine.

Sides sealing strapping machines are very common in food packaging especially in the meat, poultry and fish industries.

Sides sealing plastic strapping machines are available in semi-automatic and fully automatic strapping machine models.

Side-action Sealer


MIP-3100 “Side Action” Heavy Duty Steel Strap Sealer
The MIP-3100 by Midwest Industrial Packaging, stocked and distributed by Quality Strapping is a perfect example of a “Side Action” strapping sealer.

A strapping sealer where the crimping mechanism is on the side, not at the end of the sealer tool.  In side action sealers, the lower handle can be laid on a flat surface enabling the operator to use both hands on the upper handle to apply more force on the strapping seal.

Side action sealers are made for heavy duty strapping applications.

Postal Strapping Kit

Portable strapping kit complete with post office recommended white strapping and plastic buckles instead of the regular black strapping and wire buckles. Also has a simple strapping tensioner and cutter tool. It is packaged in a self dispensing carton with complete instructions printed on the box. Postal kits are used to strap postal trays and comply with USPS regulations.

Split Resistance

The ability of strapping to resist tearing or splitting in the length. Polyester strapping is an excellent split resisting plastic strapping product.

Steel Strapping

Steel strapping is the strongest strapping material made. Steel strapping is recommended where high strength and low elongation is important. Steel strapping is also recommended for products that have sharp edges or hot products.

Steel Strapping Tensioner

A steel strapping tensioner is used to tension metal or steel strapping around a load to secure it. You then use a strapping sealer to crimp or seal the two ends of the steel strapping together.

Common Steel Strapping Tensioners

Feedwheel Tensioners
A feedwheel type strapping tensioner is the most common tensioner and the easiest to use. It is also the least expensive style of tensioner.

Windlass Tensioners
A windlass type steel strapping tensioner achieves the highest mechanical advantage, yielding the most tension possible.  This Windlass style tensioner s is mostly used only on high tensile strapping of 5/8 wide or greater and .025 thick or greater.  Applications typically would be heavy lumber, plate steel bundles, and bundling roof trusses.

Sealless Combination Tools
A combination tool is 3 tools in one. It tensions the strapping, it then creates a seal by crimping the two ends of the strapping together without the use of separate metal seals (hence the name “Sealless”). It also cuts the strapping. Using a steel strapping Sealless Combination Tool  eliminates the need for a separate tensioner, sealer and cutter.

Quality Strapping stocks all types of steel strapping tensioners.

Strapping Closures


Strapping Closures
Typical strapping closures including wire buckle, plastic buckle, serrated seal, open seal for plastic and steel strapping.

Strapping closures are referred to strapping seals or buckles used to seal (or close) the two ends of strapping. Ther are the aterials used to seal strapping in strapping hand applications.

Common strapping closures are wire buckles and plastic buckles for plastic strapping and strapping seals for both, plastic and metal strapping.

See also:

  • Wire Buckles
  • Plastic Buckles
  • Strapping Seals

Strapping Machine


Semi Automatic Strapping Machine


Available in open or closed cabinets
Fully Automatic Strapping Machine
Complete automatic strapping operation.

A machine used to apply strapping around packages, bundles or pallets instead of using manual tools. Used  mostly for plastic strapping.

The most common strapping machines readily available on the market are the following:

  • Semi automatic strapping machine

  • Automatic strapping machine

  • Fully automatic strapping machine

Semi automatic strapping machines will bundle a package (pull the strapping tight),  then seal the strapping, and cut off the strap from the strapping roll. The users still have to put the strapping around the object being strapped prior to the strapping cycle.

Automatic strapping machines have an arch to automatically strap the product. The operator just places the carton on the strapping machine table top. The strapping machine will then run a strap around the carton, pull it tight, seal it and cut the strapping. The machine is then reset for the next cycle. The entire strapping cycle just takes a few seconds. The machine is activated either by a foot pedal, strap button or electronic sensor.

Fully automatic strapping machine requires no action from the users. They typically have conveyor or roller systems that move cartons into the machine. Once the carton is under the strapping arch, the belt stops moving, the carton is strapped and sealed and then moves on. Strapping options on fully automatic strapping systems are numerous. They can be standard models with settings on how many straps to apply per carton and how far away (very useful for long narrow boxes) or they can me custom ordered systems.

Other strapping machines options include press bars to compress the product before the strapping is applied (used a lot to bundle flat corrugated boxes), pallet strapping machines, side sealing strapping machines and more.

Quality Strapping stocks a full line of all types of strapping machines. We also have trained technicians to service all machines we supply and we stock all replacement parts.

Strapping Tensioner Instructions

Strapping tensioner instructions are included with all our strapping tensioners. Strapping tensioner instructions is a complete instruction manual on how to use the strapping tensioner to bundle your pallets or shipments.

If your strapping tensioner tool is missing the instructions, please contact us.

Different types of tensioners require different operating instructions. We have strapping tensioner instructions for all our strap tensioners including:

  • Feedwheel tensioner for flat products used with metal strapping.
  • Extra Heavy Duty feedwheel type tensioner for flat products used with steel strapping.
  • Feedwheel pusher type strapping tool to strap either flat or round products.
  • Rack type pusher tensioner for steel strap, typically used for round packages.
  • Windlass type strapping tensioners for polypropylene and polyester strapping.
    Combination Poly Strapping Tools.

Tensile strength

Tensile strength is the stress at which a material breaks or permanently deforms.

There are three definitions of tensile strength:

Yield strength:
The stress at which material strain changes from elastic deformation to plastic deformation, causing it to deform permanently.

Ultimate strength:
The maximum stress a material can withstand when subjected to tension, compression or shearing. It is the maximum stress on the stress-strain curve.

Breaking strength:
The stress coordinate on the stress-strain curve at the point of rupture.

In most plastic strapping applications, the tensile strength is the average Breaking Strength.

How to Figure Out The Required Tensile Strength for your Plastic Strapping Application

To figure what tensile strength strapping you will need, use this quick formula.

1) Take the weight of the pallet being strapped,

2) Divide by the number of plastic straps that will be applied to the pallet,

For example: A pallet that has a weight of 2,000 lbs. and is being secured with four straps, your plastic strapping tensile strength, or break strength of 500 lbs. each.

AAR Approved


AAR stands for the American Association of Railroads. Products approved by the American Association of Railroads may be labeled as AAR Approved.

Our AAR Approved polyester strapping has been tested and approved by the American Association of Railroads. The strapping is made using the highest grade resins available to assure the strap meets the rigid specifications required by the American Association of Railroads.  These straps are printed with an AAR approval number to designate the quality of the strapping.

For more information on the American Association of Railroads please visit their web site at

Polypropylene Strapping

Polypropylene strapping is the most commonly used plastic strapping on the market.  Its high elongation and recovery and low retained tension make polypropylene strapping an excellent choice for light duty unitizing, bundling and carton closing. It is commonly used to bundle newspapers, small parcels being shipped by parcel carriers (UPS, Fedex, etc) and pallet strapping.

Polypropylene strapping is available in hand grade and machine grade.

Hand Grade Polypropylene Strapping

Hand grade strapping is meant to use in manual applications. Strapping is wrapped around a package or pallet by hand and it is closed by hand using a buckle, by strapping tools using a seal or by a handheld friction weld tool.

Machine Grade Polypropylene Strapping

Machine grade is used in semi automatic, auto and fully automatic strapping machines. In automated strapping systems, the strapping machine straps the band around the carton or product being strapped, tension the strap tight and seals it by heat or friction weld. The entire process is fully automated.

Machine grade strapping is manufactured under more strict guidelines and exact specifications must be followed.

See Also, Machine Grade Strapping

Polypropylene (PP)

Polypropylene or polypropene (PP) is a thermoplastic polymer, made by the chemical industry and used in a wide variety of applications, including packaging, textiles (e.g. ropes, plastic parts and reusable containers of various types.

Polypropylene strapping is the most common plastic strapping around and it is extruded out of polypropylene pellets. Only the best raw materials are used here at Quality Strapping to produce the perfect extruded poly strap.

Polypropylene strapping is used in multiple industries and applications. They include:

  • High Speed Newspaper Bundling
  • Parcel Packaging for UPS and Fedex Shipments
  • Medium Duty Carton Bundling for Meat & Fish Packaging
  • Heady Duty Pallet Strapping

Quality Strapping manufactures a full line of polypropylene strapping including machine grade polypropylene strapping and hand grade strapping.

Polyester Strapping


Green polyester strapping, smooth finish on a 16×6 core.
Typical roll of polyester strapping manufactured by Quality Strapping.

Polyester strapping also know as PET strapping is the most rigid of all plastic strapping materials. Polyester Strapping has very good tension retention and very low elongation. These characteristics make polyester strapping the choice strapping for empty bottles and cans, lumber and heavy rigid loads. Polyester strapping is available in heavy gauges and high tensile strength and is a good alternative to steel strapping in some applications.

Polyester Strapping Applications

Polyester strapping can be applied by hand using standard or specialist strapping tools and strapping seals. Polyester strapping is also widely used with hand held friction weld strapping tools. Polyester strapping is also used in automated strapping systems for bundling flat corrugated cartons, plastic bottles, lumber, ceramic tiles, bricks, etc.

Polyester Strapping Packaging

Polyester Strapping is mostly sold in bulk shrink wrapped on a pallet with special wood frames on top of the strapping to protect it during shipping. Standard packing is 28 rolls per pallet on 16×6 core size rolls. They are also available in smaller quantities individually boxed for a minimum markup.

Polyester strapping on 16×3 rolls are sold in bulk 2 rolls per carton, 28 cartons per pallet (total of 56 rolls per pallet).  They are also available in smaller quantities in quantity increments of two rolls. They are packed 2 rolls per box. Miniumum order is two rolls.

Pneumatic Strapping Tools

Pneumatic strapping tools uses compressed air to tension and seal strapping. They are available for both, plastic and polyester strapping.

Quality strapping sells a full line of pneumatic strapping tools suitable for heavy duty applications.

Plastic Strapping Tensioner

Plastic strapping tensioner is a deviced used to tension plastic strapping around a pallet, carton, bale or other products.

Plastic strapping tensioners are mostly hand held tools. They range from the small t-bar model designed for very light duty use to puneumatic hand held plastic strapping devices used for heavy duty packaging.

Most plastic strapping tensioners are a combination of at least two tools. They are designed to both, tension the strap and cut it.

Simple T bar tensioners is used mostly in plastic strapping kits. They are designed to manually pull the strap. It also has a built in cutter to cut the strap.

Windlass poly strapping tensioners have a build in wheel to tension the strapping and a build in cutter to cut off excess strapping once the strapping is sealed.

Plastic Strapping

Plastic strapping is manufactured in a wide variety of different materials. They included polypropylene strapping, polyester strapping and cord strapping. Plastic strapping is used in every industry from light packaging to heavy duty bundling. In recent years plastic strapping is widely used to replace steel strapping in certain industries. Plastic strapping is much easier to recycle or dispose of and is much safer to use than metal strapping.

For details on plastic strapping see the glossary details for each type of strapping:

  • Polyester Strapping
  • Polypropylene Strapping
  • Cord Strapping

Notch Strapping Joint

Notch joints mechanically lock strapping ends together. The strapping sealer cuts through the seal and strapping to form one or two sets of notches. The notches are pushed down (down joint) or up (up joint).

Machine Grade Strapping

Machine Grade Strapping is mostly referred to Machine-Grade Polypropylene Strapping.  Machine grade is manufactured to the exact specifications required for use with semi-automatic and fully automatic strapping machines.  Plastic strapping used in fully automatic arch machines are more prone to jamming and machine failure therefore the specifications and manufacturing process are more rigid than hand grade plastic strapping.

Friction Seal

The method of sealing plastic strapping without a heated blade by moving rapidly the two ends of the plastic strapping. The friction created by the two strapping ends creates heat that seals the strapping.

Orgapack Battery powered hand tools OR-T 100 / 200 / 300 and the FROMM battery powered tools P324& P325 all use friction welding to seal the plastic strapping.

Embossed Plastic Strapping


Embossed Plastic Strapping
Embossing gives extra friction and texture to the plastic strapping.

Embossing creates a diamond shaped texture on plastic strapping during the strapping extrusion process. Plastic strapping with an embossed finish will increase the efficency of the strapping joint in machine grade strapping and reduce the strapping slipping out of closures like strapping buckles and seals in hand applications. However, too much embossing will weaken the strapping and will loose strapping strength for a particular strapping thickness (gauge) since too much embossing will eat away a the finished strapping product.

Most polypropylene strapping is embossed during extrusion in both, hand grade and machine grade as an industry standard. Most polyester strapping (PET) is not embossed, rather they have a smooth finish.

Double Notch


Double Notched Steel Strapping Seal
A double notched seal has two sets of notches in the steel strapping seal.

A Strapping Joint with two sets of notches mechanically sealing the strapping ends and strapping seal together is called a double notch. A double notch seal is created with a double notched steel strapping sealer like the Quality Strapping Model # QS310.

See Also:
Notch Strapping Joint

Core Size – Understanding the Core Size Measurements In Plastic Strapping


Core Size Measurement
First measurement is the inside face of the strapping roll, then the core inside diameter.

Quality Strapping produces cores sizes for all strapping manufacturer equipment. Our polypropylene and polyester strapping are compatible with all polyester strapping manufacturer specifications.

The size of the paper tube the plastic strapping is winded on is measured by core size. The first number in the measurement is the inside core diameter. The second number in the measurement is the width of the face of the strapping coil.

For example: A 16×6 core has an inside hole (core diameter) of 16 inches and the face of the strapping (the width of the strapping winding) is 6 inches.

Quality Strapping manufactures plastic strapping in multiple core sizes to fit all brands of strapping machines and strapping cart dispensers.

  • Most popular core sizes for hand grade polypropylene strapping are 16×6, 16×3 and 8×8.
  • Most popular core sizes for machine grade polypropylene strapping are 8×6, 8×8, 9×8 and 16×6.
  • Most popular core sizes for polyester strapping, machine and hand grade are 16×6 and 16×3.

Cord Strapping

Cord strapping is manufactured from polyester fiber. Polyester fiber is one of the strongest synthetic fibers made. Cord strapping is commonly used in outdoor applications due to polyester cord’s excellent moisture resistance. Cord strapping is used in manual applications and can be sealed using buckles and metal seals or can be tied by hand.

Cord strapping is increasingly replacing metal and steel strapping in heady duty bundling and palletizing. It is now widely used in lumber and other heady duty bundling.


The curvature of plastic strapping measured side by side. Machine grade strapping must be camber free to allow the strapping to move through strapping machine chutes and arches without jamming the strapping machine.

Break Strength

The amount of strength required to break strapping is expressed in pounds.

See also Tensile Strength.