Shrink wrap packaging guide
What is shrink wrap?
The idea of pallet shrink wrap is that tension is used to hold a number of items together. Shrink wrap comes in 4 primary forms.
Centerfold shrink wrap: Centerfold shrink wrap is folded in half lengthways and rolled onto a roll. A 10-inch-wide centerfolded roll would unfold to a 20-inch width.
Single wound shrink wrap: The film comes off the roll flat. Most single wound shrink film is used to bundle water bottles. The film is only sealed on two sides, leaving round holes known as bulls eyes on two ends of the package.
Shrink tubing: Shrink tubing is a round tube available in different sizes and made to package a wide array of products. Long continuous rolls of shrink tubing are often used to wrap long cylindrical objects. Shrink sleeves are pre-cut and sized tubes often made to go around a bottle. Shrink sleeves are heavily used in food and beverage packaging. Smaller pre-cut tubing sized for fitting bottle caps and lids is called shrink banding or neck banding.
Shrink bags: Shrink bags have three enclosed sides and one open side. Accurate product sizing is important when using shrink bags. The advantage of shrink bags is the need to only seal one open end. Hand impulse sealers used with shrink bags are a great low-cost option for professional packaging.
Wrapping a pallet using shrink wrap
- Place the outside of the shrink wrap to the pallet surface.
- Secure the shrink wrap to the pallet base.
- Ensure shrink wrap covers the base of pallet and the bottom layer of the load.
- Wrap the bottom of pallet twice to secure the load.
- Overlap the shrink wrap by 30 to 50%.
Depending on the weight of your load, consider wrapping the pallet twice. To increase the strength, use the shrink wrap horizontally to create a strap. Use a handheld stretch film dispenser for rapid easy application and to prevent injury through straining or repetitive use.
Selecting shrink wrap thickness
You should use the thinnest gauge of shrink wrap that will be strong enough to properly wrap your goods.
|12.5/13 micron shrink wrap|
|15, 17 and 19 micron shrink wrap|
|21/25 microns shrink wrap|
|35/38 micron shrink wrap|
Selecting shrink wrap width
Shrink wrap width is calculated by adding the width and height of the pack together, increasing this figure by 10% and adding 60mm for scrap.
As shrink wrap widths are incremented at 5cm per time, you should round up your figure.
Calculating the number of shrink wrap packs required
Add the height and length together, increase it by 10% and then divide this figure into the length of the roll.
Types of shrink wrap
|Cast shrink wrap||Blown shrink wrap|
|Clingyness of the film|
|Noise on unwinding|
Typical shrink wrap uses
|Paintings and prints|
|Soaps and candles|
Shrink wrap thickness
Stretch wrap is an affordable way to wrap and secure products. Using the right thickness of stretch wrap to secure the product being wrapped will protect from product loss and reduce film cost. Below is a brief explanation of common stretch wrap terms referring to film thickness.
Determine stretch film stretch rate
By stretching a stretch film to the maximum stretch rate, save money on film costs and reduce product loss. With the simple steps below, companies can find out the amount of stretch being reached. This is useful to find out if you are attaining the proper amount of stretch when applying hand film and thus decreasing film usage.
We recommend using a pallet of goods that are commonly wrapped. Uniform pallet loads such as boxes will often obtain a higher stretch rate than loads with sharp edges or corners.
Shrink wrap packaging guide last updated: Nov-2021