Debunking Shrink Film Terminology: A Quick Guide

Shrink Film Shrink Film comes in different shapes, sizes, widths, gauges, etc. All of these types are made for specific purposes and specific applications within packaging operations. Below is a quick guide to different types of packaging shrink film or shrink wrap:

Polyolefin Center Folded Shrink Wrap

Commonly used for shrink wrapping reams of paper, books, or any small part of group of parts. This film will generally work well on any brand and most models of semi-automatic or automatic “L” Bar Sealers. The Item must be fully sealed in the film some type of air vent installed and then shrunk with a heat gun or shrink tunnel. Some films can also be used in food applications that require FDA approval for direct food contact. Polyolefin is very high clarity film with shrink properties that cause the film to shrink 15-20% in all directions. Available stock in 45, 50, 60, 75, and 100 gauge.

Polyolefin Single Wound Shrink Wrap

This film has the same applications and properties as the center folded film. This film is only used on high production, high speed automatic shrink wrap systems. Available stock in 45, 50, 60, 75, and 100 gauge.

Center Folded Shrink Wrap

Commonly used for many shrink wrap application. PVC shrink wrap would be a good choice if the product had sharp edges or points or and uneven shape. PVC has greater puncture and tear resistance that polyolefin. PVC also has variation on percentage of shrink and also direction of shrink. If a PVC shrink was a type 20/40, it would shrink 20% in the machine direction (in the direction it is wound on the roll) and 40% in the transverse direction (across the width of the roll). The most common PVC Shrink wrap is 40/40 which allows it to shrink to half the size of polyolefin. PVC is not FDA approved and can not be used in food applications. One drawback to PVC is that smoke often occurs during the deal process requiring significant ventilation in the work area. This film will generally work well on most brands and models of semi-automatic or automatic “L” Bar Sealers. The item must be fully sealed in the film with some type of air vent installed and then shrunk with a heat gun or shrink tunnel. Available stock in 60, 75, 100, and 125 gauge.

PVC Shrink Collars

Commonly used as a security measure on medication bottles. Available in a variety of gauges, colors, and prints. Horizontal or vertical perforations are available for easy open. All sizes are custom. Most clear unprinted collars are available in 3-5 days.

PVC Preformed Wine Caps

Commonly used on wine and champagne bottles as a security measure. Some common sizes are in stock in black.

Polyethylene Shrink Bundling Film

Single wound shrink low density polyethylene generally used to shrink wrap bundles of newspaper, cases, of bottled water or soda, individual boxes, etc. All items are custom and available in a variety of gauges, colors, and prints.

Polyethylene Shrink Pallet Covers

Clear shrink pallet covers are stock for some standard sized pallets. Custom sizes are available in a variety of sizes, gauges, and prints. Shrink pallet covers are used by covering the pallet with the bag and applying heat with a hand held propane powered heat gun.

PVC Shrink Wrap Bags

Used for shrink wrapping a variety of small items, generally in small quantity. Bags are stocked in sizes ranging form 6″x6″ up to 14″x20″. Bags with a rounded top are also stocked, commonly used for gift baskets. The bags would be sealed with a tabletop heat sealer and shrunk with a hand held 110V electric industrial heat gun.

Polyolefin Shrink Wrap Bags

Available as a custom item only.

IPS Packaging is a leading provider of packaging supplies, packaging equipment and packaging solutions. If you would like to know more about IPS Packaging, call 800.277.7007 or email our Sales team.

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Posted in Packaging Supplies, Shrink Wrap, Shrink Wrap Machines