Plastic & Steel Strapping Terminology

Strapping Wire


Strapping wire is a non specific term that is frequently used - mistakenly, to describe all types of strapping materials be they steel wire, steel banding, plastic strapping. The reality is that wire is drawn steel that in the 1940's was in widespread use but nowadays its use is mainly confined to paper and textile baling applications. 

Strapping Wire

Steel Banding

Steel Banding is a long established strapping material along with strapping wire, but since the introduction of non- metallic strapping materials in the 1970's has been in slow decline.  Available in a range of thickness's and widths ranging from 9 -32mm, and surface finishes that include  blued and waxed, black and zinc painted, steel banding is wound into two types of coil known as oscillation or mill wound, and ribbon or pancake coils. 

Steel Strapping

Steel Strapping

Steel strapping - another and more accurate term to describe steel banding 9mm - 32mm wide. Learn more about steel strapping - Click Here

Strapping Tape

A non specific term frequently used to describe all types of strapping including adhesive tapes that are used for packaging purposes. 

Banding Tape

See strapping tape 

Printed Banding

Tape, banding, strapping that is overprinted according to end user requirements.Click Here to learn more about this product

Printed Banding 

Nylon Strapping

One of the earliest plastic strapping materials manufactured by Dupont in USA and Europe - now seldom seen in the UK since the introduction of less expensive polypropylene and polyester strapping materials. An excellent strapping material with very good shock loading and recovery characteristics. 

Woven Polyester

Woven polyester strapping is polyester yarn woven into web form such that it can be used for packaging puposes. It's use is normally confined to low thruput applications and is used with simple tensioners or ratchets to tighten it, and metal buckles to join it. It is generally more expensive than corded or extruded polyester strapping materials due to the slower production methods. Its unique benefit is that it does not split along its length. 

Woven Polyester Strapping

Cord Strap and Cargo Securing Straps

Cordstrap comprises polyester yarns laid side by side and joined with a hotmelt glue to form a web such that it can be used for packaging purposes to stabilize palletised product or other forms of unit load. Application can be more difficult when passing under pallets due to it's lack of rigidity  Many specifications are available with reference to  width, break strength, colours  etc. This material is usually joined using metal buckles'


Composite Strapping CC

Base material is cordstrap encased in a clear polymer coating to give the strap rigidity. It is easier to use than conventional Cordstrap but also more expensive than the non encased variety and conventional extruded polyester strapping. 

Composite Cordstrap

Plastic Strapping - Extruded

Plastic strapping term is normally  interpreted as extruded polypropylene or polyester strapping material. Both materials are available in grades  suitable for use with strapping handtools or automatic strapping machines. The straps are available in a wide range of colours, with either a plain or printed embossed finish. 

Polypropylene Strapping - Extruded 

The most commonly used and least expensive plastic strapping material. Available in a wide range of specifications and used with mechanical or battery povered strapping tools, and semi and automatic automated strapping machines., 

Plastic Strapping

Polyester Strapping Material - Extruded

 Extruded Polyester strapping  is the strapping material that has taken a huge share of the steel strapping market due to its better shock loading capability, ability to retain tension applied to the strap over long periods, unaffected by changes in ambient temeratures, safer to use and last but not least, lower cost. Polyester strapping can be used with mechanical or battery powered strapping tools and automatic and automated strapping machines. 

Automatic Strapper

Automatic Strapping Machine is a strapping machine that requires the operator to start the strapping cycle by either pressing a push button or foot switch or table top sensor.  Pallet strapping machines that involve the use of an FLT to load pallets into and subsequently out of the machine  also fall into the 'automatic machine' category. See more of these machines here


Automatic Bander

This term is also mistakenly used to describe battery operated handtools and semi automatic strapping machines. 

Automated Strapping Machine 

Automated strapping machines are operatorless - product to be strapped is fed into and out of the machine by motorised conveyor and item position on the input and output conveyors, and in the strapping machine, is controlled by photocells.

Automated Strapping Machine

Semi Automatic Strapping Machine

The commonly accepted definition of a semi-automatic strapping machine is that where the machine feed a lentgh of strap underneath a carton for example and the operator is required to pick up the end of the strapping, take it over the carton and put it into the machine throat on the other side. This action automatically prompts the machine to grip the strap. apply tension and seal the strap and automatically feed out another length of strap ready for the next carton.

Electric Box Bander

This term is rarely used but can refer to both battery powered friction weld hand tools, semi automatic and automatic box and carton strapping machines. 

Strapping or Banding Ratchet or Tool

Any hand held manually or electrically powered mechanical device that enables tension to be applied to strapping materials. There are many to choose from both for plastic and steel straps,

Strapping Tensioner

Strapping tensioners enable tension to be applied to a strapping material. They can be manually operated or electrically and pneumatically powered. Typical plastic strapping tensioner shown.The full range of strapping tools can be seen here.

Strapping ratchet

Lashing tools

Lashing tools are tensioners of conventional form but generally larger heavy duty tools to cope with the higher strength Cordstrap strapping specifications. There are also specialist extra heavy duty forms similar to the mechanisms used for freight cargo retension straps and webbing.   

Strapping Sealer or Crimper

Strapping sealers or crimpers are the means by which a metal clip or seal is closed around a strapping material to join the ends together after tension has been applied to the strapping. Typical plastic strapping sealer is shown and more strapping tools can be seen Here.

Banding Sealer

Strapping Starter Kit

Strapping kits normally consist of basic strapping equipment such as a tensioner and sealer, a coil of strapping, a box of metal seals and a floor standing or mobile coilholder.  Quantity, quality and type of components making up the kits can vary, with the specialist strapping Companies offering a better choice and value than that offered by general packaging catalogues. Click here to see the full selection

Hand Banding Kit

Pallet Bander or Pallet Strapping Machine;

Any device - manually or electrically powered, semi automatic, automatic or automated that applies tension to  strapping materials  around pallets. The word bander is usually interpreted as meaning a handtool whereas 'machine' implies a means of applying straps around pallets with mechanical assistance.

Pallet Strapping Machine

Mobile Pallet Strapping Machine

A term that commonly refers to the unique range of mobile pallet strapping machines manufactured by The Plastic Strapping Company Ltd in UK that can apply up to four straps simultaneously around a pallet, dramatically reducing the time, effort and costs of conventional manual pallet strapping methods.

Pallet Strapping Machine Mobile

Electric Pallet Strapping Machine

Electric pallet strapping machines can be mains or battery powered and basically comprise an upended semi automatic strapping machine with a single probe fitted, down which strap is fed thru a pallet void one at a time requiring the unit to be put into the pallet each time a strap needs to be applied. These machines are heavy and can be rather tiring if used for high thruputs.

Electric Pallet Banding Machine

Electric or Battery Powered Ratchet;

A strapping handtool normally used with extruded polypropylene or polyester strapping materials that is generally battery powered i.e. the tension and sealing functions are achieved by operation of levers or buttons or both. e.g. friction weld tools .


Fromm Banding Tool

Friction Weld Strapping and Banding Tools;

Battery or mains powered handtools - push button operation - that produce a friction weld seal by means of two oscillating serrated plates, one either side of the straps in the area where the joint is to be made. Click Here for more information

SBXT-2 Friction Weld Strapping Tool 

Banding Buckle

Banding buckles are manufactured either from steel wire or for lighter applications polypropylene. They are generally used with a simple tensioner on very low thruput applications as they represent the simplest but slowest method of applying strapping materials.


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