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A Guide to Stretch Wrap Thicknesses and Types

Mar. 07, 2022

Most companies that manufacture, resell or warehouse products are familiar with stretch film. It is used around the world to preserve and protect products. How does stretch film protect and stabilize these products? What can be done to more effectively stabilize loads and packages? In this article, we will answer these questions and provide tips and tricks to maximize efficiency and minimize costs when using stretch wrap machines.

A Guide to Stretch Wrap Thicknesses and Types

Stretch film thickness

Cast Stretch Wrap

A form of stretch film extrusion that involves melting resin pellets and extruding the film on a cooling roll, then winding the roll onto the core.

Blown Stretch Wrap

A form of stretch film extrusion that uses air to form a flat folded tube of molten resin and then winds the film onto the core.

True Gauged Stretch Wrap

A form of stretch film with the exact thickness that a micrometer would show if used. True Gauged Stretch Wrap is usually a quality stretch film that offers the highest amount of stretch.

Pre-stretch Stretch Wrap

A truly measured stretch wrap roll that is stretched to 90% of its maximum stretch capacity and placed on a core. Typically used for lighter, uniform loads. Less force is required to apply pre-stretch wrap.

A Guide to Stretch Wrap Thicknesses and Types

Types of Stretch Film

Stretch film is made from lldpe (linear low density polyethylene). lldpe is found in a variety of products from garbage bags to toys and containers. Because of the flexibility it offers, it is the ideal plastic for these products.

The two basic types of stretch films are cast stretch films and blown stretch films. They are both made from LLDPE, but they are manufactured in different processes.

Blown Film

Blown stretch film uses air in the manufacturing process. Air is blown into the film and used to cool the film. Blown stretch films are more expensive to produce, but do offer better tear and puncture resistance.

Cast Stretch Film

Cast stretch films use rollers to cool the film during the production process. Cast stretch films are more affordable than blown films and are suitable for most applications.

A Guide to Stretch Wrap Thicknesses and Types

 Intelligent Basic Pallet Wrapping Machine

Features of Stretch Film

Lower Costs

Because LLDPE is a petroleum-based product, stretch film manufacturers have taken significant steps to reduce costs. Many of the new films on the market are excellent options for reducing costs, but are still safe for loads. Manufacturers are producing thinner, stronger, lower cost, higher volume films.

Reduced puncture resistance

Because the new film is thinner, it tends to sacrifice puncture resistance. It is ideal for boxes and crates that do not have sharp corners. When packaging pallets and individual products with sharp corners, they can easily tear and rip during shipping.

Reduced Stretchability

The new cost-saving stretch film is stronger and stiffer than traditionally measured stretch films. This stiffness reduces the amount of stretch in the film. This reduced stretchability does help reduce the physical effort involved in applying the film, but it does reduce tear resistance.

A Guide to Stretch Wrap Thicknesses and Types

There are a variety of stretch film products on the market today. They all have advantages and disadvantages. The two elements to consider when asking how stretch film works are stretchability and puncture resistance. If you have any questions or would like to discuss the products we offer, please call us. SMARTWASP will provide you with a unique solution.

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