Shrink film is a type of polymer plastic film used in packaging. It shrinks tightly over whatever it’s covering when heated. Shrink wrap and shrink film are extremely adaptable packaging materials that may be utilized in a wide range of applications. Shrink wrap is commonly used to wrap food, gift baskets, cartons, toys, books, soaps, and other items.
You may wish to use shrink film for your product packaging for a variety of reasons. It is lightweight and robust, and it protects your items from the weather, extends shelf life and tamper-proofing, and makes them sparkle!
Believe it or not, there’s a lot more to shrink film than you may think. Shrink films offer a variety of operational qualities in addition to clarity, which we all know is significant.
When choosing shrink film for your packaging, keep these eight factors in mind.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
- 1 Shrink Force
- 2 Shrink Orientation
- 3 Shrink Percentage
- 4 Puncture Resistance
- 5 Storage Conditions
- 6 Antifog
- 7 Moisture Vapor Transition Rate
- 8 Odor Barrier
1. Shrink Force
This is usually expressed in PSI and indicates how much force the shrink film will exert on your goods. Understanding your shrink force is important when packing a multi-pack that has to be firmly confined without being damaged, especially when modifying your shrink gear.
This won’t matter if the shrink force is high and you are packaging something sturdy like wood or metal.
This may be important if you’re packing a tiny stack of paper or light chipboard boxes. Polyolefin films had a high shrink force in the past. Films made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) have a low shrinkage force. Shrink force is minimized using new polyolefin compositions.
2. Shrink Orientation
Bi-axially or preferentially oriented shrink films are available. Films that are bi-axially orientated shrink equally in both machine and cross directions.
Film that is preferentially orientated shrinks differently in both directions. A preferentially orientated film has the advantage of utilizing less film and reducing product deformation.
The jury is out about which film provides the best optical properties. But bi-axially oriented shrink films are providing better performance than preferentially orientated shrink films.
3. Shrink Percentage
You may change your shrink percentages by using preferentially oriented film, or you can keep it the same by using bi-axially orientated film, such as 40/40, 30/30, or 20/20.
The shrink percentage of your film is especially important when you package products with different ends, corners, and angles.
The amount of shrink-ability in a film before it comes into contact with your product is known as Free Shrink. Free shrink allows you to achieve a better-looking package on tough shapes and sizes with high degrees of free shrink.
4. Puncture Resistance
This determines how difficult it is to break the film and how difficult it is to shred it once it has been pierced.
Films with strong puncture resistance often have lesser tear resistance, and vice versa. If you must make this trade-off, choose the more significant trait.
Puncture resistance is critical, for example, if you have a window box.
Choose a shrink film that strikes a balance between product protection and ease of access to the real goods.
5. Storage Conditions
Next, keep your shrink wrap in a cool place until you’re ready to use it to avoid the film becoming brittle. If the film is kept in extremely hot conditions, it may shrink inside the packaging.
Some films are cold-shrinkable, meaning that they have good recoverability at low temperatures after being stressed for a period of time.
If you’re shipping to an area with cooler climates, this could be useful.
Antifog films are used on both fresh and frozen food to prevent moisture from forming on the surface of the film.
Moisture can generate a fog, which makes it difficult to see the product through the coating. Many shoppers will walk past fogged-up items in favor of those that are plainly visible on the inside.
An antifog film is a good choice for easy-to-view packaging styles.
7. Moisture Vapor Transmission Rate (MVTR)
This property determines how much moisture will or will not pass through the film.
If minimal moisture transfer into or out of your packaging is vital for shelf life, you should pay attention to this feature.
This can also be impacted depending on the region you are shipping products to and from. More humid states like Florida might have different recommendations than Arizona.
8. Odor Barrier
Odor barrier films are used to prevent unwelcome scents from entering or exiting your product. Don’t let your consumers down after they’ve purchased your stuff by giving it a bad odor.
An aroma blocking film can be thicker and thereby a more durable shrink film style.
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There you have it, seven important characteristics of shrink film. When you are selecting packaging for your products, keep these in mind.
Good films provide many performance benefits when wrapped around your products. Shrink films offer clarity, puncture resistance, and moisture protection to name just a few. These factors apply in various degrees depending on the quality of the shrink film you choose.