Shrink Wrap- a material made up of polymer plastic film. When heat is applied it shrinks tightly over whatever it is covering. There
are a variety of uses for Shrink wrap and shrink film. Some common uses
of shrink wrap are for food, gift baskets, boxes, toys, books, soaps,
etc. There are many other applications for shrink wrap that will be
discussed later. Below is a breakdown of the two most commonly used
types of shrink wrap
PVC Shrink Wrap- A
type of shrink wrap used for a variety of applications. The PVC stands
for Polyvinyl chloride. Polyvinyl chloride is the third most produced
plastic in the world. PVC shrink wrap was the most commonly used shrink
film, until replaced several years ago by polyolefin (POF) shrink wrap.
Common Uses of PVC Shrink Wrap- PVC
shrink wrap uses include: packaging boxes, CD and DVD packaging,
software, small canisters, and other non-edible items. PVC Shrink film
is also works very well with automated machines.
Drawbacks of PVC Shrink Wrap- Sealing
Strength, storage issues, and sealing by-products are common drawbacks
of PVC Shrink Wrap. The plasticizer in PVC Shrink wrap hardens in cold
conditions and softens under hot conditions, therefore compromising the
strength of the seal and the plastic. PVC shrink wrap also releases
small quantities of hydrogen Chloride into the air and carbon deposits
onto the sealer. Proper ventilation is required when sealing PVC shrink
Polyolefin Shrink Wrap/Film- A
type of shrink wrap that has become the preferred choice for packaging
products both edible and non-edible. Polyolefin Shrink wrap is preferred
for a variety of reasons including: fewer odors when sealed, stronger
seal, and more flexible storage. Polyolefin shrink films do not have any
chlorine; therefore they do not produce hydrogen chloride gas.
Polyolefin shrink wrap does not have any plasticizers, so temperature is
not an issue. Polyolefin can be stored in a wide range of temperatures
and does not harden and soften in different environments like PVC shrink
Common Uses of Polyolefin Shrink Wrap- Polyolefin
shrink film is used for almost every kind of application. Applications
include: toys, sporting goods, printed wrap, foods, stationary and cards
just to name a few.
Drawbacks of Polyolefin Shrink Wrap- Cost
and machine compatibility are the two major drawbacks of Polyolefin
shrink film. Polyolefin is commonly more expensive than PVC shrink wrap.
Many packagers prefer PVC because of this reason. There are types of
polyolefin shrink wraps that are more compatible with machines, but
Polyolefin machine compatibility has been an issue of packagers.
When Do I use Shrink Wrap and when do I use Stretch wrap?
wrap is commonly used to protect and package a single product, like
toys or a CD. It also is used to help bundle multiple products together.
It is often used to bundle soda, water bottles, and various other
packaged products together.
stretch wrap is used to hold boxes and products together on a pallet
for transportation. It can also be used to hold other objects together
for transportation or storage. Stretch wrap can come in a variety of
specialty films. Some examples are: UV stretch wrap, vented pallet wrap,
anti-static stretch film, colored stretch film, pre-stretched stretch
Is shrink wrap and stretch film recyclable?
Both shrink wrap and stretch film are recyclable. Check with your local recycling center and be sure they accept soft plastics.
Do I need a special shrink wrap machine?
applications require machinery. When using shrink wrap, a heating
instrument will be needed to shrink the film. There are a variety of
instruments to use depending on what you are trying to accomplish.
Common instruments are heat guns, L-Bar sealers, I-Bar Sealers, and
shrink tunnels. Feel free to click on the links to view examples of uses
for each product.
Will a shrink wrap machine cut & seal the shrink wrap all at once?
most shrink wrap sealers cut and seal the shrink wrap film in one
motion. Once sealed and cut, the scraps can be easily peeled away and
heat can be applied to the shrink wrap. The heat will reduce the size of
the shrink wrap film and help to conform it to the product.
Can a hair dryer replace a shrink wrap heat gun?
if you are after a professional look a heat gun is strongly
recommended. The wrap needs to reach 300 degrees Fahrenheit to properly
shrink the film. Shrink wrap heat guns are very affordable. Click on the
link to view our shrink wrap heat guns.
What are shrink wrap bags?
Shrink bags are pre-measured bags commonly made from PVC shrink film and come in a variety of sizes. They offer the ability to place a product or products
within the bag for a quick and easy seal. Shrink bags are used for
packaging a variety of products including: CD's, DVD's, gift baskets,
assorted products, etc. If you are packaging products that will come
into direct contact with food, polyolefin bags are required.
How do I measure for shrink wrap tubing?
Start by measuring the circumference
of the object that will be shrink wrapped. Once the circumference is
identified, add 10% to the circumference. Divide the final number by 2
and that number will be the width of shrink wrap tubing you will need.
If the width of shrink wrap tubing needed is not available, it is fine
to go with a larger size. PVC shrink wrap tubing can shrink up to 40%.
What gauge of shrink wrap do I need?
recommend a 75 gauge shrink wrap for products less than 12 pounds. A
100 gauge shrink wrap is recommended for products up to 30 pounds in
How do I measure for shrink wrap bags?
the product being shrink wrapped around its widest point. Add 10% to
that circumference and divide the number by two. This number will give
you the width of the shrink wrap bag you need.
measure the product to be shrink wrapped all the way around from top to
bottom. Once that number is determined, add 10% and then divide by two.
This number will tell you the length of the shrink wrap bag needed.
Please give us a call at Better Pak for any further questions that we can assist you with.