Knowledge Bank

Acid-free tissue

Although not as white as bleached tissue paper, acid-free tissue has a pH value of 6-7 (neutral) and is therefore more suited to archival work and packaging of sensitive surfaces such as precious metals and plated articles.

Acrylic adhesive

Water-based, pressure-sensitive self-adhesive substance resistant to discoloration caused by age and sunlight.

Air pillow void fill

A high-bulk void fill alternative to bubble film, an air pillow system converts a perforated roll of specialist film into fully inflated, sealed air pillows, rapidly and on demand. The pillows feature high puncture-resistance, low compression rate and high recovery rate. Film puncture after use reduces recycling volumes.

Aluminium foil tape

Adhesive-backed solid aluminium foil tape is a technical pressure-sensitive tape used extensively in the construction and installation sectors, offering excellent water and heat resistance.

Anti-slip sheet

Heavy imitation kraft paper, coated on both sides with a non-slip, non-adhesive coating that maintains load stability up to a tilt angle of 45 degrees. The coating's water-repellent properties also reduce the risk of water damage due to capillary action through the load.

Antistatic

Having properties that prevent, dissipate or shield from a static electrical charge that may cause damage to sensitive electronics or create a hazard in highly flammable or explosive environments.

Antistatic charge dissipation

Having a very high electrical resistance and by slow dissipation of any electrical charge, preventing the rapid discharge of electrical energy that can damage sensitive components.

Antistatic charge prevention

Containing or coated with a substance that reduces the risk of tribocharge - generation of a static charge by surfaces being rubbed together or parted.

Antistatic shielding

Use of a conductive metallised laminated layer or surface coating to direct any electrical energy away from the packaging's sensitive contents; also known as the Faraday Cage Principle.

Anvil stapler

Staple gun featuring a jaw with a raised anvil against which the stapling mechanism crimps the staple, enabling obstructions such as the lipped edges of blister packs to be overcome.

Arch strapping machine

With an arch strapping machine, the strap is preloaded onto a vertical arch above the table, under which the package is placed. On activation, the strapping is tensioned, sealed and cut, then reloaded onto the arch. Strap tension can be adjusted but no further adjustment is required between varying package sizes. In their most basic configuration, arch strappers have a static table onto which the operator manually loads the package. Following the strapping cycle, the package may be lifted off the table or pushed through the arch onto a receiving conveyor. More advanced models feature belt driven tables which automatically feed the package through the arch until a sensor detects it is in the correct position to be strapped and the strapping cycle occurs automatically. The powered table then continues to feed the package onto a conveyor system. Multiple sensors enable two or more straps to be applied to a package at given spacing. For heavier packages the belt driven table can be replaced with a roller driven table. These strappers can be used in a semi-automated environment where a packer manually places the carton onto the sealer, or in a fully automated packing line. Arch strappers can also be fitted with a pneumatically powered pre-compression bar, for strapping compressible materials such as corrugated board. This bar expels all surplus air from the package prior to strap tensioning, ensuring a firm result is achieved without damage to the material during the tensioning stage.

Bag neck sealer

A bench mounted pressure-sensitive tape dispenser specifically designed to seal the necks of filled polythene bags, a typical example being bags containing bread, fruit or vegetables. The packer twists the surplus plastic of the bag opening round to create a narrow, airtight neck which is then pushed into the throat of the sealer. As this happens, the sealer mechanism automatically places the tape around the neck and creates a short tail of the two tape ends to maintain the seal, before cutting the tape from the roll and enabling the packer to remove the bag from the sealer. As bag neck sealers are frequently used in food-related applications they are also available in stainless steel and plastic for increased hygiene. Some bag neck sealers also feature an additional neck trimmer. This is a second blade fixed to the side of the sealer that trims excess bag neck from above the seal for a consistently neat finish – particularly useful when a standard-sized bag is used for variable volumes.

Banding tape

Banding tapes are used as a low-tension restraint for printed products, typical examples being for bundling banknotes and attaching supplements to magazine publications. Banding tapes may be made either of plastic or paper, coated with a hot melt layer that activates to create a seal.

Barrier tape

Non-adhesive barrier tapes are printed with high-visibility chevron patterns and used to cordon off hazardous areas on construction and installation sites. These may also be custom printed with logos or specific messages.

Bench clamp tape dispenser

A variation of the bench top adhesive tape dispenser, the bench clamp dispenser may be temporarily fixed in position without tools and leaves no damage to the surface when removed.

Bench top tape dispenser

An adhesive tape dispenser that sits on or is fixed to a bench top, in contrast with hand-held pistol grip tape dispensers. Bench top dispensers may have a weighted, non-slip base to prevent movement during use (particularly in office or commercial environments), but in industrial environments they are often fixed to a horizontal or vertical surface. Bench top dispensers are predominantly used for pressure-sensitive tapes but are also manufactured for water activated tapes and pre-cut labels in roll format.

Bleached tissue

A high-white, lightweight paper tissue, popularly used for protective and presentation packaging of delicate items.

Break strain

The force required to burst a length of strap. Also known as breaking load or burst strength, this is the most commonly-used method of calculating strap strength as it applies to all types of plastic strapping. Break strain calculations don’t take into account the maximum strength of a seal, buckle or friction weld.

Bubble film bag

Open ended bag made from two layers of bubble film (see Plastic film, bubble). Bubble film bags often also feature a self-sealing flap.

Bubble film bag

Two layers of extruded low-density polythene film, one being embossed with a 'bubble' profile and both laminated together to entrap air in the bubbles, thereby creating a cushioned layer.

Bubble lined envelope

Protective mailing envelope constructed from heavy kraft paper lined with polythene bubble film and having a self-adhesive flap seal.

Buckle seal

Buckles only require a tensioner to secure the strap, as the buckle locks the strap into position during tensioning. Plastic buckles are lightweight, corrosion-free and suitable for low-tension use. Metal buckles withstand greater tension and are treated with a matt black sherardised finish for better grip on woven and hot melt polyester strapping, or with a galvanised finish more suited to composite polyester and some extruded polypropylene strapping.

Burst resistance

The ability of an adhesive tape to resist perpendicular forces on a parallel seam or join (compare with shear resistance and peel resistance). For example, packing tape with high burst resistance will give greater protection against the tape being perforated on the join between carton flaps. High burst resistance relies primarily on the strength of the tape material, although without a strong adhesive bond these forces are likely to dislodge the tape from the carton and compromise the seal.

Cardboard shredder

Electrically powered, heavy duty shredders convert used corrugated packaging into easily degradable ‘free’ void fill cushioning and matting or free-flowing chips. This creates a virtually free, environmentally-friendly void fill from packaging waste that might otherwise incur disposal charges. Shredded corrugated board is lightweight and easily biodegrades when added to landfill. Shredded cardboard matting increases the bulk of the cardboard but retains it in manageable sheets that can be neatly wrapped around cylindrical products or used as an interleaving layer. Cardboard chips are more free-flowing than conventional shredded void fill so are more suited to ‘pour and shake’ void filling. Chips can also be used as a very effective pet and equestrian bedding.

Carton stapler

Carton staplers are used to seal the top and bottom flaps of corrugated cartons. They don’t feature the lower crimping jaw of a plier or anvil stapler as there is no access to the other side of the flaps, but instead have jaws in the stapling head that crimp the staple from the outside of the carton. Carton staples are heavier grade than conventional staples and are made of copper for improved corrosion resistance. Carton staplers therefore require more pressure to crimp staples, so are manufactured both as manual and air-powered tools.

Case taper

A machine that applies packing tape (generally pressure-sensitive) to the top and base flaps of cardboard cartons. Case tapers often seal the top and base flaps simultaneously, thereby increasing productivity and workflow. Cartons are manually erected and filled before passing through the case taper; sealing of the base flaps is not required before filling. The case taper may be operated as a standalone unit with a simple offloading conveyor, or integrated within a complete packing line. Where cartons are of consistent width and height, a ‘uniform’ case taper delivers a higher throughput rate as the taping head and side guides are pre-set and locked at the correct position. This is more common in a production line environment. If cartons are of varying size – more typical of an order fulfilment operation – a ‘random’ case taper is more appropriate. This uses sensors to detect the height and width of each carton and adjusts accordingly, but at the cost of a slightly lower throughput rate. Case tapers reduce the risk of repetitive strain injury (RSI) and tape usage in high-volume packing operations, with more consistent taping results. They also utilise high-capacity machine tape that minimises disruption due to roll changeover.

Child Warning Notice bag

Plastic bag with printed instructions on one face, warning of the dangers of suffocation. The bags may also be hole-punched to reduce the risk of suffocation, and are required as packaging that is likely to come into contact with babies and young children.

Closed seal

Primarily designed for plastic strapping on cylindrical surfaces, closed seals feature asymmetrical wings on both edges of the seal, which overlap each other. Strapping must therefore be fed through the seal before tensioning.

Cloth double-sided tape

The use of a cloth backing makes this tape more suitable for a wide range of applications including carpet fitting and heavy duty permanent mounting. The cloth also makes the tape more water resistant, burst resistant and able to cope with flexing of the substrate.

Cloth tape

Another term for laminated polycoated cloth tape, a waterproof and weather-resistant general purpose tape, easily torn without need for a knife or scissors.

Combination tool

A combination tool is a single, manually operated unit that replaces separate tools to tension, seal and cut plastic or steel strapping. A combination tool is ideally suited to straightforward strapping applications as it is fast and compact. If the strapping application is more complex however, it may be preferable to use a separate tensioner, sealer and cutter. A sealless combination tool may also be used for steel strapping, as this punches the strap to create an integral seal and a separate seal component is not required.

Composite polyester strapping

Composite polyester strapping is made from non-woven polyester filaments, coated with plastic to increase abrasion resistance and strap rigidity. Composite strapping is compatible with galvanised steel strapping buckles.

Constant heat sealer

Machine for welding plastic film layers together, with a sealing wire that retains a constant welding temperature while the machine is switched on.

Corner cutter

Retractable safety cutter having two flanges at 45 degrees to the blade, enabling safe and accurate slitting of erected carton corners.

Corner protector

Injection moulded plastic or corrugated cardboard component used to protect vulnerable corners from damage.

Cotton string

An entirely natural product with excellent environmental credentials, biodegradable cotton string is useful in applications where a non-degradable alternative might present problems such as harmful ingestion by animals or wildlife.

Crossweave tape

Polypropylene packing tape reinforced with glass fibre filaments laid parallel to and across the length of the tape for greater burst resistance.

Documents Enclosed wallet

Clear polythene wallet with a self-adhesive slit reverse and silicone release liner, enabling a document to be inserted prior to removal of the release liner. The envelope is applied to a consignment to create a protective pocket for the document during transit, and a printed message on the front advises the recipient of the presence of the document.

Double notch sealer

A double notch sealer applies two creases or 'notches' across the width of a strapping seal to generate the additional gripping power needed for heavy duty applications. A double notch sealer may not be suitable if there is limited access to release the strap following the sealing process.

Double-side tape dispenser

A variation of the pistol grip dispenser, having an auxiliary mandrel to collect the silicone release paper as the tape is dispensed.

Double-sided tape

Pressure-sensitive tape constructed with adhesive on both sides of the carrier and used to bond two parallel surfaces. Double-sided tapes are widely used in industry, construction, flooring installation and display fabrication. Double-sided tapes are generally supplied in roll format with a silicone release liner acting as an interleaf on the roll and facilitating tape application. The silicone release liner is frequently left on the tape following initial application to protect the adhesive until it is bonded to the secondary surface at a later date. in such cases, finger-lift tape can often be useful as it facilitates removal of the backing from a flat surface. Double-sided tapes are produced with a selection of backing materials.

Drawstring bag

Open ended bag with a welded return along both sides of the closure, containing a knotted cotton thread. Once the bag has been filled, the drawstring is tightened and the closure is sealed with a crimping action.

Duct tape

Another term for laminated polycoated cloth tape, a waterproof and weather-resistant general purpose tape, easily torn without need for a knife or scissors.

Edge board

Kraft paper lined greyboard strip with an L-shaped cross-section, used to protect the edges of large consignments from damage and strap chafing, and to enhance pallet load stability.

Edge protector

Injection moulded plastic or corrugated cardboard component used to protect edges from damage or strap chafing.

Enclosed tape dispenser

Used for manual application of packing tape, an enclosed tape dispenser encases the tape roll between two teardrop shaped covers with a hollow centre which acts in place of a mandrel. This design makes the dispenser extremely rugged and protects the tape against damage and contamination, although the risk of repetitive strain injury (RSI) is higher than with a pistol grip dispenser.

Extended core

A standard stretch wrapping film core is approximately the same width as the film, but extended core films are also manufactured for the hand strapping market. The additional length at both ends of the core provides a convenient, comfortable hand hold, enabling the film to be used without a dispenser.

Extruded polyester strapping

Extruded polyester strapping is used as an alternative to steel strapping. It doesn't corrode, so strength is maintained and staining is avoided. It has better memory, so it can expand with movement and contract to its original dimensions, reducing the likelihood of damage. It weighs less, is easier to recycle and presents less risk of injury in the event of the strap being cut or bursting. Extruded polyester strapping is compatible with serrated metal seals.

Faraday Cage Principle

Use of a conductive metallised laminated layer or surface coating to direct any electrical energy away from the packaging's sensitive contents.

Filament tape

Polypropylene packing tape reinforced with glass fibre filaments. Monoweave tape only uses reinforcement filaments laid parallel to the length of the tape, but crossweave tape has additional filaments running across the tape for greater burst resistance.

Filament tape dispenser

A filament tape dispenser features a coarser blade than that used on a conventional tape dispenser, to enable it to cut through the tape's filament reinforcement. Pistol grip, fully enclosed, bench mounted and powered filament tape dispensers are all manufactured.

Filmic double-sided tape

The plastic film carrier of this tape gives improved water resistance in comparison with tissue double-sided tapes. With solvent-based adhesive for a more aggressive hold, filmic tape is widely used for industrial applications.

Finger-lift tape

A double-sided tape with a silicone release liner wider than the adhesive tape. This extra width facilitates removal of the liner following the tape's application to the primary surface.

Flat head cutter

Retractable safety cutter having two flanges at 90 degrees to the blade, enabling safe and accurate straight-line slitting.

Floor marking tape

Heavy duty self-adhesive tape, extruded from solid colour vinyl and with an aggressive solvent adhesive. Used for creating pedestrian lanes and hazard areas in factories, workshops, warehouses and similar environments. Also supplied in high-visibility hazard marking chevron designs, and can be easily applied with a manually operated lane marking tape applicator.

Friction weld tool

A hand held, cordless tool that tensions, seals and cuts plastic strapping without the need for separate metal seals, using friction-generated heat to weld the two strap ends together. A friction weld tool is fast and can be programmed to provide precise and consistent strapping results time after time, and is particularly suited to large and awkwardly shaped loads.

Gaffer tape

Another term for laminated polycoated cloth tape, a waterproof and weather-resistant general purpose tape, easily torn without need for a knife or scissors.

Gas shrink system

Shrink wrapping of large areas using a gas powered heat gun to shrink the protective film. Commonly used to shrink palletised goods and large, irregularly-shaped items.

Grip seal bag

During the extrusion process, profiles are added to the opposing edged of the grip seal bag neck that, when pressed together make a strong but reusable, non-adhesive bond.

Gummed paper tape

Also known as water activated tape, gummed paper tape is manufactured from fully sustainable, 100% recyclable materials which present no landfill issues - natural kraft paper and starch-based adhesives. It is an ecologically-sound alternative to pressure-sensitive self-adhesive plastic tape, offering enhanced consignment security and presentation with cost savings.

Gusseted bag

Extruded from seamless low-density (LDPE) or high density (HDPE) polythene, a gusseted bag has an open neck and folded side gussets held in place by a heat-sealed bottom seam, enabling packing of bulkier items.

Hammer tacker

A hammer stapler features a two-part stapling head joined to a long handle. The lower section is sprung and contains the strip of staples, and the upper section holds the striking head. As the stapler head is struck with force against the surface, the striking section drives the staple from the stapler and into the surface. As the stapler recoils from the impact, the lower section of the stapling head springs away from the upper section and automatically primes for the next blow.

Hook and loop tape

Hook and loop fabric is widely known by the popular ‘Velcro’ trademark and is comprised of two dissimilar but interacting fabric strips that when placed in parallel contact with each other create a firm but reusable seal. The strips may be sewn onto other fabrics or applied to surfaces with a strong pressure-sensitive adhesive backing. Self-adhesive hook and loop is popularly used by the display and manufacturing industries as components can be demountable and repositioned without the use of tools. It is available in tape form and in pre-cut discs and can be manufactured to custom profiles for specific applications.

Hooked blade

Generally incorporated within a multifunction cutter, a hooked blade facilitates the cutting of string and twine, or for slitting a single layer in a stack of sheet material.

Hot melt cord strapping

Hot melt cord strapping is made from non-woven, bonded polyester filaments. Used for general manual strapping, it has a higher break strain and system strength than composite polyester strapping, and is compatible with sherardised steel and plastic buckles.

Hotmelt adhesive

Water-based, pressure-sensitive self-adhesive substance characterised by good initial tack and high shear-resistance.

Hotmelt glue

Solid adhesive in stick, pillow or granular form, requiring heat to activate adhesion and returning to a solid state on cooling.

I-bar heat sealer

Heat sealer for welding a single seam. I-bar sealers may use either constant or impulse heat.

Imitation kraft

Strong paper made from wood pulp digested in an alkaline solution. This dissolves the lignin and leaves behind the cellulose fibres. A combination of virgin and recycled pulp is used to create imitation kraft paper.

Impulse heat sealer

Machine for welding plastic film layers together, with a sealing wire that is only heated to welding temperature during the welding cycle.

Kraft tape

Kraft paper tape coated with a pressure-sensitive self-adhesive layer and used for sealing cartons and packages, and for picture framing. Not to be confused with water activated (gummed) paper tape.

Kraft union

A lamination of bitumen sandwiched between two layers of kraft paper, with excellent water-resisting and UV shielding properties. In packaging, kraft union paper may be used as a moisture barrier between a pallet and its contents, or to line a packing crate for enhanced moisture protection.

Laminated polycoated cloth tape

Also known as cloth, duct or gaffer tape, laminated polycoated cloth tape is a waterproof and weather-resistant general purpose tape, easily torn without need for a knife or scissors.

Lanyard

Sprung or retractable cable enabling small tools to be attached to a belt loop and extended for use, reducing the risk of loss, damage or injury.

Lap-over seal

Used for steel strapping, lap-over seals are made from heavier gauge steel and are characterised by bilateral wings on both edges of the seal, which overlap at the centre of the seal.

Layflat tubing

Extruded LDPE film, manufactured in tubular roll format and used in combination with a heat sealer to create custom-sized bags on demand.

L-bar heat sealer

Heat sealer for simultaneously welding two adjacent seams. L-bar sealers commonly use impulse heat.

Lockable blade

A blade lock permits the user to fix a retractable blade in either an open or closed position.

Loose fill

Particulate void fill such as beads and nuggets made from expanded polystyrene or corn starch, shredded paper and card. Polystyrene is losing popularity due to poor environmental credentials, pre-use storage requirements and disposal issues, while the corn starch substitutes degrade in contact with water.

Low-noise tape

Low-noise tape is pressure-sensitive packing tape with a slow-release adhesive that reduces unwinding noise, popular for use in confined or shared working areas where repetitive noise can be an irritation or distraction.

Machine tape

Pressure-sensitive self-adhesive plastic tape manufactured in high-capacity roll format for use on case taper machines.

Magazine seal

Once a popular choice for high-speed plastic strapping, magazine seals have now largely been superseded by friction weld tools, which don't require separate seal components.

Mailing envelope

Extruded polythene envelope having a self-adhesive flap seal and offering weather protection. An opaque white outer and black inner film may be co-extruded for optimum content confidentiality.

Mailing sack

Three-ply kraft paper gusseted envelope with reinforced bottom seam, for postage of bulkier items.

Masking tape

A multipurpose tape with a crepe paper carrier and solvent adhesive, masking tape (as its name suggests) provides a highly effective barrier to aerosol paints in the vehicle bodywork industry, creating a clean edge, resistant to paints and solvent and leaving no residue on removal. It is also valuable as a low-tack, temporary packing tape or protective layer for intermediate protection of components during the production process.

Mill wound

When mill wound strapping is spooled onto a core, it is oscillated uniformly across the width of the core to maximise the volume of strap that can be fitted on the core. All plastic strapping is mill wound, but because of the high coil weight, steel is more commonly ribbon wound.

Monoweave tape

Polypropylene packing tape reinforced with glass fibre filaments laid parallel to the length of the tape.

News offcut

Newsprint is paper made from mechanical pulp and recycled paper fibre, used for newspaper production. News offcuts are a by-product of the manufacturing process, where the reel ends are cut down to sheet packs.

Non-transfer security label

Plastic label with a printed adhesive layer which delaminates on removal of the label, revealing an 'OPEN VOID' message within the label to show that the seal has been interfered with. Unlike total transfer security labels, no residue is left on the sealed surface so these labels are suitable for reusable packaging and temporary restriction of access to controlled areas.

Open ended bag

Extruded from seamless low-density (LDPE) or high density (HDPE) polythene, an open ended bag has an open neck and heat-sealed bottom seam.

Packing list envelope

Clear polythene wallet with a self-adhesive slit reverse and silicone release liner, enabling documents to be inserted prior to removal of the release liner. The envelope is applied to a consignment to create a resilient, protective pocket for the documents during transit.

Packing tape

Packing tape is most commonly manufactured from extruded plastic with a pressure-sensitive, self-adhesive coating. Kraft paper may also be used with a pressure-sensitive or water activated adhesive.

Padded envelope

Protective mailing envelope constructed from 100% recycled fibre sandwiched between two layers of heavy kraft paper and having a self-adhesive flap seal.

Pallet strapper

Pallet strappers are static units that may be operated independently or integrated into a fully automated line. A vertical pallet strapper uses an arch to carry the strap across the top of the pallet. Once the pallet is correctly positioned under the arch, a horizontal probe feeds through the pallet frame and connects with the foot of the arch on the far side of the pallet. The strap is then fed back to a sensor-activated sealing head, which emerges from the strapping unit to sit against the vertical side of the pallet load. The strap is then tensioned to a pre-set amount, friction weld sealed and severed from the strapping coil. The sealing head and feeding probe retract into the strapping unit and the pallet is free to pass through the arch. Multiple straps may be applied to the pallet before it continues along the line. A horizontal strapping unit feeds the strap around a four-sided horizontal frame, sitting high above the pallet. Once the pallet is correctly positioned the frame is lowered to a selected height and strap tensioning is activated, followed by friction weld sealing. If required, the frame may be moved to a further height for additional strapping, and on completion of strapping the arch rises above the pallet, allowing it continue along the line.

Paper crumpler

A paper crumpler converts paper roll products (generally heavier grade products such as kraft) into high-bulk void fill. Feeding the paper down a chute creates the multiple random creases in the paper that give it added bulk. Paper crumplers are either manually or electrically operated and are suited to low to medium volume void fill requirements.

Peel resistance

The ability of an adhesive tape to resist oblique forces between two bonded layers (compare with shear resistance and burst resistance). For example, packing tape with high peel resistance will give greater protection against removal of the tape and is more likely to leave signs of damage if removal does occur. High peel resistance relies primarily on the strength of the adhesive bond.

Pilferage

Stealthy removal of contents from a consignment, generally in small amounts.

Pin puncture

As stretch film is impervious to air, large bubbles can frequently be entrapped between the layers of film as it is applied to the pallet, resulting in a weaker hold. Pallet wrappers with a pin puncture function alleviate this by puncturing the film at intervals to allow this air to escape.

Pistol grip dispenser

The most popular type of manual packing tape dispenser, characterised by an ergonomically styled handle, tape mandrel, dispensing roller mechanism and tape flap.

Plastic pallet

Plastic pallets are lighter then wooden pallets, particularly when wet as they absorb no moisture. They are also more hygienic as they are easily washed down, less prone to infestation and contamination and present a lower risk id injury if damaged. They do however bear a higher cost and are therefore more popular in an intralogistics environment, where ownership and location can be more carefully controlled, and reuse is common.

Plier stapler

Staple gun featuring a jaw against which the stapling mechanism crimps the staple. Most general and office use staplers are plier staplers.

Polyolefin shrink film

Extruded polyolefin film, formulated to shrink on application of moderate heat. Polyolefin is preferred for its low odour, higher seal strength, better temperature resistance and dimensional stability. It is however more expensive than PVC and less compatible with automated shrink wrap systems.

Polypropylene strapping

Due to the relatively low cost of the raw material, polypropylene accounts for the highest proportion of all strapping used globally. Polypropylene strapping is compatible with most types of metal seals and friction-weld sealing used in automated strapping machinery.

Polypropylene tape

The majority of packing tapes are manufactured using an extruded polypropylene carrier, due to the relative cheapness of this base material, combined with a pressure-sensitive adhesive. Widely available as clear or buff coloured, polypropylene tapes are also available in a range of colours, particularly in the high-capacity rolls used on case taper systems.

Polypropylene twine

Polypropylene twine has excellent weather resistance, although over time it will degrade from exposure to the UV in sunlight, resulting in loss of colour and the fibres becoming brittle and frayed.

Pouch tape

Single layer polythene rectangle on a perforated roll, each having a self-adhesive border and non-adhesive centre to affix documents to a consignment without adhering to the document. A printed border advises the recipient of the presence of the document.

Power stretch

Film may also be pre-stretched on a powered stretch wrapper to elongate the film by up to 300% prior to application. Stretching the film as it is applied rather than using pre-stretched film means that film storage space prior to use is minimised.

Pressure-sensitive adhesive

Requiring only light pressure for adhesion to occur; not requiring heat, water or solvent activation.

Pre-stretched

Pre-stretched film removes additional stretch from the film prior to application, making it more dimensionally stable and removing the need for the operator to apply further tension while applying the film. The film won’t ‘neck down’ (reduce in width under tension) or stretch further following application, so wrapped loads remain stable during storage and transit. Pre-stretching the film also reduces film consumption by up to 50%.

Printed message tape

Some plastic and kraft paper packing tapes are manufactured with pre-printed standard advisory and warning messages such as ‘FRAGILE’ or ‘HANDLE WITH CARE’. These are a cost-effective means of alerting handling personnel to specific precautions that should be taken. Packing tapes may also be custom printed, often with the user’s logo or company name, or with a specific warning message.

Protective layer sheet

Mechanically pulped paper  for interleaving between layers of cartons on pallets and used to augment other means of pallet load stabilisation such as stretchwrap.

Protective sleeving

Extruded low-density polyethylene tubing, moulded in a diamond mesh pattern that enables expansion and constriction of the sleeve. Protective sleeving is used as temporary, reusable protection for fragile products and surface protection of components during processing.

Pure kraft

Strong paper made from wood pulp digested in an alkaline solution. This dissolves the lignin and leaves behind the cellulose fibres. Only virgin pulp is used to create pure kraft paper for maximum strength and resilience.

PVC shrink film

Extruded PVC film, formulated to shrink on application of moderate heat. PVC is preferred for its low cost and higher film clarity, but requires fume extraction during the shrinking process and becomes brittle at lower temperatures.

Reinforced film wrapping

Stretch film is conventionally dispensed as a wide, single layer but can be reinforced by crimping the film together into a narrow band that is as strong as plastic strapping and may be used to provide additional strength to vulnerable sections of the load.

Resealable adhesive

Semi-permanent self-adhesive substance that creates a bond between surfaces that may be broken and remade.

Retractable blade

A retractable blade withdraws into the cutter housing either when contact is lost with the cutting surface, or when the user releases pressure on a trigger or handle; retraction may be spring-activated or manual.

Ribbon wound

When ribbon wound strapping is spooled onto the coil, each layer is placed directly on top of the previous one, so that the coil is the exact width of the strap. Only steel and stainless steel strapping are ribbon wound, as plastic strapping is light enough to be mill wound.

Roll dispenser

Holder and dispenser of large rolls of paper, corrugated, film and foam packaging products; frequently includes a rail-guided slitter or static blade bar and generally mounted above or below a packing bench, wall hung or stand mounted.

Rust inhibitor paper

Kraft paper impregnated with volatile corrosion inhibitors (VCI) that retard corrosion caused by an electro-chemical process in the presence of electrolytes such as water and oxygen.

Sack ties

Sack ties are made from annealed or PVC coated wire, in a wide selection of lengths ranging from 150-350mm. Both ends of the tie are twisted to create small loops. Once the sack tie has been wrapped around the neck of the sack, the loops are attached to the hooked end of a sack tying tool. This tool features a spiral ratchet mechanism in the handle that, when the tool is pulled in a direction away from the sack, rapidly rotates the hooked end and twists the cable tie into an evenly-wound seal.

Safety cutter

Hand held cutting instrument designed for safe usage and pocket storage, generally featuring a recessed or retractable blade.

Sealer

A strapping sealer is a hand-held tool used to apply a steel clip seal to plastic or steel strapping. The seal is placed around both layers of strapping and the jaws of the sealer crimp the seal together to permanently grip the strap.

Sealless strapping

Steel strapping may be joined without a separate sealing component. Using a sealless combination tool, the strap is tensioned then punched through in a pattern that creates an integral seal. This type of seal is far stronger than any achieved with a separate seal, but the weight of the sealless tool makes it harder to use and often separate tools are preferred.

Self seal bag

Open ended bag with the layer on one side protruding beyond the bag neck, creating a folding flap closure which is sealed in position with a strip of resealable, pressure-sensitive adhesive.

Self-adhesive

Coated with a permanently adhesive substance that creates a bond between surfaces. Self-adhesive compounds do not require heat, solvent or water to activate the adhesion, but remain in a semi-solid state.

Semi-open seal

The majority of seals used with plastic strapping are semi-open, characterised by an asymmetrical wing on only one edge of the seal.

Serrated seal

A semi-open seal for use with plastic strapping, having an asymmetrical wing on only one edge of the seal, but also characterised by a serrated surface on the inside of the seal to increase grip.

Shear resistance

The ability of an adhesive tape to resist parallel forces between two bonded layers (compare with peel resistance and burst resistance). For example, packing tape with high shear resistance will give greater protection against bursting due to underfilled or overfilled cartons. High shear resistance relies primarily on the strength of the tape adhesive.

Shrink chamber

L-bar sealer combined with an acrylic chamber containing recirculating hot air, to seal and shrink products in a single operation. A shrink chamber is more compact than a separate sealer and shrink tunnel and only uses heat on demand, but productivity rate is slightly reduced.

Shrink wrapping

Method of enclosing a product in plastic film which, when subjected to moderate heat, shrinks to form a sealed, tightly-fitting package. Shrink wrapping is popular for enhanced presentation, protection against dust and moisture and containment of loose articles and components.

Side action sealer

A side action sealer is used for manual sealing of heavy duty wide steel banding. The crimping jaws are located on the side of the sealing head (on conventional sealers they are located at the opposite end of the head from the handles). This enables the operator to exert far higher crimping force, whilst reducing operator fatigue.

Side seal strapping machine

A side seal strapping machine features a height-adjustable table on which the package to be strapped is placed. The machine automatically feeds a pre-programmed length of strap along a channel in the table surface. This is manually guided across the top of the package and back into the end of the channel, where a sensor detects it and activates the tensioning mechanism. All surplus strap is fed back onto the coil and the strap is tensioned to the correct setting, sealed with a heat weld and severed from the coil. As the package is removed from the table, the next pre-set length of strap is automatically fed along the table channel in preparation for the next cycle. As the tensioning and sealing mechanism is located to the side of the strapping table, it is protected against the ingress of water and particles in a harsh environment such as timber and food processing.

Single notch sealer

A single notch sealer applies a single crease or 'notch' across the width of a strapping seal to enhance its grip on the strapping. Single notch sealing is preferable if there is limited access to release the strap following the sealing process.

Sisal twine

Sisal twine is stronger than cotton string but is still fully biodegradable. It is frequently a popular wrapping material for presentation packaging, particularly where there is a focus on natural, organic, homemade or craft goods.

Slider grip bag

During the extrusion process, profiles are added to the opposing edged of the slider grip seal bag neck that, when pressed together make a strong but reusable, non-adhesive bond. An additional plastic slider is attached to the bag to guide the profiles into each other and ensuring a more secure and consistent seal.

Slitter blade

A blade embedded into the casing of the cutter, prevented from causing accidental damage or injury by two jaws and used for slitting packaging films and plastic strapping.

Snap-off blade

A diagonally segmented strip of steel with a cutting blade along one edge; as the leading blade section becomes blunt, it is snapped off and the strip is extended to expose a new, sharp blade.

Snap-on seal

Used for steel strapping, snap-on seals have symmetrical, non-overlapping wings on both edges of the seal.

Soft wrapping

If an automated system is used to apply stretch film to a square sided pallet load, although the film tension remains constant as it emerges from the system, applied tension will be higher at the corners of the load due to their being nearer to the dispensing head. This can cause distortion and even damage if the tension at the corners is too high. A soft wrapping function compensates for the load profile to provide more consistent applied tension at all areas of the wrap.

Solvent adhesive

Solvent-based self-adhesive substance characterised by aggressive adhesive properties and higher resistance to extremes of temperature.

Stainless steel strapping

Stainless steel strapping is primarily used in the construction and installation sectors for insulation, pipework, signage etc. particularly in harsh and corrosive environments, using knock-down buckles to secure the seal.

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.

Strapping cutter

Strapping cutters are designed to cut steel strapping efficiently and safely, using a shearing action. Cutters for heavier strapping grades have extended handles for increased leverage. When steel strapping is cut under tension, the strap ends release at extremely high speed and can easily cause injury; eye protection should always be worn when tensioning and cutting steel strap. As an additional safety feature, some steel strapping cutters are fitted with soft rubber pads either side of the blades so that release can be controlled.

Strapping tape

A high-strength, tensilised polypropylene pressure-sensitive adhesive tape used as a lower-cost alternative to filament tape.

Stretch film - blown and cast

Stretch film is either blown or cast. Blown film is tougher and more puncture-resistant, and with high film memory it more readily contracts after stretching, so it is better for load retention and stability. Cast film is however clearer, so visual identification and scanning of barcodes through the film layer is easier and it unwinds more easily and quietly from the roll.

Stretch wrap dispenser

Manual stretch wrapping dispensers range from small, single-handed ‘handy-wrap’ dispensers to floor standing pallet wrapping units. The majority of dispensers however are designed for operation with both hands. One hand holds a grip at the end of the roll that can be rotated or counter-rotated to adjust the tension on the core; a higher tension enables the user to exert higher film stretch. The other hand is positioned on an auxiliary grip which is generally positioned in a parallel line to the core, acting to support the roll and provide a counterforce to the pull of the other grip. A ‘bow wrapper’ features a support bar that runs the full length of the core and supports it at each end for more balanced and ergonomic use.

Stretch wrapping

A highly efficient method of securing bundled or palletised loads and protecting against dust and high humidity, stretch wrapping uses a high-elasticity plastic film with memory and self-cling properties. The film is dispensed from a roll and applied either manually or with a turntable stretch wrapper. The film is stretched longitudinally as it is applied to gently compress the contents together and prevent movement, and as the film is rotated around the consignment each successive layer slightly overlaps the previous one, the self-cling property of the film holding it in place.

System strength

The maximum force that a plastic strapping and buckle can sustain in combination. It is only used in connection with a buckle join, not metal seals or friction weld.

Table strapping machine

Popular for low-volume strapping of random-sized packages, a table strapping machine features a flat table on which the package to be strapped is placed. The machine automatically feeds a pre-programmed length of strap along a channel in the table surface. This is manually guided across the top of the package and back into the end of the channel, where a sensor detects it and activates the tensioning mechanism. All surplus strap is fed back onto the coil and the strap is tensioned to the correct setting, sealed with a heat weld and severed from the coil. As the package is removed from the table, the next pre-set length of strap is automatically fed along the table channel in preparation for the next cycle. A table strapper is ideal for strapping bulky or oversized packages as there is no strapping arch to limit the maximum package dimensions.

Tack

Initial tack is the strength of an adhesive's bond immediately following application. Some adhesives have a high initial tack, which is good for high speed packaging applications, but don't allow for repositioning. Adhesives with a low initial tack may maintain low tack and are therefore repositionable, remove without damage or even may be reused. Some adhesives have a low initial tack to allow accurate positioning and a high long-term tack.

Tacker

A tacker stapler features no anvil or upper crimping mechanism as the staples are driven into the surface with the staple legs remaining vertical. This enables the staple to gain better hold on thicker surfaces and facilitates the easy removal of staples with minimal surface damage. Tackers are used in the packaging sector to secure lining sheets and labels to pallets and crates, but have wider usage in other sectors including carpet fitting, upholstery, insulation and display.

Tamperage

To deliberately damage, modify or contaminate a product. Tamperage of pharmaceutical and food products may be to maliciously cause harm; tamperage of machinery or electronics may be to bypass safety measures, access restricted areas or modify settings.

Tamper-evident

Tamper-evident measures feature an indicator or barrier that if broken or removed, provides visible evidence that tamperage has occurred. Commonly used in food, pharmaceutical and electronics industries and for high value consumer goods as an anti-pilferage measure.

Tape backing

The base material used to create a tape. In the case of packing tape this is often polypropylene, vinyl or kraft paper. A wide selection of backing materials is used for technical tape, including aluminium foil, polycoated cloth and crepe paper. Most double-sided tape has a backing that supports the adhesive coating. On some products this may even function as a barrier between two adhesives with different properties. The most commonly-used materials for backing are tissue paper, crepe paper, plastic film or foam and cloth. Transfer tapes have no backing but rely on the release liner for support until applied.

Tape carrier

Another term for tape backing, the carrier is the base material of a tape, coated with adhesive and sometimes fixed to a silicon release paper liner.

Tape liner

An additional layer used on some self-adhesive tape to separate the adhesive layer from the backing of the tape on the previous layer. Most self-adhesive tape does not require a liner as the adhesive and backing are formulated to only allow a temporary bond.

Tensioner

A strapping tensioner is a hand held tool used to apply tension to plastic or steel strap and maintain that tension until a seal has been applied and crimped. Once the free end of the strapping has been passed around the consignment, it is gripped by a small foot on the tensioner and the other end of the strap is fed through a lever operated windlass. A ratchet mechanism enables tension to be applied to the strap with a rapid oscillating movement of the tensioner lever and holds it in place to allow the operator to apply and crimp the seal, using a strapping sealer (if buckles are used, a sealer is not required). Once the seal is complete, the ratchet and gripper on the tensioner are released and the tensioner is separated from the fitted strap.

Thumbnail cutter

A blunt, hard protrusion on the head of a cutter handle, used to puncture a tape seal without damaging the contents.

Tissue double-sided tape

The most popular double-sided tape for general purpose applications, as the tissue paper carrier is easy to tear to length.

Total transfer security label

Plastic label with a printed self-adhesive layer which delaminates on tape removal, leaving behind an 'OPEN VOID' message to reveal that the seal has been interfered with.

Total transfer security tape

Plastic packing tape with a printed self-adhesive layer which delaminates on tape removal, leaving behind an 'OPEN VOID' message to reveal that the seal has been interfered with.

Transfer tape

This 'double-sided' tape has no carrier material, but is simply a solid layer of adhesive applied to the silicone release liner which acts as a temporary carrier until the tape has been applied.

Transit monitor

An electronic or mechanical device that provides visible evidence that mishandling has occurred in the form of tilting, dropping, shock, temperature or humidity variation etc.

Treadle stapler

Treadle staplers are designed for stapling the bottom flaps of deep corrugated cartons prior to filling, and to enable this they have a tall anvil that extends almost from floor level to a standard working height for a standing operator. The stapling head rises clear of the anvil to allow easy loading of the folded carton, and once the carton flaps have been aligned on the anvil a foot pedal is depressed to lower the stapling head and complete the stapling cycle. This means that the operator has both hands free to align the flap and hold the carton steady during stapling. For higher volumes, a pneumatic version replaces the mechanical treadle action with a compressed air cylinder activated by a foot pedal.

Tribocharge

Generation of a static charge by surfaces being rubbed together or parted.

Turntable stretch wrapper

An automated or semi-automated machine for applying stretch wrapping film to palletised consignments, particularly useful in higher volume environments. A fork lift truck or pallet truck is used to position the pallet on the turntable and the leading edge of the stretch film is manually secured to the pallet. As the turntable begins to rotate, the stretch film is released from the roll at a constant, pre-selected tension to evenly secure the palletised load. The film carrier head also follows a pre-selected vertical path, placing the film evenly from the head to the foot of the pallet. Advanced turntable stretch wrappers can also be programmed to perform more complex wrapping patterns, with greater film coverage at more vulnerable levels. A film power stretch function pre-stretches the film as it is applied to the pallet, resulting in significant film usage reduction. Primary advantages of a turntable system are uniform stretch wrapping results, faster processing in a busy environment and greatly reduced operator fatigue.

Underground warning tape

Non-adhesive, heavy gauge printed tapes used by the construction industry in the installation of buried cables and pipes. These high-visibility, colour-coded, solid colour plastic tapes are printed with a repeat message, warning of the presence of utilities immediately below the tape.

Vacuum heat sealer

An I-bar sealer combined with gas flushing and air evacuation to modify the environment within a sealed pack and reduce the risk of decomposition or corrosion.

Vinyl tape

Vinyl is a superior alternative to polypropylene as it is both stronger and more resistant to extremes of temperature, making it highly suitable for freezer and cold store environments, particularly when combined with solvent adhesive. Vinyl tapes are also manufactured in a wide range of colours.

Void fill

Any of a number of high-bulk materials used to fill spaces between cartons and their contents, to prevent movement and provide cushioning.

WAT

Water activated tape, also known as gummed paper tape.

Water activated adhesive

Starch-based adhesive used on gummed paper tape, requiring water to activate and returning to a solid state when dry.

Water activated tape

Water activated tape is manufactured from fully sustainable, 100% recyclable materials which present no landfill issues - natural kraft paper and starch-based adhesives. It is an ecologically-sound alternative to pressure-sensitive self-adhesive plastic tape, offering enhanced consignment security and presentation with cost savings.

Water activated tape dispenser

A water activated tape dispenser may be as simple as a metal-framed dispenser with water trough to a full system. More sophisticated electronically programmable powered systems enable the operator to pre-programme a set sequence of tape lengths so that uniformly-sized cartons can be sealed at high speed and with optimum tape usage. An add-on scanner can detect carton size and automatically dispense tape to the correct length. Electronic systems also preheat the water, supplied from a high-capacity integral reservoir, to accelerate activation of the adhesive. Water activated dispensing systems are very popular in the order fulfilment industry, where carton packing and sealing is less automated than in a production environment and versatility is essential to cater for a wide range of consignment sizes and shapes.

Waxed kraft

Lightweight kraft paper impregnated with wax to provide a grease- and waterproof protective wrapping paper.

Wooden pallet

Wooden pallets are widely used in storage and distribution as they are cheap to make without specialised machinery, are constructed from renewable materials and can easily be repaired and reused if broken. They are however less hygienic, which raises issues in some industries.

Woven cord strapping

Woven cord strapping is made from bidirectional woven polyester filaments. It is used for general manual strapping and is compatible with sherardised steel and plastic buckles.