Crosslinked Polyolefin Shrink Film vs. Standard Polyolefin Shrink Film
Crosslinked shrink film uses the cross-linking of polymers with irradiation to strengthen and sterilize shrink film. The interwoven strands strengthen the polyolefin material's seal strength and tear resistance. The additional material strength is perfect for downgauging in shrink film thickness and wrapping heavier products with sharper edges and corners. All standard and crosslinked polyolefin shrink film is approved for direct food contact. View a previous post titled 'What is Crosslinked Shrink Film', for more information about the process and applications for crosslinked shrink film.
In this test, we compared two product packages in each type of shrink film with multiple material thicknesses. The packages performed very differently in the drop test. The first package used in testing was six packaged tape rolls. The rolls together weigh 3.4 lbs and will try to shift in the sealed shrink film upon impact. This test will help to show the seal and material strength of each material when packaging multi-packed products with different shapes.
The second package in the drop test is a pack of nine-inch diameter foil pan lids. The lids are in stacks of 50 and weigh 3.6 lbs. per stack. The lids are more uniform and conformed than the tape rolls after shrink film has been applied. The lids are denser and have a higher terminal velocity than the rolls of tape.
For testing, each product is dropped from 3 feet onto three different sides.
Once from a flat side, then a corner or edge, and along the side of the product.
If the product was able to survive the 3 ft. test on all three sides, it was then be dropped from 6 ft onto three different sides.
The tests were conducted with the two different products side-by-side wrapped in the same thickness of shrink film each time. Once the package tears, rips, or products fall out, testing was stopped. We then increased the material thickness and started over with drops at a 3 ft distance. We tested 60, 75, and 100 gauge thicknesses, a gauge comparison chart will convert gauges to get a better idea of the thicknesses used in the test.
60 Gauge Polyolefin Shrink vs Crosslinked Polyolefin
The 6 pack of tape burst open on the 2nd drop with the standard 60 gauge shrink film. One roll of tape hit the ground and rolled upon impact. With the 60 gauge crosslinked polyolefin, the 6 pack of tape survived 3 falls from three feet and 3 falls from six feet with no rips or tears. The tape did not move out of alignment and was perfectly intact after three drops from 6 feet. A successful test for the 60 ga crosslinked shrink film.
The multi-pack of lids had a tear in the seal seam after the 3rd drop from three feet with the standard 60 gauge polyolefin. The tear was small but enough to continue opening if the package was in transit. The foil lids only survived 2 drops from three feet with the 60 gauge crosslinked polyolefin before tearing at the seal seam. Like the standard 60 gauge, a minor tear in the seal seam was found.
After testing both the standard 60 gauge shrink film and crosslinked 60 gauge shrink film, the 6 pack of tape rolls survived three drops from 3 feet and three drops from 6 ft. Successfully completing the drop test with no rips or tears. The stack of foil lids broke the standard and crosslinked 60 gauge shrink film seal seams. The next test is 75 gauge standard vs crosslinked on each product.
75 Gauge Polyolefin Shrink vs Crosslinked Polyolefin
Testing the 60 gauge standard vs. 60 crosslinked film showed the crosslinked shrink film was strong enough to hold the 6 pack of tape rolls. The rolls of tape survived three drops from 3 ft. and three drops from 6 ft. Our other product, the stack of foil pan lids did not survive the 60 gauge standard or crosslinked drops.
We began the 75 gauge test with both test products wrapped in a standard 75 gauge polyolefin shrink film. Because of the 60 gauge crosslinked success we felt the standard 75 gauge shrink film would be strong enough for the six-pack of tape rolls. It did perform better than the 60 gauge standard polyolefin, but was still not strong enough and burst open the first drop from 6 ft. It did, however, survive all three drops from the 3 ft. height which was much better than the 60 gauge performed.
Next was the 75 gauge crosslinked shrink film. The crosslinked strands make a 75 gauge thickness strong and durable. We were confident the 6 rolls of tape would be contained through all of the drops and we were right. After the final drop from 6 ft, all of the rolls were still in place with no breaks in the seal seam.
The wild card was the stack of foil lids and how they would hold up with a crosslinked 75 gauge film. Wrapped in the standard 75 gauge film, the stack of lids broke on the third drop from 3 ft. The crosslinked 75 gauge held up through all three drops from 3 ft. and two drops from 6 ft. On the final test from 6 ft. the seal seam had a small tear. After the crosslinked 75 gauge test, we felt confident the crosslinked 100 gauge would work for both products, but how would the standard 100 gauge polyolefin film work?
100 Gauge Polyolefin Shrink vs Crosslinked Polyolefin
We began with the 6 rolls of tape wrapped in the standard 100 gauge polyolefin shrink film. To our surprise, the package burst open on the third drop from three feet. Because this result did not seem consistent, we feared the package may not have attained a proper seal. To be sure, we repackaged the rolls, inspected the seals, and ran the test again. With the proper seal, the tape rolls survived all of the drops from 3 ft and 6 ft.
For testing purposes, we wrapped the same tape rolls in 100 gauge crosslinked shrink film. The wrapped package survived all drops from three and six feet. We even dropped three drops from 9 ft. and could not break the package. The end result for the package of tape rolls was all thicknesses of the crosslinked shrink film from all heights performed without fail. In comparison, it took a standard 100 gauge shrink film to keep the same package of tape from busting. Even this outcome with the standard 100 gauge shrink film was after a redo because of an improper seal.
For the last test package, the foil lids were wrapped in a standard 100 gauge shrink film. With the standard 75 gauge shrink film the package of lids only made it until the third drop from 3 ft. The standard 100 gauge film did perform better, but could not hold up through all of the drops. After three successful drops from 3 ft. and one drop from 6 ft., the package burst open and multiple lids came out.
The final chance for the foil lids to survive all of the drops was with a crosslinked 100 gauge shrink film. The crosslinked 100 gauge shrink film held up on all three drops from 3 ft and 6 ft. heights. For testing purposes, we wanted to see when each package would break when wrapped with the crosslinked 100 ga shrink film. After the official test was over we proceeded to drop the wrapped products from 12, 15, and 18 ft. The stack of lids became distorted after three 12 ft. drops. The film did not tear until the second drop from 15 ft. The six-pack of tape would not bust. After progressively increasing in height, we could not break the tape package until we forcefully threw the tape package from the 18 ft. height.
Without a doubt, the crosslinked shrink film performed better in every thickness with both products tested. The six-pack of tape did not break after three drops from 6 ft. with the crosslinked 60 gauge shrink film. In comparison, it took a standard 100 gauge polyolefin shrink film to survive the same test. For superior seal strength and material thickness, we recommend looking at crosslinked shrink film benefits. Check out the chart below for details on our testing. The boxes shaded in green indicate the test was successful from the specified height. the very bottom rows are 100 gauge crosslinked shrink film. Both tested products survived from each height.