Hand Stretch Wrap V/S Machine Stretch Wrap- Let’s Find the Ideal Choice?
Posted: Apr 25, 2018
Being a highly stretchable plastic film, stretch wraps are highly used to wrap items all over the globe these days. Manufactured from Linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), these products comprises of elastic that has the potential to keep items tightly bound. Mainly used to wrap products on pallets and secure them to each other and the pallet. This often helps to reduce products loss, discourage load tampering, and reduce worker injury. The following post offers a small breakdown of the two most commonly used extrusion processes of stretch film.
But before that, let’s go through these frequently asked questions about the stretch film
1. When do I use Stretch Film?
Stretch films, in general, are used to hold boxes and products together on a pallet for transportation. It can also be used to hold another object together and protect objects during transportation and storage. Available in a wide range of specialty films such as UV stretch film, vented pallet wrap, anti-static stretch film, colored stretch film, these products are high in demand across the globe.
2. How do I know what size of stretch film to use?
Different sized thicknesses and widths of the film are needed for different applications. For instance, 37 Gauge thickness carrying 2"-5" Banding is great for bundling two light uniform objects together. Users can easily apply the film with minimal exertion whereas, 12"-20" Hand Grade is great for wrapping light, uniform loads less than 800 lbs and 20" Machine Grade acts as an excellent cost saver when wrapping light loads less than 800 lbs. For further details, it is always advisable to get in touch with a reputable company where you can buy the best range of online machine stretch films.
3. Do I need UV stretch Film?
UV protection is meant to help extend the life of the stretch film when stored in the sun. The use of an opaque UV stretch wrap can increase the storage life of the film and the product when stored outside. Anyone should consider UV stretch for any shipments stored outside longer than 60 days.
4. Are shrink wrap and stretch film recyclable?
Both shrink wrap/film and stretch film/wrap are recyclable. Check with your local recycling center and be sure they accept soft plastics.
5. Do I need a machine stretch film?
6. What are the common terms used for stretch films?
Blown Stretch Film, Bottom Wraps, Cast stretch film, cling, co-extrusion, elastic recovery and the list goes on.
Hand Stretch Wrap v/s Machine Stretch Wrap
Highly made of hand applications, the product often ranging from 1000 ft to 2000 ft. long offers shorter and lighter rolls. The most popular hand stretch wrap length is 1500 ft. rolls. Rolls range from 5-9 lbs. in weight.
You will come across a wide range varying in terms of thickness depending on the item(s) being wrapped. Pre-stretched this film can be as thin as a 30 ga thickness. Heavier hand film can be up to a 130 ga thickness. Thicker film offers higher puncture resistance and increased film memory. It also requires harder tension to reach the maximum stretch rate.
If you go for a standard 80 ga. wrap, it typically has a 75% to 150% stretch rate depending on the manufacturer. Users applying the film must maintain constant tension to obtain a 100% stretch rate. If a 100% stretch rate is obtained, a standard 1500 ft. roll would stretch to 3000 ft.
Machine Stretch Wrap
Available in 20? wide rolls, Widths can vary up to 80 inches wide, but require special machine film carriages to fit the rolls into the machine. Wider rolls are mainly used for tall pallets to reduce the amount of revolutions required to wrap a full wrap.
And much like hand stretch wrap, machine ones comes in a wide range of thickness. Pre-stretched machine stretch film can be as thin as a 30 ga thickness. Thicker film is available up to a 150 ga. or 1.5 mil thickness. Thicker machine stretch wrap has excellent stretch and puncture resistance for wrapping heavier pallets with sharp and jagged edges.
It may also interest you to know that Machine stretch film offers higher stretch rates up to and beyond 200% to 250% stretch rates are standard. The type of film being used and the stretch wrap machine settings are the two biggest factors in obtaining maximum film stretch rates.
I work as a managing director at Hunter Industrial supplies, one of the prominent Industrial Packaging Material providers in Australia.