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What is Shrink Film?

August 22, 2013

Think back to the days when you purchased CD’s…remember the plastic they were wrapped in that was not that easy to remove, yet once you got a little tear in it, it broke easily?  Well that was a type of shrink film.  These films can be used for more than protecting your DVD, and in the world of packaging they play a large role in protecting your product.

There are two main types of film commonly used: Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) and Polyolefin.  Within each type, there are many hybrid versions.

PVC was first plasticized in 1926 into a usable hard plastic.  When mixed with plasticizers, it becomes the flexible form for shrink film.  It is very durable but can become brittle. PVC is compatible with all types of shrink wrap equipment, and is the least expensive of the two materials.  The down side to PVC is it’s not food safe, and releases byproduct during the shrinking process.

Polyolefin is a newer product, and is rapidly becoming the most popular choice for many applications. It is extremely durable, more so than PVC film, which makes it useful for items with sharp edges. It is also the film product approved for food packaging.  Polyolefin is more pliable than PVC film and does not tear easily, is puncture resistant and tough.  Also, it doesn’t break down during the heat-sealing phase of packaging.

Making the right choice in shrink film is important, yet not always the easiest of choices.  We at The BoxMaker have an educated team who can work with you on choosing what film and film application is best for your product and company.  Call us today at 800-443-5431!

Protective & Interior Packaging, Packaging Solutions

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