Machine, Hand, and Pre-Stretch Film

Our stretch film options are vast with literally hundreds of options based on application and equipment configurations.  To guarantee an appropriate film for your application, please contact us.  Looking to learn more about stretch film?  See below for basic information and definitions.

What is the difference between stretch wrap and shrink wrap?

  • Shrink wrap is a poly plastic product that is applied with the use of a heat gun that heat shrinks the film so that it conforms securely around the product to which it is applied. It's most common application is for storage and protection from the elements. In short, shrink wrap is used to cover and protect product.
  • Stretch wrap is a poly plastic product that is used most commonly to wrap pallets of boxes or other product. It is stretchy with a strong elastic property and usually has a two-sided cling to is sticks to itself. It does not need a heat gun or any other special equipment to be successfully applied. In short, stretch wrap is used to contain product and hold them together.

What is "gauge" and how do I know what gauge I need?

Gauge is the most common measure of the thickness of stretch film (sometimes also measured in microns)
  • 100 gauge = 25.4 microns = .0254mm = .001in
  • The higher the number, the thicker the film (100ga > 80ga > 60ga, etc)
  • 80 gauge is the most common film, the “average” or “standard”
  • Heavier gauge films are typically required for:
    • Heavy loads, such as fasteners, machine parts, bags of mortar or mulch, etc.
    • Uneven loads with more corners and angles (also known as B- or C-loads)
    • Greater puncture potential
  • Lighter gauge films are typically required for:
    • Lighter loads, such as foam products, or light food products (snack foods like chips, etc)
    • Even, square loads (also known as A-loads)
    • Little to no puncture potential
  • Film is typically available in gauges ranging from 40ga - 150ga
  • Ultimately, the thickness needed is subjective. Samples film, when available, is ideal to determine what works best for your needs.

What is the difference between bundling film, hand wrap and machine film?

  • Bundling film has a smaller width (2”, 3” or 5”) and is hand applied
    • Applications
      • Securing long lengths of product, such as extruded metal, wood molding, PVC lengths, pipe, rebar, etc
      • Bundling together multiple small boxes so they ship as a single unit
    • Advantages
      • Small width
      • Similar application as tape but with no sticky residue
      • Easy to apply and clean to remove
    • Means of Application
      • Standard Bundler – the most common bundling film, it comes on a 3” core and often ships with one plastic plug-in handle per case
      • Extended Core– Comes on a 1” core which extends almost 5” beyond the film, creating a built-in handle for each roll. Some ship with a rubber grip to fit over the extended core.
      • QuikWrap – The most efficient and most ergonomic option, ships on a 1¾” core and with one black plug-in handle per case. The handle end features a black rubber grip that rotates freely around a core, allowing for easy application and a secure fit into the core of the stretch wrap.
  • Hand Wrap comes in 12”, 15”, 18”, 20” and 30” widths and is hand applied
    • Applications
        • Wrapping small pallets of average weight and evenly stacked product
        • Large pallet wrapping, but not in large quantities per day
    • Advantages
        • Can wrap a full pallet without the large capital investment required by a stretch wrap machine
        • Portable and can be used anywhere
    • Means of Application
        • Standard Hand Wrap – ships on a 3” core and is applied by hand or with a variety of dispensers (12”, 15” and 18” widths)
        • Extended Core Hand Wrap – ships on a 1” extended core (looks like a rolling pin) and is applied by hand (20” and 30” widths)
  • Machine Stretch Wrap most frequently comes in 20” or 30” widths, but is also available in 40”, 50” and 60” widths
    • Applications
      • Standard size skids but of heavy-weight product which require a high degree of stretch
      • Environments that require multiple skids to be wrapped per hour throughout the day
      • Semi-automated environments
    • Advantages
      • Machine wrap can obtain a stretch of over 250%, depending upon the film and the machine
      • Saves time
      • Greater efficiency and safety
      • Saves money on stretch wrap by getting more stretch out of each roll
    • Means of Application
      • Semi-Automatic Stretch Wrap Machines range in price from $3900 and upward and offer a variety of options to best fit your production and budget needs
      • Stretch Wrap Machines are generally not mobile and are restricted to a specific location within your warehouse

What is the difference between cast and blown film?

  • Cast Film
    • By far, the most commonly used film, particularly with stretch wrap machines and bundling film
    • Easy, quiet release
    • High Clarity
    • Tear resistant
    • Limited puncture resistance
    • Best for even loads of average, near-average, or below average weight
  • Blown Film
    • Most often used with hand wraps
    • Noisy unwind
    • Hazy, low clarity
    • High puncture resistance and toughness
    • Best used for heavy, uneven loads, or those with high puncture potential

What other options are available from stretch film?

The most common non-stock options are:
  • UVI – for long term outdoor storage
  • One-Side Cling – Good for loads that deliver on flatbed trucks (such as mulch) so that the skids of product do not stick together and risk being torn
  • Color – Stretch film can be made in various primary colors, both in tint and opaque
  • What is “gauge equivalent” or “replacement gauge” film?
  • Up until a decade or two ago, the only real measure for stretch film was its gauge, or thickness. As a result, certain gauges became associated with certain strengths and performance characteristics
  • More recently, with the advances in technology, we are able to make thinner films that have the equivalent strength of thicker (higher gauge) films. This enables us to provide you with a high quality film at a lower price because less material is used in the production of the film. Our Extreme films are an example of this type of film.
  • Gauge equivalent or replacement gauge films are best suited for even loads of average or below average weight.
  • Despite the advances in production technology, the most common way of referring to film strength and performance is still the gauge. 80ga, however, now, may not necessarily refer to the actual thickness of the film, but to the relative performance – it will perform comparably to an actual 80ga film.

Whatever your need is or your question may be, feel free to contact us and we'll help you determine what product will work best for your application and your budget.

Have a question? Don't hesitate to contact us.

Type word in empty field to verify: