Shrink Wrap: PVC, Polyethylene, or Polyolefin?
Are you wrapping your consumer goods with the right film?
The three main shrink films used for protecting and securing products for retail are PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride), polyethylene, and polyolefin. If you aren't completely certain that you are using the ideal film, here's a quick breakdown of the three:
PVC & POLYOLEFIN:
- Premium quality shrink films
- Great clarity, and appearance; great for consumer products where appearance is critcal (toys, games, candies, most retail goods)
- Great appearance and ability to shrink quickly and completely (shrinks when heated resulting in a package that is finished as soon as it comes out of the shrink tunnel)
- Durable, versatile, low cost
The differences between the two:
- PVC -Higher resistance to propugation of tear, Polyolefin- higher resistance to puncture
- PVC -Offers preferential orientation (shrinks in only one direction) and low shrink force
- PVC Rolls are temperamental with drastic heat or cold temperatures, causing brittleness when too cold, and wrinkling when too warm
- Polyolefin is more expensive, but more durable- not as effected by temperature changes
- Many types of Polyolefin are FDA approved
- Lower clarity and appearance, not a easy to shrink out completely
- Good for lower end applications and unitization (24-pack of waters), replacement of master corrugated shippers, larger items
- More expensive, but durable
- Thicker- offering more stretchability
- Shrinks as cools rather than heats, requiring additional cooling space at the end of the tunnel.
No matter what the application, knowing your options can save you a ton in the long run. That's a wrap (PACKAGING PUN, HA!).
Talk to a rep today about your particular shrink needs
About David Roberge
Part of the outstanding Industrial Packaging team. I'm lucky to hang out with some of the most knowledgeable folks in the packaging industry. I feel even luckier to be able to share our knowledge with you. I love learning about our readers and helping them grow their brand through unique, flexible package design from the birth of the product idea, through the supply chain, and to the launch and placement on the shelf or at the consumer's door.