January 18


Puncture Resistant Packaging: Four Ways to Better Sewn Fabric Dunnage

By Steve Melito

January 18, 2018

puncture resistant packaging

Puncture resistant packaging supports sewn fabric dunnage that lasts longer and supports the bottom line. In the automotive and heavy truck industries, parts that are designed to lock into place can tear reusable packaging during loading and unloading. Small rips can become big holes, and parts bags that lack sufficient strength won’t last long. Torn fabric dunnage can also fail to protect the parts themselves.

For packaging engineers, puncture resistant packaging starts with analog design. You don’t need a vendor who just looks at your digital files. You need a design and manufacturing partner who loads and unloads sample parts into rack bags. Part drawings contain important information, but going hands-on and off-line will reveal problems like point loading.

Hold-True, a Made in the USA manufacturer of sewn fabric dunnage, specializes in analog design. For puncture resistant packaging, we know that choosing the right base material is important. As this article explains, however, you’ll also need to follow four key design guidelines for protective panels, structural members, bonding, and fabrics.

Protective Panels

Protective panels that are made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) provide protection against point loading and abrasion. Hold-True sews HDPE panels onto parts bags and can recommend the right sheet thickness to use for your application. With steel sun visors and other parts that have sharp metal corners, it’s important to avoid using HDPE sheets that are too light. Otherwise, the plastic can crinkle or bend. If additional support is required, structural members offer a solution.

Structural Members

CON-Pearl® is a structural plastic that’s both strong and lightweight. Unlike Pcorr, a type of corrugated plastic sheeting that’s used with sewn fabric dunnage, CON-Pearl® provides strength in every direction. Depending on the application, Hold-True may recommend using sheets of CON-Pearl® in thicknesses of 3/8” or 1/16”. Thicker sheets aren’t necessarily better, however. If a plastic sheet is too thick, parts like a cabinet with attachment points may dig through.


As some packaging engineers have learned the hard way, it’s difficult to bond HDPE to CON-Pearl® with regular glues. Most bonding agents that adhere to one substrate won’t stick to the other. Even plastic glues don’t work well because the two substrate materials are so dissimilar on a molecular level. That’s why Hold-True uses a specialized glue to achieve strong, reliable bonds. This bonding agent costs more than regular glues, but provides a strong return on investment (ROI).


Finally, Hold-True can incorporate thin pieces of fabric into your fabric dunnage design to support parts loading and unloading. Design houses that only look at digital files can tell you how much a part weighs, but they lack the application knowledge to support ease-of-use for assembly line workers.

Puncture Resistant Packaging from Hold-True

Would you like to learn more about puncture resistant packaging? Do you have questions about reusable packaging materials or costs? To learn more about how Hold-True uses analog design to create sewn fabric solutions that are puncture-resistant, contact us.

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