There are several ways to shrink wrap. Smaller items may be placed in a shrink wrap bag, and then heated with a handheld heat gun. Other items may be placed in a shrink wrap tubing that is adjustable in length. Facilities that regularly shrink wrap larger loads may use a shrink wrap machine, which can wrap, heat, and seal all at the same time.
Advantages to Shrink Wrapping
Shrink wrapping has many applications across various industries. Not only is it easy to use, but it offers a wide range of benefits as well.
When heat is applied to shrink wrap, it creates a very tight seal. This plastic seal then fully protects the shrink wrapped contents. Once sealed, the items are no longer vulnerable to the damage that can be caused by dust, dirt or moisture. Some types of shrink wrap even come with UV protection, to keep your products safe from the sun’s harmful rays.
Shrink wrap is made from a very sturdy, durable plastic. It is difficult to tear or puncture. Unlike other materials, shrink wrap does not become brittle or weaken when it is in the sun or extreme cold. Once the shrink wrap has been heated and sealed over your objects, it will not loosen or sag.
Since shrink wrap both seals and holds its shape once applied, any tampering will be noticeable immediately. For this reason, many pharmaceutical companies now shrink wrap their products, as well as food manufacturers. Some types of shrink wraps used by banks and government agencies change color when the plastic has been stretched, to show that the sealed items have been touched.
Compared to other packaging materials, shrink wrap can be a very affordable choice. It also is designed to minimize space; it keeps bundled items close together without the use of additional bulky materials, such as boxes. Space saved is money saved, both in storage and transport.
An added feature of shrink wrap is that it can be designed with colors, words, pictures and logos that promote your products. From your production floor until it reaches the end user, your product isn’t just wrapped in plastic—it’s wrapped in your brand. This is a marketing tool that can increase brand awareness, and make you more visible to your customers.
Many foods that need to be preserved, either for transport or to extend shelf life, are preserved in shrink wrap. Food-grade shrink wrap is a regular choice for food production companies.
The one item that most separates shrink wrap from other packaging materials is that is can be used for any size project. Small electrical wires are often shrink wrapped to prevent exposure to moisture. Game pieces, candies, and hardware can all be bunched and shrink wrapped. On the other end of the spectrum, shrink wrap kits are sold to weatherize boats and greenhouses. Freight on trailers and trains can be shrink wrapped for easier transport. Even entire buildings have been shrink wrapped to prevent chemical leaks or exposure from hazardous materials.
Why Shrink Wrap?
Shrink wrapping is an easy process that only requires two things—the right kind of plastic wrap and heat. With just a roll of shrink wrap paper and a heating source, you can waterproof, weatherproof and tamperproof just about anything you have. Since there is no restriction on size to shrink wrap items—big or small—you now have a way to protect even your bulkiest of items. As an added bonus, shrink wrap plastic is recyclable; when you’re finished with it, you can toss it in with your other plastic bags to be recycled and remade for future uses.
Pub Date 08/2016
The product statements contained herein are intended for informational purposes only. Such product statements do not constitute a product recommendation or representation as to the appropriateness for a specific application or use. W. W. Grainger, Inc. does not guarantee the result of product operation or assume any liability for personal injury or property damage resulting from the use of such products.