Shrink Wrap, Stretch Film, and Polymer Abreviations

Shrink wrap and stretch film are both considered polymers. Polymers are often easily defined as plastics. The best definition of a polymer we could find is: A large molecule composed of repeating units.

The proper chemical names for polymers are often hard to pronounce and spell. Often times through out different industries, polymers are abbreviated for ease.

When dealing with the different packaging materials we supply, we often refer to the polymers by their abbreviations. A very common abbreviation people use who may not be familiar with shrink wrap is PVC. Most of the time they are referring to  PVC shrink wrap bags, rolls, or tubing. We also use different polymer abbreviations for the stretch film we offer as well as the trash bags.

We figured a list of common abbreviations for a variety of plastics in the packaging industry as well as other industries would be a useful tool for people to use. These abbreviations are based upon the American Society for Testing and Materials standard terminology.

ABS    Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene

CAB   Cellulose acetate-butyrate

CS      Casein

CTFE Chlorotriflouroethylene

EEA  Ethylene-ethyl acrylic acid

EMA  Ethylene-methacrylic acid

EPD  Ethylene-propylene polymer

EVA   Ethylene-vinyl acetate

EVAL Ethylene-vinyl alcohol

HDPE High density Polyethylene

LDPE Low-Density Polyethylene

LLDPE Linear Low Density Polyethylene

MDPE Medium Density Polyethylene

PA Polyamide

PAN Polyacrylonitrile

PC Polycabonate

PCTFE Polychlorotrifluoroethylene

PET Polyethylene terephthalate

PETG Polyethylene terephthalate

*POF Polyolefin

PP Polypropylene

PS Polystyrene

PTFE Polytetraflouroethylene

PUR Polyurethane

PVAC Polyvinyl acetate

PVAL Polyvinyl alchohol

PVC Polyvinyl Chloride

PVDC Polyvinylidene Chloride

SAN Styrene-acrylonitrile

* Not an official ASTM abbreviation

As you can see with a quick look, they use abbreviations for a reason. The technical terms are too much to remember, to hard to pronounce, and to hard to spell. We decided to add POF into the abbreviation list.  This is not an official abbreviation from the ASTM, but we refer to and use a lot of Polyolefin shrink wrap. It is much easier to refer to it as POF during conversation.

In future posts, we will be referring to these abbreviations when going over some of the products we carry.

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