So, what’s the difference between skin and blister packaging? Skin packaging involves shrinking a thin clear plastic film over products and adhering it to a heat-activated adhesive-coated skin board. A blister pack is a hard plastic pocket that is in a similar but not perfect shape of the product. It is customized to individual products.

A skin package has four components: the plastic film, a heat seal coating, printing ink and a paperboard or corrugated paperboard. After printing, the board is coated with a heat-seal dispersion coating. The board is placed on a vacuum platen and product is placed on the board. Film is held tightly in place by a clamping frame, directly below the heater.

At the beginning of the packaging cycle, the film is heated, and then the clamping frame is lowered, draping the heated film over the product and board. The film is then drawn down by vacuum, resulting in a tight covering over the product and card. Contact with the hot film instantly activates the coating on the card. For all practical purposes, the film and the board have become one.

There are several variations of blister packaging.

Face-seal blister packaging involves heat sealing a preformed plastic dome or blister onto the face of a printed, heat seal coated, single-ply supporting card.

Fold-over blister packaging involves interlocking the blister between the plies of a two-layer, fold-over card. In the fold-over design, the formed area protrudes through a die-cut opening and the flange and inner card interfaces are tightly heat sealed.

Clamshell blister packaging involves a clear single-piece blister with a hinged lid which snap-locks in place. Clamshell blisters are completely transparent for excellent product visibility. By using a printed insert card or printed label, you can have a retail shelf package quickly and easily.

The following chart break down the size, length, film weight and pallet weight for skin packaging.

Gauge (mil) Width (in.) Film Length / Roll (ft.) Film Weight / Roll (ft.) Rolls / Pallet Weight / Pallet (lbs.)
5 20 900 36.8 40 1472
7.5 20 600 36.8 40 1472
10 20 450 36.8 40 1472
5 26 900 47.8 20 956
7.5 26 600 47.8 20 956
10 26 450 47.8 20 956
5 32.5 900 59.7 20 1194
7.5 32.5 600 59.7 20 1194
10 32.5 450 59.7 20 1194

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 contact our Sales team.