steel strapping

The Facts on… Steel Strapping

Steel strapping is manufactured from zinc coated or black steel and is primarily used for heavy duty manual strapping applications, such as in the construction materials and timber industries.

Mill wound strapping is oscillated uniformly across the width of the core to maximise the volume of strap that can be fitted on the core. While some steel strapping is mill wound, the additional coil weight makes it extremely heavy.

Ribbon wound strapping is spooled onto the coil with each layer placed directly on top of the previous one, so that the coil is the exact width of the strap.


A strapping tensioning tool securely grips one end of the strap. It uses a ratchet mechanism to feed the other strap end across the top until the required strap tension is reached. The strap is sealed and the tensioner is removed before the sealed strap is cut free of the coil.

Flat tensioners

A flat tensioner such as the extra heavy-duty FPH and heavy duty FP are the best option for tensioning strapping on a flat surface.

Round pack tensioner

A round pack tensioner such as the extra heavy-duty RPH and heavy duty RP are the best option for tensioning strapping on a round or irregular surface.

Seals and Buckles

Steel strapping can be sealed in various ways, using separate metal seals or buckles.

Snap-on Seals

Snap-on seals have symmetrical, non-overlapping wings on both edges of the seal and are more suited to applying seals to a flat surface. Safeguard snap-on seals are available for three strap widths, each defined by the number in the code: SOS13-SG, SOS16-SG and SOS19-SG.

Snap-on seals are recommended for use with the following Safeguard sealers – the numerical suffix indicates the strap width:

  • TS12, TS16 and TS19 single notch sealers are the best choice for easily releasing the sealer from a tightly-tensioned strap
  • DNS12, DNS16 and DNS19 double notch sealers give better seal crimping
Lap-over Seals

Lap-over seals are for heavier duty strapping and are characterised by bilateral wings on both edges of the seal, which overlap at the centre of the seal, and are more suited to applying seals to a round or irregular surface.

They are suitable for use with the following Safeguard sealers – the numerical suffix indicates the strap width:

  • SRD12, SRD16 and SRD19 single notch sealers are the best choice for easy release
  • SAS19, SAS25 and SAS32 are also single notch sealers but feature side action sealing that reduces operator strain
  • DNSA19, DNSA25 and DNSA32 also feature side action sealing for reduced strain and improved double notch seal crimping

Combination Tools

A combination tool tensions, seals and cuts the strap as one tool rather than using separate components.

  • Safeguard TLN13 (13-16mm strap) and TLN19 (19mm strap) are light duty combination tools used solely in conjunction with TLN seals:
  • TLN13S-1000 seals for 13mm strapping
  • TLN16S-1000 seals for 16mm strapping
  • TLN19S-1000 seals for 19mm strapping

Sealless strapping uses a combination tool that tensions the strap, then crimps the two ends of the tensioned strap together in a pattern that holds it as securely as a separate seal. The tool then cuts the sealed strap loop from the coil. This method is faster and cheaper than traditional sealing methods.

  • QST12, QST16 and QST19 sealless combination tools are for regular steel strapping up to 0.6mm thick
  • OHT12, OHT16 and OHT19 tools are for regular and high tensile steel strapping


Steel strapping needs a sturdy, positive shearing action to cut it. Safeguard offers a selection of tools suited to all grades of strapping, from the SSC04 for strapping up to 0.9mm thick and 32mm wide to the extra heavy duty SSC10 which is capable of cutting strap up to 1.3mm thick and 50mm wide.

Operator safety is, however, paramount as the sharp ends of tensioned strapping can be extremely dangerous when the tension is rapidly released as the strap is cut. Safeguard also offer two safer models:

  • The SSC06 cuts steel up to 0.9mm thick and 32mm wide
  • The SSC08 cuts steel up to 1.2mm thick and 32mm wide

Both models feature rubber pads on either side of the blade that continue to grip the strap ends after it has been cut and during the initial release of tension. When the ends are released they have lost much of their spring force.

Strapping Dispensers

Steel banding coils are extremely heavy and once the packaging is removed from the coil it can easily unwind. A strapping dispenser trolley allows it to be easily moved around while keeping the strap on the coil and dispensing the strap smoothly and easily.

Mill Wound Dispensers

Safeguard MW60 and HDMW60 dispensers mount the coil on a threaded spindle between two circular plates. The outer plate is pressed against the coil to keep the strap from unwinding and is held in place by a lock on the spindle. The end of the strap is fed through a guide that constantly holds it at a convenient height for use.

These dispensers also incorporate a tote bin for the storage of seals and tools so that everything needed to carry out strapping is kept together.

Ribbon Wound Dispensers

Ribbon wound strapping coils are coreless so instead of being mounted on a spindle they are placed in an aperture between two plates or frames. The width of the aperture is adjusted to fit that of the strap so that the coil doesn’t unwind and rotates on rollers at the foot of the aperture.

The Safeguard SD32 dispenser mounts the coil across its width and incorporates a tote bin for the storage of seals and strapping tools.

The Safeguard NSD800 has been developed for use in narrow-access situations such as between stacks of timber. To achieve this, the coil is mounted parallel to the direction of travel and the dispenser doesn’t incorporate a tote bin.

Stainless Steel Banding

Stainless steel strapping is primarily used in the construction and installation sectors for insulation, pipework, signage etc. particularly in harsh and corrosive environments. Safeguard stainless steel strap is ribbon wound and is available in three widths: 12mm (SSB12), 16mm (SSB16) and 19mm (SSB19).

Stainless steel strapping uses knock-down buckles to secure the seal with a ball pein hammer. Safeguard knock-down buckles are available for 12mm (SBK12), 16mm (SBK16) and 19mm (SBK19) strap.

All Safeguard® steel strapping, tools and accessories are exclusive to Southgate® and its network of approved distributors throughout the UK and across Europe. For more details call 01553 69 29 69 or email

Popular steel strapping searches on the Southgate web site include:

  • RW13 Safeguard 13 x 0.5mm  x 395mtr black ribbon wound steel strap
  • RWS13 Safeguard 13 x 0.5mm  x 320mtr black ribbon wound steel strap


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