Stainless Steel Banding vs. Polyester Banding: Which is Right for the Job?

When they are moving large bundles of materials or parts over long distances, businesses usually use some kind of strapping or banding to hold the loads in place. But there are several different materials companies can use to make the straps hold down the loads, including steel, polyester, rubber, polypropylene, and nylon.

Here is what you need to know about a stainless steel band versus polyester banding and which material is right for the job:

Steel strapping

Steel strapping is a high tensile strapping, created with different types of steel alloys. Steel strapping has the highest break strength of all of the most common strapping materials, which means that it can hold the heaviest loads together without breaking.

Steel strapping tends to be a great material for holding materials or parts together with hard corners and sharp edges, including l-beams and steel plates, that can cut into softer materials. The rigidity of the steel material makes it an excellent option for holding loads together that are not prone to settling, since the steel is not likely to lose its shape.

That being said, the rigidity of the steel can cause problems with loads that can settle or expand over the course of a shipment. For example, wooden logs can settle or expand, which causes the load to loosen or the wood to chafe and crack.

Polyester strapping

Polyester strapping is fairly different from steel banding. Polyester banding, unlike steel banding, will elongate and contract along with a shifting load, making the polyester more flexible and adaptable to loads that can shift or settle during shipment, like wooden logs. Since polyester is a softer material, it is also less likely to abrade parts or materials than steel is.

On the other hand, the increased softness and stretchiness means that the polyester bands are much less durable than the steel bands. Objects with sharp edges, like l-beams and metal sheets, are more likely to cut through polyester banding during the transit process. These loads require the use of edge protection pieces.

Many manufacturers choose to use polyester banding over steel banding, because of the cost and the ease of handling. Polyester banding is significantly less expensive than steel bands and less prone to fluctuations in cost. Polyester bands are also fairly easy to place and remove, compared to steel, and they have less risk of severe injury to novice users.