High tech poly films have revolutionized the packaging industry—they’re able to create a water-proof package and stabilize an entire pallet of cartons or materials. However, some people still think there is no difference between shrink wrapping and stretch wrapping machine technology. This confusion sometimes even causes a misorder of materials.

The main reason these two forms of packaging are confused has to do with materials. Both utilize plastic film which envelopes the package. These films might look similar because they are clear, but they do not serve the same purpose. One uses shrink film while the other requires stretch film and a stretch wrapping machine.

How Stretch Film Works

Stretch wrapping is often used to palletize loads for handling. This can be done in more than one way. For example, packages can be placed on pallets and by stretching clear film all around them the film clings elastically together. This connects material to a pallet, so a lift truck can easily carry it about. Non-palletized loads can also be created, which are carried by clamp trucks.

How Shrink Wrap Works

Unlike stretch wrap, shrink film is not stretched. Instead, it is heat activated and literally shrinks to the shape of the product to be sealed and protected. It’s great for protecting individual products or grouping several together to create one package.

Which is Best?

Both shrink wrapping and stretch wrapping machine technologies provide benefits to the manufacturer, shipper, and consumer. It all depends on which materials are being handled. At John Maye Company, we provide materials and solutions for your packaging needs and can help you make the right decision for your business. Call us today at 1-800-441-6293 for more information.