Stretch Wrap - A highly stretchable plastic film typically made of linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) wrapped around the item. The elastic recovery keeps the product tightly bound.
Stretch wrap is used to wrap products around pallets and secure them to each other. Helps reduce product loss, stops load tampering and reduces worker injury. We explain the uses of stretch film in more detail in our blog post. Stretch film comes in a variety of widths, thicknesses and types.
Here is a breakdown of the two most common extrusion processes used for stretch film. Extrusion is used in the manufacture of stretch film and a variety of other flexible plastic products.
Also known as cast stretch wrap, it is manufactured using the cast extrusion process. The Cast Extrusion process is a continuous process by which thermoplastic material is melted and extruded through a flat die onto cooling rolls where it is quenched and re-cured. This process gives Cast stretch film excellent clarity, less force required to stretch, and higher tear resistance.
Benefits - Cheaper than blown stretch film, cast stretch film is preferred due to reduced manufacturing costs. Increased clarity allows the user to see the packaged product. Stretch film provides adhesion on both sides to keep the wrap securely wrapped.
Disadvantages - Does not provide the load/holding power that blown stretch film provides Cast stretch film has less memory and tear resistance than blown stretch film.
Also known as blown stretch wrap, it is manufactured using a blow molding extrusion process. This plastic melt is extruded through an annular slit die, usually vertically, to form a thin-walled tube. Air is introduced through an opening in the center of the die, blowing up the film tube like a balloon. At the top of the film tube, an air ring is blown onto the film to cool it. This process makes blown film stronger and more flexible than cast film.
Benefits - Provides higher load and stretch capacity. Blown stretch film has a higher degree of memory when stretched, allowing for better retention of product loads. Higher tear resistance is an advantage when securing loads with sharp edges.
Disadvantages -Higher cost due to the manufacturing process. Poor transparency of blown stretch packaging due to crystallization in the manufacturing process. Blown film is also noisy when unrolled from a roll.
Take about a yard of plastic from the stretch film roll and squeeze the end 8 to 10 inches together to form a rope. Pass the rope portion through one corner of the pallet. There is no need to tie a knot. Begin wrapping the bottom of the pallet. Wrap the bottom of the pallet at least five times while keeping the film taut as you pull the roll out. Work your way up slowly, focusing on maintaining a tight wrap. The goal is to keep all products in one piece. Once you reach the top of the tray, push on the top boxes to see if they move or if they merge with the bottom boxes. If they move, wrap them back around to the bottom of the pallet.
Stretch wrappers are recommended for any business that wraps more than 15 loads per day. Stretch wrappers help reduce waste, increase efficiency and promote safer and more consistent loads. There are a variety of manual stretch wrap dispensers and products available for businesses that stretch wrap less than 15 loads per day. The Expanded Core Stretch Film is easy to use right out of the box. It's perfect for businesses that need stretch film but don't ship large volumes of goods. Use a two-handed manual stretch film dispenser because of the ease of use, built-in braking system and the ability to securely hold the load.
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