Stretch Film Information
What is Stretch Film?
Stretch film is a plastic film used to secure, bundle, and stabilize products. Stretch film, made from linear low-density polyethylene. When applying, the film is to be pulled and stretched around products to obtain tight and secured product loads. Stretch film comes in a variety of widths, thicknesses, and colors.
Types of Stretch Film
*Hand Stretch Film- Most of our hand film comes with a standard 3" core that will fit almost any hand dispenser. Choose everything from clear to colored and even anti-static stretch wrap film.
*Extended Core Stretch Film- Offers built-in handles that are great for companies that need to wrap something on the go. The integrated handles are ideal for low volume output or mobile stretch wrap applications.
*Bundling Stretch Film- Considered any film roll between 2-5 inches in width. Bundling film is an excellent alternative tape and plastic strapping for bundling multiple products together.
*Machine Stretch Film- Our machine pallet stretch wrap is offered in true standard gauged film as well as pre-stretched and equivalent film. All of our machine films can run on stretch wrap machines with up to a 250% stretch.
*Vented Stretch Film- Ideal for allowing products the ability to breathe. Vented stretch film is an 80 gauge stretch film with die-cut holes allowing products to breathe when palletized. Ideal for allowing firewood to cure and moisture to escape from fully loaded pallets.
*Colored Stretch Film- We offer transparent and opaque colored stretch film ideal for a variety of applications. Companies use transparent stretch film to color code loads to make for easy identification during shipping. The opaque film conceals loads and protects shipments from UV light.
Hand Stretch Wrap VS Machine Stretch Wrap
Stretch Film Thickness Indicators
True Gauged Stretch Film- For years, companies have used "true gauged stretch film," a product that offers an enormous amount of stretch, cling, and strength. Over time this stretch wrap has become more expensive because it is thicker and uses more petroleum-based resins during the manufacturing process. This increase in price has encouraged manufacturers to find alternatives to keep costs lower. The term for alternative pallet wrap is "equivalent stretch film."
Equivalent Stretch Film- An affordable alternative to "true gauged film." Equivalent films use a different resin mixture along with multi-layering to produce a thinner, stronger product that uses less petroleum base. We offer two equivalent hand films that offer excellent hold, good stretch, and one-sided cling at an affordable price. Our two equivalent hand films are Hybrid & Micron. The primary difference between the two is the number of layers and the resin formulas. Hybrid rolls are thinner and made of more layers during the extrusion process. Micron rolls are in between the true gauged film and the hybrid stretch film thickness. It does not offer as many layers but does have more stretch than the hybrid film. It also provides better tear resistance.
Popular Stretch Film Sizes
5" x 1000' x 80Ga. - Common bundling film size often used to secure two or more products together
18" x 1500' x 80Ga. - Superior hand pallet wrap offering excellent stretch and puncture resistance
18" x 1500' x 63Ga. - An excellent option for customers looking to reduce hand stretch film costs
18" x 1500' x 47Ga. - Considered a hybrid hand stretch film offering increase performance with a thinner film
20" x 5000' x 80Ga. - Superior machine pallet wrap offering excellent stretch and puncture resistance
20" x 5000' x 63Ga. - A down gauge film with excellent performance offering the ability to lower film costs
How To Wrap a Pallet With Hand Stretch Film
The main goal of wrapping a full pallet load of products is to stabilize the products on the pallet to prevent product damage during transportation.
Pallets that differ in weight and height can change the amount of film needed. Another factor is the type of stretch film in use. Film type will directly determine the amount of film required as well as the amount of braking tension needed by the user.
1. Tie stretch film to the corner of the pallet.
2. Begin bottom revolutions by wrapping the bottom of the boxes and the pallet while pulling the film to reach maximum stretch and hold tension.
3. Wrap multiple revolutions around the base of the pallet. The heavier the pallet, the more revolutions will be needed.
4. After numerous revolutions are made around the bottom of the pallet slowly work up the pallet moving up half the film width each revolution.
5. Once the top of the pallet is reached, wrap multiple revolutions around the top of the pallet for stabilization.
For the video above, the user is wrapping a small 48-inch high pallet weighing less than 800 lbs. The film used is 63 ga. hand stretch film with extended core handles. See the step-by-step guide below.
As stated above, the type of stretch film, the height of the pallet, and the weight of the pallet will all determine the number of revolutions needed to stabilize a pallet load correctly.
For more information about stretch products and processes, visit our stretch wrap 101 page or our page dedicated to stretch wrap film information. Click the link to read about how to increase stretch wrap recycling and help the environment.
We offer discounts on price and shipping for skid orders, call sales, or fill out our quote form for discount pricing! We will contact you promptly with a quote. We also offer a large variety of printed stretch wrap options. Call us for a written quote.
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Stretch Film Terms
Asymmetrical Load- An unevenly aligned pallet load. Asymmetrical loads are more prone to toppling than symmetrical pallet loads.
Blown Stretch Film- A stretch film derived from the blown extrusion process that has a higher puncture resistance. Click on the stretch film info page to view detailed information about blown stretch film.
Bottom Wraps- The wraps a stretch wrap machine uses to apply film to the bottom section of the load. Forming a durable bottom wrap will help to ensure load stability.
Cast Stretch Film- A stretch film derived from the cast extrusion process. Less manufacturing costs allow cast stretch film to be the more widely used stretch film. Visit the stretch film info page to view detailed info about cast stretch film.
Cling- Allows the film to stick to itself and not the product. Some films have one-sided cling, and others have two-sided cling.
Co-extrusion- Extruding two or more materials through a single die to enable the two elements to merge.
Dart Drop- A commonly used test to measure the puncture strength of a stretch film. It is conducted by dropping a semi-circular-shaped object onto the film.
Elastic Recovery-The ability of a stretch film to recover to its original shape after being stretched.
Elmendorf Tear- Another common test used for stretch film and other products to measure tear resistance.
Extruder- Equipment used to change solid polymers into molten polymers.
Film Feed- In a stretch wrap machine, it is the speed at which stretch film is supplied to the load.
Film Force- This refers to the amount of tension applied to the film as the film wraps the load.
Film Memory- The ability of the film to return to its pre-stretched form after being stretched. Retained memory enables the film to maintain a tight load during transportation.
Film Tail- The start and end pieces of stretch film applied to the load. It is important to cut, tie, or tuck film tails during transport.
Gauge- A measurement used to measure film thickness or caliper. One gauge is equal to .254 microns. Microns are another common form of film measurement.
Gloss- The amount of light reflected from a film’s surface. Cast stretch films tend to have a higher gloss than blown stretch films.
Haze- Refers to a lack of clarity in a film. Blown stretch films commonly have more fog than cast stretch films due to crystallization during the manufacturing process.
LLDPE Stretch Film- Linear Low-Density Polyethylene stretch film. A preferred plastic in a variety of films due to its toughness, stretchability, and relative transparency.
Metallocene- A compound used to make a new form of stretch film. Metallocene stretch films offer increased puncture resistance and many other useful benefits.
Microns- A unit of measurement commonly used to measure the thickness of a film. A micron is equal to one-millionth of a meter. One gauge is equal to .254 microns.
MSDS Sheet- Stands for Material Safety Data Sheet. A detailed list of information about a specific product and potential safety hazards the product may have.
Overwrap- The amount of stretch film applied over the top of the load. Used to provide a downward force on the load.
Pallet Covers- A poly film cover used to protect pallets from dust, UV rays, and conceal the load. Feel free to check out the various pallet covers we offer.
Post-stretch- Stretching a film when wrapping the load to achieve tighter tension on the load
Pre-stretch- Stretching the film before applied to shipments. Pre-stretch films can result in improved load integrity and lower packaging costs.
Roping- Bunching the stretch film into a rope shape. Roping is used to start many loads and offers increased strength for additionally securing a load.
Symmetrical Load- An evenly aligned pallet load with flat sides.
Tackifiers- Additives used in the manufacturing process to add cling to the film.
Tear Resistance- Refers to the resistance of the film to tearing forces.
Tension Stretch- A pulling force that stretches the materials
Wide Web Stretch Film- A sizeable film used for larger equipment. Generally, it refers to machine stretch film wider than 30 inches
Yield Strength- The amount of stretch a film can have without permanently deforming.