The Importance of Banding
Before we get into the "how" of steel banding, we should probably talk about what it is and why we do it. Steel coil bands have been around for a long time, and for good reason. Putting bands on metal coil makes the coils easier to handle, prepares them for shipping, and keeps workers safe at the same time. At Mead Metals, we ensure that our coils are properly banded to save our customer time and effort in the future. Whether it's on stainless or cold rolled steel, we usually put metal bands on our products to save you some hassle.
Steel coil bands can do everything from combining materials to stabilizing, holding, reinforcing, or fastening the material in question. When a metal is rolled, it needs to be fastened together to prevent the roll from unfurling. Steel coil bands are as tough as nails and won't fail you during shipping or storage. In fact, steel coil bands are the oldest method and have the highest tensile strength out of all forms of strapping. Our banded metal coils are often made of steel when high strength and minimal stretch are desired.
To band or not to band
Sometimes customers ask us if they should band their metal coils or not. The only time you shouldn't be banding your coils is if you don't plan to store them or ship them somewhere. For most customers, that means you should definitely be putting bands on metal coils. Steel coil bands are an easy way to guarantee that your products stay in the same shape you bought them in.
If your project doesn't require banded metal coils or is actively seeking to avoid them, then they're definitely optional. Given that most projects involve moving and storing materials, they've become a staple in the metal industry. Mead offers them on all rolled products because most customers need them.
Common banding materials
For a long time, steel banding was the only option for securing loads of materials or tethering one material to another. Nowadays, there are a whole lot more options for someone who may not prefer steel coil bands when given other options. Banded metal coils can be bound with polypropylene, polyester, nylon, woven, corded, paper, and composite bands.
What's the difference? Each material has different prices and strengths. For instance, nylon has the greatest strength of any plastic bands, but it's often not used because it carries a weighty price tag. If you're worried about safety during the process of removing steel coil bands, you might invest in corded or woven materials which are less likely to injure a worker during the removal process. Composite isn't affected by climate, making it easy to ship to warmer and colder climates.
Making a choice between materials depends heavily on the logistical journey of your products. Whether you pick the industry standard of steel or something with a little extra impact absorption like polyester, making the choice heavily depends on your needs. No matter which material you choose, know that quality is our priority when delivering your products.
How do they do it?
During the banding process, the metal band is placed on the product roll and tensioned. After the steel coil bands are placed around the roll and sufficiently tensioned, the strap is sealed to itself. There are a couple of different methods for joining the strap to itself. The strap can be sealed using a seal and notch joint, a seal-less joint, a seal and crimp, or sealed via welding.
Special equipment can also be used to assist with this process. A banding machine can be used, which fastens the band around the roll automatically. In some cases, a team may use hand tools to do the same process. Regardless of equipment, each piece of technology has been designed to reduce the amount of damage done to the roll and produce consistent joints while bonding the band to itself.
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