A Guide to Finding the Right Stretch Film
Stretch film, also referred to as stretch wrap, is a thin layer of plastic that saves your products from damage when the freight truck takes a sharp turn a little too fast. Stretch wrap is there for your packaging when pallets are left in the sun all day and the rain all night. When it comes to shipping and handling, the right type of stretch film protects your products and saves you time and money. But with so many types of specialty stretch film to choose from, how will you know which type is right for you?
Below is a breakdown of common types of stretch film that serve multiple unique functions in shipping and handling. Depending on your operation, certain types of stretch film will be more beneficial than others. Keep reading to find your perfect match.
Blown Stretch Film
Blown stretch film is a simple solution and a general purpose stretch wrap that is great for both hand wrapping and automatic stretch wrapping machine applications.
Blown film is made using the blown extrusion process in which the wrap is fed through a cylindrical tube and then blown up like a balloon. Because of the blown extrusion process, blown stretch wrap is cooled and strengthened making it have a greater level of puncture resistance and tear resistance.
This stretch wrap has a high load and stretch capacity but poor clarity compared to cast stretch film. It is ideal for wrapping A, B, and C load profiles as it is versatile and sturdy.
Cast Stretch Film
Cast stretch film is produced using the cast extrusion process where plastic resin is fed into a machine to create a sheet of stretch film roll. This process is faster and less expensive than blown stretch film.
Cast stretch wrap has a high level of clarity making pallets easy to identify for end users. Cast stretch film expands easily to fit over packages and utilizes double-sided cling for further protection during transportation. While it is easy to stretch and clings well, it is not as strong as blown stretch film and is more susceptible to tearing or shifting during transit.
As the name suggests, pre-stretch film is stretched to capacity before being wrapped onto rolls. It has thinner gauges than other stretch wrap but still has a strong stretch memory. Pre-stretch wrap creates a rubber band effect where the film wants to stretch back to its original size, securing products tightly together.
It provides a consistent and uniform stretch around palletized loads and its rolled edges make this specialty film harder to damage. Pre-stretch film is cost effective because you can use less material to achieve a similar effect.
Hand Stretch Film
This type of stretch wrap is created for the sole purpose of hand wrapping. Hand film is great for businesses that hand wrap a small amount of pallets daily (usually 50 pallets or less). If your operation utilizes a hand stretch wrap application, make sure to continually monitor productivity and efficiency to determine if your operation should make the transition to a semi-automatic or automatic stretch wrap machine application process.
Color Stretch Film
Color stretch films are to create custom packaging for easy organization, inventory, and color coding in warehouses. This stretch film comes in a variety of colors and is resistant to punctures. Besides organization, color stretch film also reduces pilferage as it conceals the products.
Opaque Stretch Film
Much like color stretch film, opaque stretch film is not see-through and offers additional security by concealing the contents of the pallet. This film also protects from UV rays and keeps products safe from the elements.
VCI Stretch Film
Volatile Corrosion Inhibitor stretch film (VCI) protects products from corrosive substances like rust because it keeps moisture and other harmful elements out and prevents oxidation. This is ideal for metal pipes, tools, or other metal products.
UVI Stretch Film
Ultraviolet Inhibitor stretch film (UVI) protects against harmful UV rays. This is ideal for pallets stored outside and in direct sunlight. UVI stretch film is designed to withstand UV rays so it will not lose any of its strength or cling power outside.
Vented Stretch Film
Vented stretch film is a film with die cut holes for ventilation. The ventilation allows condensation to leave the pallet, reduces spoilage, is more flexible, and will not obstruct forklift wheels. This stretch film is ideal for products like wood that could be warped if kept in the wrong conditions.
No-Cling Stretch Film
As the name implies, no cling stretch film is not clingy. It is ideal for products like carpeting because the products can be moved easily without sticking to each other. These products can be moved around with ease instead of getting stuck. There are also one-sided stretch films which can have similar functions.
Let's Find the Right Stretch Film for Your Business
Stretch film is essential for the shipping and handling process. Not only does pallet wrap secure products during transit, it also protects from the elements and from product tampering.
With so many different types of stretch film available, it can be difficult to know which one to choose. Group O can help your business assess your needs to determine which type of stretch film is right for you. For more information call 866-476-8761.