The term “shrink wrap” is a generic term used for a variety of products. Some products are used in the packaging industry and other products are used in a variety of other industries. We are going to take the time and list shrink wrap products and other products commonly referred to as shrink wrap. View the image below for a quick reference to find the shrink wrap product you are looking for.
Shrink Wrap Products
*PVC Shrink Wrap Rolls– Used for nonconsumable retail packaging. Offers a low shrink rate and is a very affordable packaging option. PVC is very crinkly before heat is applied and becomes harder once heated. The most common form of PVC shrink rolls is sold as centerfold. The roll is folded in half lengthways. A 12 inch centerfold shrink roll is actually 24 inches unfolded. The other option is a single wound PVC shrink roll. The single wound rolls are placed flat onto the core.
*PVC Shrink Bags- A very common form of shrink wrap used by large companies and small businesses. PVC Shrink bags are often used for wrapping video games, DVDs, CDs, and gift baskets. Special domed bags are available for gift baskets to fit over the basket handle.
*PVC Shrink Tubing- Most PVC shrink tubing is clear and often used for a variety of uses. Many users prefer PVC shrink tubing for long cylindrical objects.
*Polyolefin Shrink Wrap Rolls- Used for consumable and nonconsumable products. Slightly more expensive than the PVC shrink wrap, but a superior film. Polyolefin shrink wrap is soft to the touch before and after heat is applied. Most shrink-wrapped products in stores is either PVC or polyolefin shrink wrap. Like the PVC rolls, the polyolefin is available in centerfold rolls or single wound rolls.
*Polyolefin Shrink Bags- Often hard to find, polyolefin shrink bags are ideal for a variety of packaging applications for consumable and nonconsumable products.
Poyolefin Heat Shrink Tubing- This product commonly comes in colors and is used for wires and electrical components. Most tubing comes in packs of 6-inch tubes.
Polyethylene Shrink Wrap Rolls- Considered a heavy duty shrink wrap. Polyethylene shrink film is often several times thicker than polyolefin or PVC rolls. Colored polyethylene shrink film is often used to wrap boats and large industrial objects. Rolls can come in widths up to 40 feet wide. Rolls are often folded in half several times widthways to fit onto a manageable sized core.
Another popular use for polyethylene shrink wrap is packaging liquids to a case. Water bottles and a host of other liquid products are packaged this way. This type of polyethylene film is often called a shrink bundling film. It comes in a variety of formats including tubing and single wound rolls.
*Polyethylene Pallet Shrink Bags- Offered in heavy thicknesses to hold and protect pallet loads from a variety of exterior elements. Bags often come on perforated rolls. A variety of thicknesses and dimensions of bags are often available.
Items Mistaken For Shrink Wrap
*Stretch Film- This material is commonly referred to as shrink wrap. It is offered on hand rolls and machine rolls and is often used to wrap pallet loads. It is a great option for companies and people transporting items. It is not a shrink wrap because heat does not need to be applied to the film.
Vacuum Bags- Used for packaging multiple products around the globe. Vacuum bags protect and seal products to help preserve freshness. They also protect food items from exterior elements. They should not be considered a heat shrink wrap because not heat is need when using the bags. The air is removed from the bags to conform them to the product being wrapped.
*Food Plastic Wrap- Many people call this material “Saran Wrap”. It is used in commercial and residential kitchens across the United States. Great for protecting food products for short term storage. Because it offers cling, there is no heat needed to conform the material to the product.