Reference Library:
Polychem Product Specifications and Additional Information

Our Frequently Asked Questions

About: Polychem

What is Polychem's Phone Number and Mailing Address?

6277 Heisley Road Mentor, Ohio 44060 P: (440) 357-1500 F: (440) 352-9553

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About: Polychem Sales Policy

MINIMUM ORDER QTY : What are the minimum order quantities for printing, colors, special footages, core sizes?

8 skid minimum.

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LEAD TIMES : What are the standard lead times?

All items shown on price sheets are stocked items. If Polychem is out of a normal stocking item we guarantee shipment in 14 calendar days. Special non-stock item approximately 2 - 3 weeks. Printed strap orders 4 - 6 weeks.

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PREPAID FREIGHT : What is our minimum for prepaid freight?

10,000# for prepaid freight. If less than 10,000 F.O.B. Mentor, Ohio or Santa Fe Springs, California.

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RETURNS : What is your return policy?

Customer must call for a Return Authorization Number. Strap is non-returnable after one year from date of manufacture. When return number is given, Polychem will advise method of return. If return is due to quality issue we will have one coil returned for evaluation. If there is customer error in ordering a 15% restocking charge will apply and the customer is responsible for payment of return freight.

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WARRANTY : What is the warranty on tools? Machines?

90 day warranty on all tools.

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About: Polychem Website

NAVIGATION : How Can I Locate A Product?

Use the Product Search (located in the toolbar above) or call one of our Customer Representatives.

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About: Recycling

Do you have a special recycle program and how does it work?

Polychem has a closed loop PET recycle program. We buy full gaylords of clean chopped PET strapping. For further detail contact our Purchasing Manager, at 1-800-548-9557

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About: Strap Applications

How do you determine the proper number of straps per package?

It is up to the user to evaluate the suitability and safety of the individual application. Today all the "old rules" are changing as polyester is rapidly replacing steel strapping. The proper number of straps depends upon the load characteristics. Is the load shrinking, compressible, rigid, stable, expanding, etc.? How is the load to be shipped? Stored? Where? And for how long? The weight of the load is also important in determining the number of straps and break strength required. If you have a complex problem contact a Customer Service Representative or Polychem Regional Sales person via phone support (Monday-Friday) or e-mail.

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About: Strap Attributes

GRADE : Are there different grades of plastic strap?

Yes, Polychem manufactures two grades of plastic strapping.

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What is the difference between the various grades of strap?

Hand grade strapping is not made to the rigid tolerances required to feed strap reliably through automatic machines. Hand grade may have up to one splice. Semi-automatic grade has no splices and is made to higher tolerances than hand grade. Automatic machine grade strapping is manufactured to the highest tolerances and has no splices.

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What are the different types of plastic strapping?

A. Polypropylene - the most economical strapping.

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GRADE : Will hand tool grade straps work in automatic machines?

It may, but it will not work reliably or efficiently enough to justify the price difference and is not guaranteed by Polychem for use other than hand grade applications.

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What is the difference between polyester and polypropylene?

Polyester retains tension longer than polypropylene and has a more "elastic" effect of keeping shrinking packages tighter. Polyester is also being made to handle heavier loads once only thought to be capable of steel strapping. Polypropylene is used for light and heavy bundling and light palletizing/unitizing application. Polyester is only used for palletizing/unitizing on the heaviest load or loads that shrink or shift significantly.

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How do I identify polyester strap from other plastic straps?

Polyester strap is generally smooth in texture and glossy in appearance. Polyester strap is very difficult to split length-wise, and will sink if a piece (2-3 inches) of it is placed in water. Polypropylene when cut in a 2-3 inch length will float in water.

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STRENGTH : Is strap thickness a reliable indicator to strap strength?

No, not always. Some straps are heavily embossed which increases thickness but reduces weight and strength. Strength depends upon a number of factors so be sure to read the strapping specifications provided by the manufacturer.

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TEXTURE : Why does some strap have a textured surface?

Some straps have a textured (embossed) surface.

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ELONGATION : What are the elongation differences between PP, PET and steel?

1.Polypropylene 5.5% to 25% depending on application.

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CORE SIZE : Why is core size important and why are there so many? How do I measure?

Strapping machine dispensers will only accept the proper core size and they vary by manufacturer. The thinking behind the different core sizes was to create a proprietary market for the consumable strap. This thinking proved false as Polychem makes strapping for all manufacturers equipment in all core sizes. The proper way to measure core size is to measure the inside diameter of the core and the face or width of the core.

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About: Strap Closure

HEAT : What is a heat seal joint?

A heat seal joint is created by an thermoelectric heater blade that melts and fuses two tensioned straps together under pressure.

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FRICTION : What is a friction weld joint?

A friction weld joint is formed by the rapid vibration of two straps under tension creating enough heat to fuse the straps together.

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METAL : What metal seals should be with polyester strap?

Polyester strapping requires the use of serrated faced seals to prevent slippage and provide the most secure seal. It is up to the user to determine suitability and safety of the application.

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STRENGTH : What is the joint strength of plastic strap with a metal clip vs. a heat vs. a friction weld?

It depends upon the type of strap, tool, machine, seal, or buckle. All will give different results depending upon the conditions and equipment used.. Generally one should strive to get 60-80% seal joint efficiency. 80% seal efficiency can be achieved with any of the above methods under the proper operating conditions, equipment, and strap selection.

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METAL : What type of metal seal should be used with polypropylene straps?

It depends upon the tools being utilized and the product being strapped. Generally standard smooth faced seals are used with polypropylene strapping. It is up to the user to determine the suitability and safety of the application.

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About: Strap Orders

QTY : How do I know which products are available in less than pallet quantities and the price?

Polychem prefers to ship all items in full skid quantities but will ship less than pallet on individually boxed items. The items note on the price sheet with an asterisk are shrouded and can be purchased only in full skid quantities. All other items without an asterisk can ship less than pallet. Prices remain the same unless shipping UPS in which there is a $10.00/box extra handling charge, in addition to UPS freight charges which are billed to our distributors.

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About: Strap Machine

ARCH SIZE : When buying a semi-automatic arch strapping machine, how do I determine the correct arch size?

One must first know their maximum and minimum package size requirements. For the maximum package size, the arch machine will require at least two inches each of "play" or clearance at the top and two sides of the arch to seal properly. On the minimum package size, one should have a perimeter (measure around the package as it would feed through the machine) of at least one third the perimeter of the arch opening for best efficiency. When one has these measurements the selection of the correct arch size can easily be determined.

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TROUBLESHOOTING : What causes dust in my machine?

Anytime plastic rubs up against metal plastic dust is produced. This is why we recommend that strapping machinery be "blown out" at the end of every shift with an air hose. Occasionally excessive dusting may be caused by defective machine parts or strap not working property. Also environmental dust or debris such as paper, sawdust, etc. can affect the clean operation of a strapping machine. Extreme cases should use a side seal machine.

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PACKAGE SIZE : When buying a semi-automatic arch strapping machine, what are the minimum package size limits and what about round packages?

4" x 4" for compressible packaged (i.e., printed material, corrugated boxes, etc.)

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COMPATIBILITY : If I buy a machine set for 3/8ths can I use another strap size without major machine changes?

It depends on the machine.

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TROUBLESHOOTING : What information does Polychem want to know from the strap if it does not perform well before the product is returned?


1. The Customer, End User location, product #, quantity shipped, quantity involved and the lot #.

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About: Strap Material Data Safety Sheets

Does Polychem provide MSDS information on polyester and polypropylene strapping?

Yes. Polychem will provide MSDS via e-mail upon request.

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About: Strap Quality

What are Polychem’s quality control procedures on thickness and width?

Polychem performs 18 quality checks on its plastic strapping before, during, and after production.

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About: Strap Tools

Can the same hand tools that use polypropylene be used for polyester?

No, not always, some tools will handle both products efficiently others will not. It is best to read the manufacturer manuals or specification sheets.

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About: Strap Competitors

Will Polychem strap work in a competitor's machine?

Yes, Polychem manufactures plastic strapping guaranteed to run in all manufacturers' equipment.

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CROSS REFERENCE : What info is required to cross reference a strap?

Polychem has developed a product selector guide to cross reference products. You can easily find this feature in the Polychem internet site under (Product Search) located in the toolbar above.

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How can I tell Polychem strap from competitor?

Every coil of Polychem strapping has the numbers 6277 stamped inside the core.

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About: Strap UV Exposure

Does exposure to minimum levels of UV affect strapping?

Not really, but for any product stored outside for a length of time, polyester is the preferred strapping.

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Does color affect the rate of UV degradation of polypropylene strap.

Yes, certain colors have different rates of UV degradation. Check with Polychem for your individual applications.

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© 2011 Polychem Corporation. All rights reserved.
6277 Heisley Road Mentor, Ohio 44060
(440) 357-1500 Fax (440) 352-9553


1-800-548-9557