Steel to Polyester Strapping Conversion

Steel strapping has been the standard choice for securing loads in many industries for quite some time.  It can handle extremely tough products and applications including securing items to pallets, securing wide loads for transportation on semi-trucks, bundling items together, and more.  Despite its widespread use, there are very few applications today that still require the use of steel.  This is why many companies are looking for cost-effective and safe alternatives to steel strapping.

Some key disadvantages of steel include:

  • The coils are heavy, posing risks to your employees when handling them.
  • Risk from limited supply.  Steel strapping prices continue to increase following the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Damage to your products.  Steel strapping can scratch and dent surfaces.
Tycoon® Speed polyester strapping

Polyester vs. Steel Strapping

Polyester strapping, commonly referred to as PET, has grown in popularity across many industries and applications.  GAP-CO prides itself on being an expert in steel to polyester strapping conversions, with many successful conversions across the United States.  We supply only the highest quality polyester strapping for our customers, which comes with its own unique benefits in addition to those inherent to polyester.  With Teufelberger’s patented additive, we can guarantee that our PET Strapping will outperform the competition.

Polyester strapping retains its tension much better than steel due to the strap’s memory properties.  Polyester strapping acts similar to a rubber band, continuing to apply pressure to the load and securing it in place during transportation and unexpected jolts.  This will keep the strap tight even if objects shift after being secured.  Steel strapping on the other hand, loses tension if the load shifts unexpectedly.  This can lead to telescoping of your products and other liabilities during the product’s transportation.

Friction weld technology on polyester strapping tools also provides many benefits to steel strapping. Battery tools like our ZAPAK ZP97A combo tool are able to cut, tension, and weld PET strapping with an easy two-button operation.  This allows you to remove buckles or seals from your application, increasing your cost-savings even more.

Polyester Strapping Advantages

  • More feet per coil compared to steel.
  • Lower cost per foot compared to steel.
  • High impact resistance helps prevent broken straps.
  • Polyester is much lighter than steel, allowing for easier coil handling.
  • It will not scratch or mar your products like steel.
  • Reduces your injury risks and liabilities compared to steel strapping.
  • Tools for polyester are more cost-effective and easier to maintain.
steel strapping alternative

Calculate PET Strapping Cost Savings

Calculating the savings of switching from steel to polyester is very straightforward, although there are some considerations to take into account.

Steel strapping weighs more than PET strapping.  This will cause increased freight rates.  Freight savings from the lighter PET strapping will have an immediate impact on your bottom line.

When converting from steel, it is also important to consider the joint strength of the polyester strapping that you’re switching to.  It is possible that you can down-gauge to a smaller strap to increase the savings even further. 

The weakest link of polyester strapping applications is the joint strength.  In order to safely convert over to polyester, we must focus on providing the right breaking strength for the replacement strap.  GAP-CO’s packaging specialists are experts in identifying the right breaking strap for your current applications.

You can quickly and easily calculate your potential savings using this formula to compare the total cost of steel vs. polyester strapping.

Cost per coil / Feet per coil = Cost per foot


Interested in making the switch?  Contact Us Today for a free packaging audit and one of our strapping professionals will be happy to assist you.