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Stretch Wrap, Shrink Wrap, Staples, Tape and Poly Bags


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If you're buying stretch wrap film and need more information, you're not alone. Like anything, knowledge of a product takes years of training and study. We've included this page to help you make sense of the various stretch wrap products on the market today.

Stretch WrappingDo I need Shrink Wrap or Stretch Wrap and what's the difference?
Most people who order stretch wrap from us call it shrink wrap; but the products are very different. Shrink wrap film is made from polyolefin plastic, while stretch wrap is made from polyethylene plastic. Shrink wrap is generally used to protect a single product, such as the plastic over toys at the toy store or CD's when you first buy them. Shrink wrap gets its tight seal through a heating process. The product is wrapped and heated with a hairdryer-like tool or put through a heat tunnel. Shrink wrap can also be used for bundling products together, such as bottles of soda. We supply both stretch wrap and shrink wrap.

Stretch wrap is generally used to hold boxes on a pallet for transport. Stretch wrap is pulled around the load and stretched. The plastic has a memory and wants to return to its original size. This "elastic band effect" holds the load tight.

Why is some film called CAST and some BLOWN? Is this plastic or gum?
Originally, all stretch wrap was blown, a process much like blowing bubble gum. Resin is heated and passed over an opening through which air is blown. Most state-of-the-art film today is cast. It is extruded through rollers and "laid out" in sheets. This process allows the film to be made in multiple layers. The layers allow the film to be made with cling on only one side. This optional one-sided-cling film is great where you don't want one pallet to stick to the one next to it. Also, these films layers can make the film stronger by adding tough layers to the inside. Cast film is also clearer and quieter coming off the roll. Our film is all cast film.

Stretch Wrap FilmWhat is a mil and what does it mean to stretch wrap? What does 80 gauge mean?
A mil is simply a measurement of thickness. One mil is one thousandth of an inch. So .80 stretch wrap is .8 thousandths of an inch thick. 80 gauge is the same as .80 mil. That sounds pretty thin, but 80 gauge or .80 mil thick stretch wrap is great for most applications.

Why are there so many sizes? What do I need?
First, are you applying the stretch wrap by hand or with automated equipment? If you are stretching the film by machine, you will generally use a film over 20" high and 5000 or 6000 feet long. These rolls are heavy -- about 32 lbs. Since that's a little too much to carry around a pallet, most people use 18" x .80 x 1500' rolls to stretch their pallets by hand. If your skids are not very high or if you just need to wrap the top and bottom of the loads, you could use 15" or 12".

I've seen stretch wrap used to bundle things like millwork, plastic pipe and small boxes. What's that?
This is bundling stretch wrap. It's used like tape, but it won't stick to the product or leave residue. This wrap comes in 2-6" sizes.

Can I use stretch wrap for covering my food?
NO!!! Stretch wrap is not made for food contact and this industrial product should be kept away from children. Like any plastic, it can be dangerous.

Is stretch wrap recyclable?
Yes, stretch wrap can be recycled through many local and state recycling centers.

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Stretch Wrap, Shrink Wrap, Staples, Tape and Poly Bags