What is Shrink Film?
Shrink film comes in a variety of forms (flattened rollstock, pre-made bags, wraps, tubing, etc.) and in a range of widths and thicknesses. It’s used to package many edible and non-edible products as well as an overwrap for pallets when they are in transit. Most shrink film is made of PVC, polyethylene (PE) or polyolefin (POF), and the choice of which to use depends on the industry.
What are the Advantages of Using Polythene Shrink Film?
There are a number of benefits of using Polythene shrink film (also known as shrink wrap films). These include:
- it is waterproof and puncture-resistant
- it keeps products clean
- it allows the packaging of non-standard, irregular-shaped objects
- it is cheaper than other packaging materials
- its shrinkage onto the objects saves space and permits more products to be transported at the same time
- it stabilises the products and prevents damage or loss during transit
- it allows products to be easily stacked and stored
- its ‘milky’ clarity prevents its contents from being clearly visible
The Process of Shrinking the Film
In order to shrink the wrap onto the objects, a heat source is needed. This is supplied by an electric or gas ‘heat-shrink gun’ or by passing the objects through a heat tunnel on a conveyor belt. Although PVC shrink film is one of the most commonly used materials because it is both light and inexpensive, caution must be taken during heating. This is because it gives off odours during the process. Therefore, it must only be used in well-ventilated facilities. Another concern is that PVC tends to be more vulnerable to extremes of temperature than other shrink wrap materials.
Shrink wrap offers a number of benefits to many industries though care must also be taken with its safe disposal after use.