10 Items Heat Shrink Wrap is Used for Covering and Protecting
Heat shrink wrap is different than pallet shrink wrap. The primary difference between pallet shrink wrap and heat shrink wrap is the heat required to shrink the materials. There are many materials and resin mixtures heat shrink is made of. These examples are only a small sampling of items heat shrink wrap is used to protect. As a packaging company, we primarily offer heat shrink wrap packaging, but there are many other uses for heat-shrinking materials.
Electrical wires for many components in the home and office have polyolefin shrink tubing around the wires for protection. This polyolefin shrink wrap is much different than a centerfold polyolefin used for retail packaging. Polyolefin shrink tubing is often colored and can range in thickness depending on the level of protection needed.
Heat shrink tubing for electrical wires is perfect for manufacturing, repair, or home projects. Some shrink tubing can help resist heat, but all tubing applications are designed for abrasion and moisture resistance. The shrink tubing is placed over electrical wires, and a heat gun shrinks the material up to 50% of its original size.
Boats and other large items can be shrink wrapped for winter storage. Shrink wrap used for winter storage can range from six to ten mils thick. Most polyethylene resin formulas include a UV additive to protect the material from sunlight. For application, most rolls are sold in widths ranging from 12 – 20 ft. wide. Special shrink tape is used for attaching seams before heat is applied. Propane heat guns apply heat for shrinking and conforming the wrap to the item being wrapped. On a smaller scale, patio furniture is often winterized using a thinner, more narrow polyethylene shrink film. The thick covering helps protect from various winter elements.
It is prevalent for commercial printers to use shrink wrap for stacks of printed products. The heated and conformed film holds stacks of business cards, flyers, and other stationery in place when finished with printing. In addition to containing piles of printed products, the shrink wrap protects from scratching and exposure to other elements.
Furthermore, most commercial printers use a centerfold polyolefin shrink wrap to package large and small printed items. Centerfold POF shrink film can be used with an impulse sealer on a budget or a fully automatic shrink wrap machine.
Tools and Parts
Tools and parts are fully closed and sealed with heat shrink wrap. Cases or boxes of tools can shrink wrapped to ease the minds of customers suspicious of missing parts. Parts for machines and electronic components are shrink wrapped with a centerfold shrink roll. For heavier production with tools, automatic shrink wrap machines are used, while smaller wrapping jobs in parts rooms can be done with an I Bar sealer.
Most bakeries have some items that are shrink wrapped. Widespread usage for shrink wrap with baked goods is for large cookies or oversized rice crispy treats. The wrap protects the consumable item while still allowing it to be displayed. The wrapped morsel provides consumers peace of mind when reaching for a product to purchase. For small volumes of products, an I bar sealer can be used to make seals, while a heat gun can shrink the film. Some facilities use a stainless-steel shrink combo system for higher-volume packaging.
Frozen or take-n-bake pizzas are covered in a food-safe polyolefin shrink wrap for protection during storage and transport. Large companies use fully automatic shrink wrap machines to protect and package pizza. Many small pizzerias use a pizza capper and capping film to package pizzas for take-n-bake.
The pizza capper uses a light shrink film to cover the pizza and protect it for short-term storage. A full enclosure with thicker POF shrink film is recommended for longer-term freezer storage. A 100-gauge polyolefin shrink film is strongly recommended for storage longer than three months. The extra thickness will provide more protection during cold storage than lighter material.
Packaging more than one product can present problems. These problems can be magnified when displaying the products is of importance. A standard solution is a shrink band or a full shrink wrap enclosure. The shrink band can vary from one-half inch to a couple inches thick. Often used with bottles, the band is slid over the bottles and shrunk tightly to unitize the combo pack. For more than two products, a centerfold shrink film can fully enclose all items and shrink them tightly to conform them together.
Shrink wrapping is a very popular packaging method for packaging bottles. The most common use of heat shrink wrap with bottles is shrinking sleeves. Shrink sleeves are commonly made from PETG or PVC with printed branding on the sleeve. The sleeve is placed over the bottle, and heat is applied. The sleeve conforms to the bottle and includes branding, nutritional features, directions, and more. This option is much cheaper than printing on bottles.
In close second to shrink sleeves, Tamper evident neck banding is used for packaging bottles. The tamper-evident banding provides consumers assurance the bottle has not been opened from the production facility to their hands. The tamper-evident neck bands are commonly made of a thicker PVC shrink wrap capable of fast shrink times with a heat shrink tunnel.
Cases of bottles are also shrink wrapped with a shrink bundling film. This polyethylene shrink film is usually at least 1.5 to 2 mils thick. Not as thick as the outdoor boat wrap but much heavier-duty than what is found around a frozen pizza. Because the material is thicker, more heat is needed for sealing and shrinking. Shrink bundling equipment is recommended for sealing and shrinking bottles with a single-wound bundling film.
With thousands of dollars worth of shoes, sneakerheads and resellers want to protect shoes during storage and display. Fully enclosing individual or pairs of shoes can stop exterior elements from staining or damaging the shoe. Bar sealers with PVC shrink film are often used for this. The POF material can also be used, but many like PVC because of the low temperatures required to shrink the film. A pair of shoes can be wrapped and protected within one to three minutes.
Rolls of labels can be the worst when unwound. Small movements or jostles during transport can cause entire spools to come loose. Shrink wrap can keep spools or sheets of printed labels from becoming shuffled and unpleasing to the customer. In addition to individual rolls, multi-pack rolls can be shrink wrapped together for more accessible storage and transport.
These examples are only a small sampling of what heat shrink wrap can be used for. Because of the many different materials shrink wrap is made from, heat shrink wrap has many uses depending on the need. If you have a possible need for shrink wrap packaging, call 1-800-441-5090 for more information.