The type, size, and gauge of shrink wrap that you use will determine the overall cost of packaging that you will incur. This is an obvious observation that anyone running a business will have in mind. However, the vast majority of companies that use shrink film for packaging tend to use thicker gauges to package their products in a bid to compensate for using less efficient packaging machines and or having less experienced technicians do the packaging. As such, they use capabilities they do not require, which end up increasing the cost of packaging, and ultimately, the cost of running their business.
Luckily, there is a better way to go about it. By choosing the right gauge and the right type of shrink wrap for your packaging needs, you reduce the cost of packaging, ultimately reducing the cost of doing business. Herein we will explore how to go about choosing the best shrink wrap material for your specific needs. The goal of this read is to help you choose the right material, while also satisfying your packaging needs with compromise.
Determining The Shrink Film Best For Your Application
There is a wide variety of shrink films on the market. These include:
#1. PVC Shrink Film
PVC is a typically a material with glossy, crystal clear, with high clarity. The material can come in tubular form or centrefold form. Typically, this material is best used for air-tight packaging where preservation of scent is important. This material is perfect for packaging uniform object such as soaps, boxes, CD cases, etc.
However, it is important to note when heat is applied to this material during heat treatment, the material becomes brittle. As such, the material is not the best to use when packaging heavy and or pointy objects.
#2. Polyolefin Shrink Film
This material is a slightly better than PVC shrink wrap in almost every way. For starters, polyolefin is typically approved by the FDA for direct food contact. As such, you can package edible products using this material. Furthermore, the material is very strong and has exceptional puncture-resistant properties. As such, it is the perfect material to package irregular materials that are heavy and or have point edges and corners. Moreover, the make-up of the material makes it the best option when you have to print custom labels on.
The other material used is the polyethylene Shrink film. It is used in heavy industry and it is thermostatic printable material on offer.
That being said, you should note that it does allow scent to pass through. As such, it is not very effective in helping products retain their original levels of scent.
Determining The Thickness (Gauge) Of Shrink Wrap Appropriate For Your Application
After determining whether to use a PVC or Polyolefin shrink film, the next bit is to determine the thickness of the film that will suffice for your application.
Shrink film thickness is usually measured in Mil, with 1 Mil being one-thousandth of an inch. However, most polyethylene sheets are measured by gauge, with one gauge being one-hundredth of an inch. As such, 1 gauge equals one-hundredth of a Mil.
When it comes to PVC, the common gauge is the 75 gauge and the 100 gauge. That being said, figuring out which gauge to use in the case you use PVC is quite easy as it is not usually used to package irregularly shaped items.
As for the polyolefin, the thinnest material you can get is the 50 gauge. This is usually used to package very light food items. However, owing to the thinness, it is commonly used. The next gauge is the 60 gauge polyolefin shrink wrap, which is used to pack food items such as small cookies, confectioneries, stationery items, and other products.
The next polyolefin gauge is 75, which is best used for items with a weight just below 30 to 35 pounds. Anything beyond the 35-pound mark is best packed using the 100 gauge polyolefin shrink wrap.
Polyethylene shrink film comes in thickness weights range of 4 to 12 mil. The thicker the polyethylene shrink film, the larger and the heavier the item is can package.
With the above considerations in mind, it is still important that you make use of a combination of the best machines possible and the well-trained technicians. The shrink wrapping process will determine the integrity of the package. Therefore, if you intend to use the appropriate thickness, you should ensure that the packaging process is done right.