Stretch film is the most popular, versatile and effective packaging material for unitizing palletized and unpalletized loads for shipment via LTL, FTL and rail. Stretch film rolls are made primarily from polyethylene resins specifically formulated to produce a film that is highly stretchable and yet also extremely strong.
Here is a rundown on the most important benefits of stretch film packaging:
- Economical: Stretch film is substantially less expensive to use than strapping materials or heat-shrinkable bags. Hand stretch films are capable of stretching in the 25-35% range. Machine-applied stretch film can be stretched anywhere from 75% to more than 200%. This means your roll price of film goes a long, long way.
- Strong: An important feature of stretch film is memory; in other words, it wants to go back to its original length, like a rubber band. This means that once the film is stretched, it continues to exert a great deal of holding force on your load — keeping items securely in place, even during rough shipments. Stretch film can be punctured, but tears will not propagate, again keeping your items secured.
- Transparent, tinted or opaque: The clarity of stretch film is important in many applications, such as when visible inspections are needed. If, however, you want your product to be unseen — for example, to deter theft or for color-coding in storage — tinted or opaque options are available.
- UV-inhibiting films: For outside storage and food products, UV protection is crucial, and stretch films with UV additives are readily available to meet the need.
- Eco-friendly: Stretch films are easily recyclable, and some films are manufactured with a percentage of recycled resins. Further, since stretch film stretches so much, relatively little packaging material is needed.
- Safe: Strapping, the main alternative to stretch film, can cause injury when being applied or when being taken off a pallet. Stretch film is much safer to use.
- Moisture resistance: Another advantage of stretch film over strapping is a stretch-wrapped load is resistant to moisture — a key consideration for outside storage, shipment on flatbed trailers, etc.
Because of the many benefits of stretch film packaging, it is used in almost every industry — including warehouse and distribution, food and beverage, agriculture, electronics, pharmaceuticals, plastic injection molding, and general manufacturing,
Stretch Film Packaging Equipment
Stretch film can be applied manually with hand-held wrappers, or by a stretch wrap machine. There are many advantages of machinery, such as reduced material usage, faster throughput and more control over how loads are being unitized.
With hand film, operators can put on too much film, which is wasteful and expensive — or, they can put on too little film, which can lead to damage during shipment. With machinery, you know the exact amount of film applied to every pallet, and set the stretch percentage and number of wrap layers that best meet your requirements.
GWC Packaging specializes in stretch films and stretch film equipment. Let us help you find the right stretch film solution for your needs. Contact us now to learn more and discuss your application.