Durable and versatile polyolefin shrink wrap is used in packaging parts, products for order fulfillment, cosmetics, and, most commonly, food products, thanks to its odorless properties and the absence of chloride found in PVC shrink films. It is also FDA-approved for direct contact with food. Crosslinked polyolefin rolls are perfect when combined with our automatic shrink wrap machines.
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 an unsaturated chemical compound containing at least one carbon double bond. Ethylene is one of the most common olefins. Polyolefins are used in various industries, including automotive, cosmetics, adhesives, packaging, and more. Polyolefin 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 single feature is an essential 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 an excellent option for packaging various products. Companies have used polyolefin to package everything from consumable products to bundling insect sprays. Initially, there was a shift in the packaging industry to polyolefin shrink film for consumable packaging products. As stated above, the polyolefin does not contain the chloride found in PVC shrink film.
Centerfold shrink film is excellent because of how the film is folded onto the roll. The film is folded lengthways onto the roll to allow users to insert the product being packaged into the fold crease quickly. 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, the film will cover the product on both sides. An L-Bar sealer is the best option for sealing centerfold polyolefin or PVC shrink wrap. The L-Bar sealer has two 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, and it can be tedious to find the best one for your operation.
What is Crosslinked Polyolefin Shrink Film?
The cross-linking 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.
Exposure to b rays causes 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 attributes 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.
We offer multiple widths and thicknesses on all of our shrink wrap materials. Here is a detailed blog post about what thickness of shrink film you need. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at 1-800-441-5090.
How To Measure For Centerfold Shrink Wrap
Centerfold Polyolefin Shrink Film- The easiest way to measure 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 unavailable, go up to the next size of the film and never go down in size.