The important thing to consider when buying clear shrink wrap online is the thickness of the film that would be perfect for your products. And to determine the ideal thickness of the film, you must first select the type of shrink film that will be most suitable for a specific application. After that, you should understand how the shrink films are measured. Most are measured by gauge, while others are measured in Mil thickness. A mil is a thousandth of an inch, whereas a gauge is one-hundredth of a mil or one hundred thousandths of an inch. Micron is another common unit used to measure the thickness of shrink wrap films, which is one-millionth of a meter.
The below-given plastic conversion chart can help you determine the thickness when you buy clear shrink wrap online.
1 gauge = one-hundredth of a mil = 0.254 microns
100 gauge = 1 Mil = 25.4 microns = one-thousandth of an inch
PVC shrink film
PVC films can be found in various thicknesses, but the most common is a 75-gauge thickness. The thicknesses of PVC shrink film are easy to figure out as they are not recommended for sharp or heavy objects but are a great option for packing boxes, CD cases, and other such uniform things. They are not recommended for pointed objects that weigh more than 25-30 lbs. These films become brittle and hard after applying heat to them. Such properties make PVC wraps ideal for packaging heavy pointed objects. Smaller bags may be smaller and stronger. If your PVC shrink wrap rips or tears apart, you should opt for it.
Polyolefin shrink film
This is another great option for packaging a wide range of products across several industries, and one of the reasons for this is that these wraps are food-safe and FDA-approved. The word polyolefin means oil-like, which explains why polyolefin shrinks and feels oil-like or waxy to touch. These shrink films are much softer than PVC shrink films. Also, they do not contain chlorine, so it is completely food safe. Polyolefin shrink wrap films also come in various stock thicknesses, the most common being 60, 75, 80, and 100 gauge. One of the most important benefits of using polyolefin shrink wraps is that they offer great clarity and a thicker film. This leads to another essential feature, which is the roll length. 60 gauge rolls are thin and thus considerably longer than 100 gauge film.
- 60 gauge is the thinnest polyolefin film suitable for most light shrink film applications. It does not require much heat to shrink or seal and offers a fair amount of puncture and tear resistance. These shrink-wrap films are commonly used for light food applications like it is used by several bakeries to wrap small bundles of cookies and other baked goods. Stationery companies, printers, and confectioners also use it. However, it would help if you remembered that a 60 gauge shrink wrap is only for light applications, for products with limited or no sharp edges and corners. Since it is lighter, it requires less heat to shrink and conform to the product, and too much heat can result in holes and burns. This film can be used for products that are less than 30-35 lbs
- 75 gauge: 75 gauge is the standard shrink film thickness for polyolefin and PVC shrink films. However, although they are the same thickness, polyolefin offers better tear resistance because the PVC shrink wrap becomes hard after applying heat. Tearing will quickly start even if a small puncture occurs. Furthermore, 75 gauge polyolefin shrink films are softer and flex more after heat application, thus offering better puncture and tear resistance.
- 100 gauge: this thickness is recommended if you have trouble with tears, burns, or rips on lighter film thickness. 100 gauge films require higher amounts of heat for shrinking since they are thicker. These shrink wraps are preferred for many applications for wrapping products over 30-35 pounds with sharp or jagged edges. They can also be used for wrapping heavy wooden and metal objects.
Polyethylene shrink film
This type of film is used for most industrial applications. It comes in thicknesses of up to 12 mils, i.e., 1200 gauge. It is mostly used for cases of water, wrapping boats, pallet shrink bags, and other large industrial items. Most pallet shrink bags are made of polyethylene shrink film, commonly in 4-6 mil thickness. However, this shrink film has a lower shrink rate than PVC and polyolefin, which makes it perfect for printing.
To sum up
Now that you know the differences between the various types of shrink-wrap paper and their different thicknesses, you can figure out which will be most suitable for wrapping your products. Make sure you consult your supplier about your items before you purchase them to get the perfect shrink-wrap film for your business.