Stretch Wrap

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Want to know more about Stretch Wrap
Although outwardly similar, stretch wrap and shrink wrap work differently. Stretch film relies on the tension generated by pulling or stretching the film to hold products in place, while shrink wrap achieves its strength by shrinking when applying heat. Packaging strength directly relates to film thickness, which is why pallet wrap film is heavier than the type used on small packages.

Choosing between pallet wrap and shrink film

Manufacturers use shrink wrap film such as PVC and polyolefin for retail packaging. This film is particularly useful for packaging products such as beverages into strong, easy-to-carry packs. Stretch wrap secures retail packs and other shipping boxes onto pallets for transportation. Hand-applied options are common for light loads, while machine-applied stretch wrap is best for heavy items. Polyethylene pallet wrap stretch film extends by as much as 300 percent and is dust, moisture, and tamperproof.

Using packing shrink wrap

Protect products against the forces exerted by wrapping and use bubble wrap to protect fragile goods before applying heavy-duty shrink wrap. If shipping large items packaged in cardboard, use packing tape to securely seal the containers so they don't distort from the tension applied by stretch or shrink wrapping. These products are necessary to always have stocked in the shipping supply closet, as they are one the most convenient of supplies to protect and keep items together during transit.

Stretch and shrink wrap gauge

The gauge or thickness of stretch and packing shrink wrap provides a good indication of its strength. The thinnest, readily available film is 50 gauge (5 thousands of an inch), which people typically use to cover food products in the retail sector. Stretch film starts at 60 gauge and goes right up to heavy-duty, 120 gauge, and individuals use it for securing loads of up to 2,500 pounds.

Stretch wrap cores

Film used in shrink and stretch wrapping is wound onto cardboard cores. The stretch film used in machinery has a core width that's the same as the film. The length and width of this film relate to the application and are longer and larger than those used for hand wrapping. Items intended for manual application use a core that protrudes from the roll of film, and this fits onto a rotating handle to simplify hand dispensing.

Common stretch and shrink wrap brands

Before ordering these shipping supplies, it's crucial to select the right film for the intended application. Shrink and stretch film are not interchangeable. The width and thickness determine the stretching force that people may apply. If necessary, check detailed product specifications prior to ordering. Common brands of shrink and stretch wrap film stock include:

  • Goodwrappers®
  • Quill Brand
  • InterTape™
  • 3M™
  • Staples®
  • Super Sealer®

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