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Poly Strapping FAQ

Posted by Packaging Group on

What is AAR and AAR approved strapping?

AAR stands for the Association of American Railroads, an organization that independently test strapping for rail car packaging. The Packaging Group sells several types of Polyester strapping with different characteristics. Search our collection of AAR approved plastic straps by finding the (AAR) listed under "Type".

How do you remove plastic straps?

How to remove plastic strapsSince plastic straps are applied under tension and retain their tension, it must be removed with caution. Eye protection is required even though plastic strapping may not be perceived to be as sharp as steel strap­ping, it still can cause serious cuts or even blindness. As pictured to the right, wearing safety glasses, place a hand on one side of the plastic strapping to be cut. With solid footing, also place your body in front of your hand holding down the strap and away from the free side of the strapping. When the strapping is cut, the free side will fall away from you. On the flip side, here's how you load a coil onto a dispenser.

Does UV light affect the straps? What plastic strapping is recommended for prolonged outside storage?

Not really, but for any for a length of time, polyester is the preferred strapping. Brick, lumber, plastic pipe, and even corrugated on the west coast are often stored outside for months on end. Black and green poly­ester straps are recommended for this kind of outside storage.

What's the difference between polyester and polypropylene straps?

One of the most frequently asked questions, and we're here to help. We have two great resources for this. Steel vs. Poly vs. Polyester Strapping and How to Identify Plastic Strapping.

What's the joint strength of plastic strap with a heat seal vs. a friction weld?

Generally, a heat seal will produce higher joint strengths, from 70% to 90% of the break strength of the strapping. Friction welds generally produce joint strengths from 75%. Check out more information on weld joints.

Is strap thickness a reliable indication of strap strength?

Not always, as some straps are heavily embossed which increases thickness but reduces strength. Strength depends upon a number of factors so be sure to read the product specifications provided by the manufacturer.

Can the same hand tools that use polypropylene be used for polyester?

No, not always, some tools will handle both products efficiently while others will not. It is best to read and understand the manufacturer's manual or specifications. Don't forget to check out our selection of plastic strap hand tools.

Will hand tool grade straps work in automatic machines?

They may, but it will not perform reliably or efficiently enough to justify the price difference and is not guaranteed by The Packaging Group for use other than hand grade applications.

When buying a semi-automatic arch machine how do I determine the correct arch size?

You must first know the minimum and maximum package size requirements. For the maximum package size, the arch will need at least two inches of "play" or clearance at the top and two sides of the arch to seal properly. On the minimum package size, you should have a perimeter, (measure around the package as it would feed through the machine) of at least one third the perimeter of the arch opening for best results. When you have these measurements the selection of the correct arch size can be easily determined.


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