Plastic shrink film and stretch film: what is the difference?

Plastic shrink film and stretch film: what is the difference?

In the world of packaging supplies, stretch film and shrink film are the two words that are most likely to be wrongly interchanged when the product is used.

Stretch Film
PVC stretch film, also known as stretch wrapping paper, is a transparent plastic wrapping paper applied by hand or machine, used to hold boxes and products on trays. It acts as a safety net for pallets during transportation, storage and distribution. Most stretch wraps are transparent, so users can see the items on the pallet for easy identification, scanning, and security checks, and there are many lengths, widths, colors, specifications, and types as needed.

The stretched film can be applied by hand or by equipment. The width of the hand-held film is usually small, so people can manually hold the roll and wrap the stretched portion on the tray. The hand-made film can be pre-stretched, which means that the wrapping paper has been stretched to the maximum capacity when it is on the roll. Although this requires less output from people who stick the stretched film to the pallet, it also means less film per roll and cannot hold as much film as conventional unstretched wrapping paper.

Stretch film can also be called "blow molding" or "casting", these differences greatly affect the usability and price of the film. Cast films are essentially a cheaper and more modern way of producing stretched films, although blown films still have many uses today. The plaster is very clear, easy to stretch, and does not stick to your hands. However, if it is stretched too much, it will easily break, and the size that shrinks after stretching will not be so easy. On the other hand, the blown is not transparent and feels sticky to the touch, but it has higher retention and greater tear resistance than casting.

Plastic Shrink Film
Plastic shrink film is a tight plastic package that surrounds consumer products such as water bottles, soda cans, sporting goods, and pharmaceuticals. The name of this film is due to the actual shrinkage of the plastic film when packaging the product. Shrink film can also improve safety and protection, because it is easy to tell when the shrink packaging has been tampered with.

Types of plastic shrink film
There are usually two types of shrink film: polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polyolefin. PVC is also not suitable for edible/consumer products, so for food and beverages, polyolefin is the only way. Polyolefins are durable, have excellent transparency, and have a high ability to shrink quickly and completely when heated.

Stretch film and shrink film are used for different purposes. Stretch film wraps and protects industrial trays, while shrink film contains consumer products and is easy to package and put on the shelf. The two cannot be replaced by each other.