Stretch Wrap vs. Shrink Wrap: What Are They Used For?

Businesses of all types use stretch wrap and shrink wrap in OH to keep products intact during transportation. Both are useful for protecting products and keeping shipments together throughout the supply chain process. While stretch wrap and shrink wrap are often confused with one another, there are key differences. These differences affect which one you should use when assembling your shipments.

Stretch wrap in OH

Stretch wrap is a stretchable plastic film that wraps around a load of products. The elasticity of the stretch wrap allows it to form tightly around the items and keeps everything securely together. Stretch wrap is usually made from polyethylene plastic, which helps it resist punctures and tears.

Stretch wrap is ideal for protecting loads from dust and dirt. It is commonly used for covering foods items.

There are two ways to apply stretch wrap: by hand or by machine. Applying stretch wrap by hand or with a manually powered applicator is best for small loads or for low-volume shippers. When pulled tightly by hand, stretch wrap can stretch 25 to 100 percent longer. When applied by machine, the pallet rotates on a platform while a powerful machine arm stretches the wrap. This is best for large loads. With a machine, it can be stretched 150 to 300 percent longer.

Stretch wrap is available in many varieties, such as UV stretch wrap, vented pallet wrap, anti-static stretch wrap, colored stretch wrap, pre-stretched wrap and more.

Shrink wrap in OH

Shrink wrap is also a plastic film, but it is applied differently than stretch wrap. While stretch wrap stretches tightly around the shipment, shrink wrap is applied loosely around the shipment. When heat is applied, the shrink wrap shrinks to tightly fit around the pallet. A heating tool is used to treat the shrink wrap by bringing it to a temperature of 300 degrees. Once the shrink wrap has been treated, it becomes more durable and tear resistant.

As with stretch wrap, shrink wrap also helps to protect the pallet from dirt and dust. It also keeps the pallet secure during shipping and storage. Shrink wrap is ideal for shipping food and beverages and for protecting products while on shelves. It’s also handy for protecting boats and patio furniture from the elements.

Activating shrink wrap requires applying high heat. There are three tools that can help, depending on the size of the pallet. Heat guns are handheld and used to treat small pallets. Heat tunnels are mounted over conveyor belts to treat shipments as they move. Heat ovens are used on-site to treat multiple pallets.

Determining which product is best for you depends on the kinds of products you’re packing, the size of the shipment and what they might be exposed to throughout the supply chain. Understanding the difference between stretch wrap in OH and shrink wrap in OH will help you to make the right decision for your cargo.

The professionals at Lamberson Packaging Solutions are ready to help you find the right materials for all of your shipping needs. Browse our products online or give us a call today.

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