Metal strapping is an indispensable material found on almost every construction site. Its versatile nature allows it to be used for securing, bundling, hanging, and bracing a wide variety of items. From lumber to drywall to HVAC ductwork and pipes, many job sites would come to a screeching halt without the strong grip and adjustability that metal strapping provides.

application

Uses of Metal Strapping

Metal strapping plays roles across all stages of construction projects. Here are some of the most common and important uses of this convenient, strong, and cost-effective material:

Structural Bracing and Framing

One of the most utilized purposes of metal strapping is to add secondary support and reinforcement to wooden frame construction. Strapping helps prevent buckling and bowing under load when attached diagonally, vertically, or horizontally to wall studs, floor joists, rafters, and trusses. This supplemental bracing is often required to meet necessary sheer strength standards and building codes.

Securing HVAC Ducts and Plumbing

Hanging ductwork, large pipes, and conduit is made vastly easier, faster, and adjustable with metal strapping. Simply attach appropriately sized strapping in hanging strips or struts to the underside of floors and ceilings. Then securely suspend ducts and pipes of varying sizes to exactly where they need to run. When access or relocation is later required, non-permanent strapping allows for relatively simple repositioning.

Material Handling and Bundling

Moving loads of building products like lumber, drywall, siding, rebar, and more through various stages of the construction process requires efficient stacking, loading, and transport. Metal strapping binds such materials into secure, stable, portable bundles and crates so they can be easily lifted, shifted, hauled, and stored without falling over or breaking loose.

Concrete Forming and Reinforcing

In poured walls, footings, slab edges, columns, and beams, metal concrete ties made of strapping hold forms firmly in place so concrete takes its intended shape before curing. Strapping also makes handy horizontal and vertical rebar positioning aids to ensure proper strength and internal reinforcement of concrete members.

Types of Metal Strapping

While all metal strapping accomplishes the same basic functions, the exact type used depends on the specifics of its intended application. Common options include:

Galvanized and Stainless Steel

The go-to for most general indoor, outdoor, wet, and corrosive areas. Galvanization or stainless steel coatings prevent rust and corrosion which helps extend service life. Typically available in light, medium, or heavy duty thicknesses.

Copper and Aluminum

Used when electrical conductivity and/or heat resistance is beneficial. Non-magnetic properties also allow use near sensitive equipment. Manageable stiffness makes copper and aluminum strapping ideal for wiring harnesses too.

Mild Carbon Steel

Most economical option when corrosion resistance is not a factor. Can be found with or without coatings to match durability needs. Higher tensile varieties Used when very heavy loads require added strength.

Tool-Applied and Seal Joint

Comes in both tool-applied and seal joint versions. This allows strap joints to be rapidly sealed either sequentially in the field with a portable sealer, or pre-assembled for quick reliable installation.

Pros and Cons of Metal Strapping

Let’s weigh some of the key advantages strapping offers against a few potential drawbacks:

Pros

  • Inexpensive & readily available
  • High tensile strength
  • Easily adjustable
  • Customizable lengths
  • Corrosion-resistant coatings
  • Electrically conductive options

Cons

  • Requires tools to tension & clamp
  • Can be punctured by sharp edges
  • Provides less shear resistance vs. framing
  • Requires knowledgeable layout

Best Practices for Working With Strapping

Those new to utilizing metal strapping would benefit from keeping these essential handling guidelines in mind:

  • Carefully calculate required strap strength & spacing
  • Use corner protectors to prevent damage
  • Tension appropriately; too loose fails, too tight damages material
  • Maximize longest available lengths to minimize splices
  • Maintain 1 1⁄2” minimum bend radius
  • Inspect condition frequently

Following such standards helps optimize reliable performance while avoiding unnecessary failures.

In summary, this ubiquitous product provides an inexpensive, custom-fit, quickly installed solution for securely lifting, fastening, reinforcing, bracing, and bundling items central to construction projects. Properly leveraging metal strapping’s versatility and strength in the right applications continues it’s long tradition as an essential go-to material from commercial high rises to residential remodels.

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Justin Wong

Justin Wong

Hi, I’m Justin, the technical engineer of Jiangmen Masters. We’ve been running a factory in China that makes metal hanger strap for 16 years now, and the purpose of this article is to share the knowledge related to metal hanger strap from a Chinese supplier’s perspective.