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Polyolefin Shrink Wrap Information
What is Polyolefin?
(Poly·ole·fin) is a plastic polymer, the root word olefin refers to any member of the alkene series. An alkene is any unsaturated chemical compound containing at least one carbon double bond. Ethylene is one of the most common olefins. Polyolefins are used in a variety of industries including: automotive, cosmetics, adhesives, packaging and more. Poyolefin shrink film is the most common form of polyolefin used in the packaging industry.
Polyolefin shrink wrap offers many advantages over PVC shrink wrap. In recent years, polyolefin has become the preferred shrink material for most shrink packaging applications. Our polyolefin shrink film is FDA approved for direct food contact.
*Polyolefin- is a polymer that has become a chosen polymer in the packaging industry because of its shrinking properties, clarity, and absence of chloride. Polyolefin is a generic term that refers to a variety of polymers. Polyolefin is considered a thermoplastic material that contracts when heated. It remains odorless when heated and cooled. This is an important advantage over PVC shrink wrap. PVC shrink film contains Chloride that emits a strong odor when heated and cooled. Proper ventilation is a must when dealing with PVC shrink wrap.
*Centerfold polyolefin shrink wrap- is a great option for packaging a variety of products. Companies have moved to using polyolefin to package everything from consumable products to bundling insect sprays. Originally there was a shift in the packaging industry to polyolefin shrink film for packaging consumable products. As stated above, the polyolefin does not contain the chloride PVC shrink film does.
Centerfold shrink film is great because of how the film is folded onto the roll. The film is folded length ways onto the roll to allow users to quickly insert the product being packaged into the fold crease. The illustration to the right will help show how products are into the centerfold shrink roll.
Once the product is placed into the fold crease, film will be covering the product on both sides. The best option for sealing centerfold polyolefin or PVC shrink wrap is an L-Bar sealer. The L-Bar sealer has 2 sealing sides to clamp down on the centerfold wrap around the product. The sealer will seal and cut in one motion. There are dozens of options for L-Bar sealers out there, and it can be tedious finding the best one for your operation. That is why we only offer basic L-Bar sealers online that are great for manual and smaller operations.
What is Crosslinked Polyolefin Shrink Film?
The cross lining of polymers can be done chemically or with irradiation. Irradiation exposes the polymer or plastic to high energy b rays. Crosslinking for polyolefin shrink film uses the irradiation process.
The exposure to b rays cause cross-linking bonds at the molecular level. This cross-linking effect provides a variety of benefits for the film. Benefits to cross linked shrink film include:
Increased tensile strength
Higher abrasion resistance
Improved burst strength
Stronger, more durable seals
The irradiation also sterilizes the film making cross-linked shrink film ideal for health care and food packaging applications.
Polyolefin Shrink Wrap vs. PVC Shrink Wrap
Both PVC and Polyolefin shrink wrap are primarily used for retail packaging. Each type of shrink wrap has different characteristics. See the chart below for detailed characteristics for each.
PVC Shrink Wrap
Polyolefin Shrink Wrap
Low shrink temp under 300 degrees F
Higher Shrink temp. over 300 degrees F
Crinkly before heat is applied
Soft and quiet before heat is applied
Hard and Brittle after heat is applied
Soft to the touch after heat is applied
Odor during sealing and shrinking
No odor during sealing and shrinking
Not approved for direct food contact
Approved for direct food contact
Click herefor a detailed article about shrink wrap differences.
Centerfold Polyolefin Shrink Film- The easiest way to measure for centerfold shrink wrap is to add the depth and width, then add 2-3 inches. If a product is 10 inches wide and 4 inches tall, you would add 10+4+2=16. A 16 inch wide film would be ideal for wrapping the product. If a 16 inch film is not available, go up to the next size of film, never go down in size.