Staple Lumber Packaging
A quick article on how to staple industrial packaging and pallet wrap:
It should be noted there are many ways to fasten goods down on a pallet or skid. While stretch film is the standard for most goods shipping by enclosed vans, industrial packaging shipping by flatbed or rail requires a different approach. Stretch film alone will not suffice in weather and open-bed transport during most cases. This is the reason that many manufacturers of industrial goods turn to woven wrap or poly wrap for protection and advertisement during shipment. For industrial goods using wrap for packaging, there are four main ways to keep wrap secure: staples, strapping, stretch wrap, and heat shrink wrap/film. This quick guide will show the best way to use staples for securing both woven and poly wrap. (There are of course more ways to secure covers, but for now let’s focus on wrap).
The first key to properly using staples as a fastening method with wrap is to remember to make the wrap as tight as it can be on the pallet being shipped. This is one of the most important aspects of packaging for outdoor environments. If there is a lose wrap that waives in the wind, the type, direction and number of staples will eventually fail.
Staples will be less likely to fail with a tight material against the product
being shipped, leaving less material to catch in the wind
and pulling against your fastening areas.
Stapling Different Packaging Materials:
Staple type and material are generally tied. For instance, all woven products from Flexpak have at least an 8x8 weave (8x8 weave means 8 tapes x 8 tapes woven in a square inch), which allows the number of tapes to be covered by a staple to be equal in multiple directions. Though there are many manufacturers providing customers with woven products that have as little as 5x3 weaves, which reduces the number of tapes a given staple can cover when applied, and creates a “best way to staple,” as directional application is then correlated with the weave in a specific direction. There are also nonwoven and extruded films to consider, which require a different approach all together. This film is less resistant to tears, and will require larger staples, or staple tabs to succeed in outdoor environments.
A higher weave count is generally more effective for staples,
as wrap with a lower weave count, or an extruded film,
the use of larger staples or staple tabs are recommended.
Generally larger is better. This sounds fairly basic, but the larger surface area holding down the wrap to the skid or pallet, the more likely the wrap will succeed. This area along the top of the staple is known as the crown of the staple, the two points are known as the legs, and then each leg has a point known as teeth. For general woven wrap, a 3/8” crown x 3/8” leg is a good starting point. If the crown is smaller (the distance between each leg), then the surface area covered/the number of tapes held down in woven will be less. Leaving more pull on the wrap is a specific point of reference.
Bigger Staples are usually better at holding down packaging material.
After size has been determined, as mentioned before, galvanized staples are best for outdoor use.
Round edges in staples are better than flat wire staples. Most companies do not define this part of the staple, but looking at the individual staple in a pack, a flat wire staple will have direct square edges, while a round wire staple will have a curved slope or beveled edges. Rounded staples more effectively hold down wrap, as sharp edges will dig into the surface of the packaging substrate with more ease, creating tears during the shipment process. The next step is to determine the applicator. Pneumatic staplers and hammer staplers are recommended for packaging. If trying to pick out a stapler for packaging, choosing a stapler often used with house wrap is a good start.
A house wrap stapler also works well with packaging materials.
Staple tabs will help keep packaging material fastened tightly and not
Be pulled out with wind.
Direction of Staples:
The direction of staples should nearly always be vertical with wrap. One staple every 12”-18” along the edge is a good rule of thumb for each dimension (height, width, length). Generally staples are only needed along edges of the film at these separations points. End of lumber units requiring paper wrap should only require a minimum of 5-7 staples, and the sides a minimum of 4 staples along the bottom edge (using dimensional 8’ x 48” x 36” tall unit for reference). But, more staples will generally be more effective in keeping a package tight, allowing a product to arrive at the customer’s location without being damaged.
Staples work best when they are vertical on wrap.
That is all for now. Contact Flexpak if there are more questions concerning staples.