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Further to the previous answer the number of packages to be strapped and their size have bearing on whether to choose hand tools or a standard machine. Also when we do have many parcels in a short period of time to strap e.g. in the afternoon before they will be handed over to the postal service then a standard machine might be an advantage versus a hand tool.
The number of straps per package is determined by many different factors. Considerations include the weight of the package, configuration, and type of product. We also have to consider a few other factors. What forces are acting on the load? Are there sharp edges or the potential to damage product with strap tension? Unfortunately, there isn't a magic formula to determine the number of straps or the type of strap to use in a particular situation.
Unfortunately, no. With the exception of your dispensers the sealing system is different with polyester, so you'll have to switch to new tools. Keep in mind that for most applications, savings in the cost of polyester versus steel will make up for the cost of new tools in a few months.
It depends, on a lot of factors. However, some general guidelines are:
Steel strap is usually reserved for very heavy loads, greater than 5,000 lbs., for strapping high temperature loads, where plastic would melt, for loads with sharp edges, and for some round objects.
Polypropylene is used for lighter loads, lots of bundling (think newspapers), and carton closing.
Polyester is used for heavier pallets, tight non-compressible loads, like bricks, and as a replacement for steel.
Cord strapping is used in agricultural applications and as a manual way to unitize some heavy loads.
Always work with your local distributor or a qualified expert before deciding what is best for your application.
Again, not an easy question, but here are some general guidelines:
Steel is usually applied with hand tools, either a tensioner and sealer or a combination "sealless" tool, either manual or pneumatic.
Polypropylene is applied with buckles, which do not require tools, with various hand tool, either manual or powered, or by a machine.
Polyester is applied with hand tools, either manual or powered or with an automatic strapping machine.
Cord strapping is sealed with a wire buckle. Cord can be tensioned either by hand or with a manual tensioner.
Again, work with your local distributor or a qualified expert before deciding what is best for your application. Usually, the more your spend up front on application, the less you'll spend on waste, material, and the greater your productivity and "joint efficiency".
Any chain is only as strong as its weakest link. The weakest part of the strap is where it is joined together. At the low end of the spectrum are buckles, which require no tools, but only yield a joint equal to less than half the break strength of the strap. At the higher end of the spectrum, friction weld power tools can produce joints over 80%. Spend the money on the right tool and you can use a lower break strength strap and save money in the long run.
Today, steel strapping is mainly used under rigid conditions and/or for heavy duty applications. Plastic strap made of PP (Polypropylene) is used for lighter applications and lighter packs. Plastic strap made of PET (Polyester) is used for more heavy applications and is, in some cases, a replacement product for steel strap. Automated machines and hand tools for welding (joining) plastic strap together are normally smaller and lighter then for equivalent steel strap.
Stretch wrapping offers good protection for your product and side retention, but has little impact on keeping your product firmly on the pallet, where it belongs. Strapping provides vertical retention and keeps your load firmly on the pallet.
Both processes are used to secure unstable loads. An applied shrink stretch film around the product gives protection against dust, influence of weather and theft. Shrinking normally requires more expensive stationary heat equipment for applying a shrink hood. Stretching on the other side is the application of an expandable film wrapped around a product. Often it makes sense to combine strapping and stretching for most economical packaging purpose.
A friction weld joint is one type of sealing for plastic strapping. It's created by rapidly vibrating the two ends of the strap. The motion creates enough heat to fuse the ends together. It is used by most pneumatic and battery-operated tools, as well as in the strapping heads of most automated equipment.