Strapping tape is a type of tape which is intended for use in shipping. This tape is heavily reinforced so that it will not give way during transit, and it can be used to reinforce shipping boxes, and to seal containers for shipping. It is readily available at mailing centers, dry goods stores, hardware stores, and many drugstores which stock miscellaneous items. It can be a very useful thing to keep around the house.
This tape includes filaments which increase its tensile strength. Fiberglass is a popular choice for making the filaments, since it is a strong and durable material, although some companies use cotton or synthetics. The filaments are typically embedded into the tape, running longwise along the tape to provide support. The tape may be made from clear plastic, in which case the threads can be clearly seen, or brown paper, which sandwiches the filaments between layers of paper and adhesive.
Strapping tape can withstand a great deal of strain, such as twisting, side to side pulling, and tearing. Occasionally, it will tear lengthwise as one of the filaments peels away, but the rest of the tape will be left intact. Some companies make this tape with stamps or markings which can be used in identification, and this type of tape is often used to secure boxes with contents which must be left uncompromised, such as evidence in a criminal case.
Most people find it helpful to use a dispenser with strapping tape. The dispenser holds the tape in place, and includes a cutting blade which is designed to quickly cut through the tape. Most also have handles which allow people to run the dispenser along a box to dispense tape, and then tug down sharply to cut the tape. It is usually necessary to smooth the tape down with the hands after dispensing it to ensure that it adheres to the surface being tapes.
Using strapping tape in shipping ensures that a box will not pop open during transit, which can be a major problem. Strapping tape can also be utilized to reinforce a heavy box, by running strips of tape around the box to help hold it together. There are some other innovative uses for strapping tape, including quickie book repair, in which the tape can be used to create a snug and flexible spine for a damaged book, and securing bundles of loose objects such as curtain rods for transit.