When looking to source the appropriate type of stretch film for palletizing, containing, and transporting your products, you have many different kinds of films to choose from.
However, this is not a "one size fits all" situation. Which type of stretch film is right for your needs will depend on various factors.
These factors include the weight, size, shape, temperature, and texture of your products. The film that is right for your competitors may not suit your products.
But, how do you decide which stretch film is the correct type for palletizing your products? The section below will review the different kinds of stretch films currently available.
With the information here, you will be able to choose the best film for your specific needs.
The Different Types Of Stretch Film
There are many different types of stretch films available. In the section below, you can find a list of the different kinds of stretch films on the market today.
Bellow the bulleted list, we will conduct an exploration of each film, its features, uses, and qualities.
- Machine Stretch
- Hay Baling Stretch
- Cast Stretch
- Blown Stretch
- Hand Stretch
- UVI Stretch
- Color Stretch
- Vented Stretch
- VCI Stretch
- Reinforced Stretch
- No Cling Stretch
Machine Stretch Films
While we have discussed machine stretch films above, it's worth mentioning that machine stretch film is a category of stretch film that includes several different film formulations.
In this section, we will take a look at the various kinds of film that fall under the umbrella term "machine stretch film."
Cast Stretch Film
Cast films are created by applying a unique manufacturing operation which is known as cast extrusion.
Cast extrusion employs a continuous thrust of a thermoplastic material inside of a flat die. Next, it is placed onto a cooling roll.
The stretch film's gauge (or thickness) is fixed by how speedy the casting roll yanks the thermoplastic substrate away from the die.
This activity provides cast stretch films with exceptional transparency, allowing your end-users to see the objects wrapped inside the film.
Cast films stretch much easier due to the film's molecular structure becoming aligned as it is extruded.
These films are super quiet when they are being taken off the roll. And, it is pretty easy to stretch.
Cast films give your clients an incredible two-sided cling that provides wrapped items a firm load containment during shipping and transportation.
Now, cast stretch films have a boatload of astonishing attributes, including a noticeably lower cost than blown film.
With that being said, cast films do not compete in strength or protection against tearing when compared to their blown counterparts.
Cast stretch film is usually able to stretch easily. Still, it does not have as intense of a stretch memory as comparable film alternatives.
Hay Baling Stretch Film
Hay baling stretch wrap is created from multiple layers of plastic substrate. It is considered a specialty stretch film designed exclusively for wrapping baled hay rolls.
This type of film is used almost exclusively by farmers and other businesses in the agricultural industry.
Hay baling stretch film is also known alternatively as silage stretch wrap. These films most commonly feature LDPE (low-density polyethylene) formulations. They have unique oxygen barriers designed to keep your hay bales as dry as possible.
Blown Stretch Film
Blown stretch film is made by a technique commonly known as blown extrusion. This process utilizes melted plastic being shoved inside a circle-shaped slit die. This process creates a precise tube of film.
When air is pushed inside of the tube, the volume of closed air makes the tube expand to the desired width.
The tube of stretch film is then capped with a ring made of air that is blown onto a cooling device.
This cooling procedure gives blown films better strength and more flexibility than similar alternatives.
It is important to note that blown films are usually more robust than the rest of stretch wraps. Blown films also feature greater defiance against ripping and tearing.
This is an important capability to note for wrapping loads containing pointy and sharp edges as these are susceptible to splintering thinner film types.
Blown films will give you a higher degree of memory when the film is stretched. This will result in packages that stay secured during transportation and storage.
You should be aware of the fact that blown stretch wrap is usually more expensive than comparable films. They also have less transparency when compared to cast stretch films.
Some consumers have also expressed that the film is significantly noisier when applied to a pallet of products.
As you may have figured out on your own, pre-stretched film is stretched before it is sold.
Pre-stretch wrap is made to expand closely to its breaking point before being wrapped on its core.
This stretch wrap type doesn't require as much energy as other stretch films to accomplish the same load containment.
As such, pre-stretched wrap consumption generally utilizes about 50% less material than other types of stretch films. Because of this, the use of pre-stretched films may result in significant cost savings.
Hand Stretch Films
There are several different types of hand stretch film. Each formulation is designed for various applications. And while we touched upon a general introduction to hand films above, we will go much deeper in this section of the guide.
Below, we will explore each of the different kinds of hand stretch wrap so that you can identify the best type of hand film for your needs.
Color Stretch Film
Color stretch films are a type of specialty stretch wrap used for particular applications.
Color stretch film is primarily used for color coding, international shipping, and dating inventory.
Companies that feature an iconic color in their logo and brand design will often use a shade of color stretch film that reflects their brand.
Color stretch wraps are designed to be highly resistant to tearing, puncture and ripping.
UVI Stretch Film
Ultraviolet (or UVI) stretch film boasts highly specialized light canceling chemical additives.
These additives provide advanced defense against photo degeneration in niche applications where wrapped items are stored outside and have exposure to severe weather and other environmental elements.
Specialty Stretch Films
In specific case-sensitive applications, specialized kinds of stretch film projects will require the use of performance wraps that feature multiple layers of film that have ultra-high stretch capabilities.
Reinforced Stretch Film
Reinforced stretch film is a notably thicker specialty wrap that is used for packaging and containing ultra-heavy loads.
This type of stretch film is most commonly used for palletizing bricks, heavy machinery, industrial equipment, concrete blocks, oil drums, and other super-heavy loads.
Vented Stretch Film
Vented stretch wraps are usually used in applications where air and oxygen must be available to the contained products.
Typical applications for vented stretch films include wrapping pallets of firewood, hot bakery items, and other products that need to be cooled after being packaged.
NO Cling Stretch Film
No cling stretch wrap is used for packaging things like carpets. No cling stretch film allows the items being packaged to slide across and over each other, so the film does not rip or tear.
One-Sided Cling Stretch Film
A variant of no cling stretch wrap with one-sided clinging capabilities is commonly known as one-sided cling stretch film.
The Best Brands Of Stretch Film
There are many companies who make stretch films. But not all stretch films are equal. Some companies produce superior films to the rest of the stretch film manufacturers on the market.
In the section below, we will review the top seven best brands of stretch film.
1. Alliance Plastics Stretch Film
Alliance Plastics is a Veteran owned American stretch film manufacturing company.
They produce over 70% of their products in-house and are the most innovative stretch film manufacturer in the country.
Alliance makes some of the best stretch wraps on the market. And they are the company that makes the strongest stretch film in the world, as mentioned in the section below.
2. Intertape Stretch Film
Intertape Polymer Group (IPG) produces top-quality cast stretch films as well as blown stretch films. IPG's stretch films are manufactured in ISO-certified facilities.
Their plants implement specialized manufacturing techniques, including Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing, to ensure they produce the highest quality films day in and day out.
3. Sigma Stretch Film
Sigma produces high-performance blown hand films in addition to premium, light-weight blown films.
Their pre-stretched hand films are considered by many to be the finest in the stretch wrap industry.
4. Berry Stretch Film
Berry manufactures an extensive line of high-quality hand stretch films designed to meet practically all hand film applications.
5. Malpack Stretch Film
Malpack is a maker of ultra-high quality stretch films. They produce both machine stretch films and hand stretch wraps.
Malpack offers a host of different films, each boasting its own unique features and benefits based on the applications they are designed for.
6. Amtopp Stretch Film
Amtopp manufactures excellent quality stretch films. They offer both machine stretch films and hand stretch films.
Amtopp's Engineered Ultra-High Performance Series of hand films and machine films offer stretch wrap solutions for most stretch film applications.
7. Paragon Stretch Film
Paragon is a top stretch film manufacturer that offers a host of cast hand films. Paragon's films boast crystal clear optics and high strength.