What is Strapping Tape?

stack of branded packing tape rolls

What is Strapping Tape?

While top-selling packaging tapes like polypropylene, PVC, and kraft paper tape often get all the glory, other lesser-known varieties have unique and noteworthy advantages that are worth a second look. One such variety is strapping tape, also known as filament tape. In this article, we’ll reveal the most frequent questions our customers ask about strapping tape to help you learn more about this utility-grade packaging solution.

After reading this article, you’ll discover the answers to the following:

What is strapping tape?

What is strapping tape made of?

How does strapping tape work?

How is strapping tape used?

What are the customization options?

If you’re ready to explore the ins and outs of heavy-duty strapping tape, let’s get started.

What is strapping tape?

First patented in 1956 by a scientist working for Johnson & Johnson, strapping tape is the same as filament tape, a utility-grade tape named after its embedded fiberglass filaments that lend exceptional strength and integrity. High tensile strength is the central feature that distinguishes strapping tape from most other types of packing tape. In addition to being stronger than alternative tapes, strapping tape’s rubber adhesive forms a long-lasting bond that makes this tape well-suited for many heavy-duty applications.

What is strapping tape made of?

Strapping tape is made of tensilized polypropylene, polyester yarn, or glass yarn filaments for reinforcement. It has a synthetic rubber adhesive, a beneficial feature when you need your tape to form a long-lasting bond.

boxes sealed with branded packing tape

How does strapping tape work?

Like polypropylene and PVC tape, strapping tape is a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) tape with a sticky backing that adheres to surfaces when you apply light pressure. In this way, you get the same convenience and ease of use of traditional tape, with the added benefit of powerful strength for heavy-duty utility applications. A split- and crack-resistant backing, as well as moisture- and solvent-resistant properties, round out the many durability-focused benefits of choosing strapping tape.

How is strapping tape used?

Strapping tape is much stronger than traditional adhesive tapes, making it the best choice for heavy-duty packaging applications, such as:

– Bundling packages

– Closing cartons

– Reinforcing packages

– Unitizing loads

– Securing loads during transit

However, you can apply the exquisite strength of filament tape to many other heavy-duty packaging applications that call for a smart and sturdy solution.

What are the customization options?

Our strapping tape, or filament tape, is clear and available in 60-yard lengths. There are many ways to customize this packaging tape to meet your application and branding requirements, such as:

tape rolls being printed with branded logos

Width – Choose either a 2” or 3” width, depending on which dimension works best with your packaging application.

Number of ink colors – Select one, two, or three ink colors to design your filament tape to reflect your company’s brand and message. Whether you’re going for a bright and bold look or something more minimalist, check out the tips in our recent article on designing the look of your box with custom packing tape.

PMS inks – Choose from 11 standard Pantone Matching System (PMS) ink colors, including black, white, reflex blue, process blue, red, green, orange, yellow, burgundy, gray, or brown. Or, use our PMS color-matching capabilities to select an ink that best aligns with your desired color scheme.

Reverse print – If you’re looking to create a design that displays the opposite background and foreground colors, go for the reverse print customization option. Because it’s a specialty process, extra surcharges may apply.

Flood coat – Finally, select flood coat to achieve a look where the ink coats a larger surface area of the tape. Just like a reverse print, extra surcharges may apply when you choose this filament tape customization option.

As we explored in this article, strapping tape, or filament tape, is an easy-to-use custom packaging tape designed to stand up to your most demanding strapping jobs. If you’re interested in learning more about filament tape or its customization, please contact us!

What is Filament Tape?

Filament tape is a utility-grade packing tape designed for heavy-duty strapping applications. It’s named after the embedded fiberglass ‘filaments’ that add strength and integrity. Filament tape is considered a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) tape marked by its sticky, or tacky, backing that adheres to a surface with light pressure, as opposed to a heat-sensitive or water-activated tape that requires heat or water for activation. 

In this article, we’re taking a deep dive into the fundamentals of filament tape, starting with a brief history and finishing with the best ways to maximize its utility and boost your brand exposure.

A brief history of filament tape

The complete history of filament tape is not well documented, but we have a few clues about its origins. It all started in 1846 when a surgeon named Dr. Horace Day first developed PSA tapes. While several advancements to the form and function of adhesives surfaced after this discovery, including two milestones by German inventors, filament tape didn’t emerge until a century after Dr. Day’s initial breakthrough. 

Experts believe that a Johnson and Johnson scientist named Cyrus W. Bemmels invented filament tape in 1946, presumably to provide a utility-grade PSA solution for heavy-duty applications. Today, filament tape is a thriving packaging tape for specialty applications that depend on durability and strength. 

How is filament tape different than traditional packing tape?

Thanks to the embedded fiberglass filaments, filament tape is not your run-of-the-mill adhesive packing tape. It’s much stronger and forms a longer-lasting bond. When you think of filament tape, the following are a few features and benefits to keep in mind:

  • Utility grade for heavy-duty applications
  • High tensile strength
  • Stronger than traditional adhesive tapes
  • Split- and crack-resistant backing for integrity
  • Synthetic rubber adhesive for a long-lasting bond
  • Resists moisture and solvents

While traditional and more commonly used packing tapes like polypropylene and PVC have their place, filament tape is the leading choice when you need long-lasting and heavy-duty durability.

What are the best uses for filament tape?

Tape Dispenser

Filament tape is most often used to close corrugated boxes, but heavy-duty applications are where it truly shines. Heavy load? Weak box construction? Filament tape is the wisest choice. The inherent high tensile strength is especially useful for:

To apply filament tape, you will need a handheld dispenser specifically for strapping or filament tape. The dispenser will be fit with a blade meant to slice the filaments in the tape. 

Is custom printed filament tape worth it?

In this article so far, we’ve highlighted the practical advantages of heavy-duty filament tape. Still, there’s more to the story if you want to fully leverage the power of this tape. When custom printed with your company’s logo or design, filament tape expands beyond its utilitarian value to provide a host of other benefits.

As we covered in our article on using custom packing tape to create an unforgettable unboxing experience, all types of printed tape can make significant strides in advancing your branding and marketing campaigns by:

  • Enhancing brand exposure and awareness
  • Increasing customer loyalty
  • Earning a competitive edge
  • Landing more business 

And because custom printed filament tape can help secure the heaviest of shipments, it becomes both a useful and cost-effective packaging solution as well as a savvy marketing tool.

Filament tape is just one of the many types of top-selling custom packaging tapes you can order from us. We’re also your affordable source for custom printed polypropylenePVCpaperflat back, and hi-tack freezer tapes that help tell your brand story. Which packaging solution will you choose? Reach out to our sales and design professionals for help selecting and designing custom printed tape you’ll be proud to show off.