To Stretch Or To Shrink? Choosing The Right Wrap

Hand stretch wrap and shrink wrap film are two of the most common protective packaging products used for bundling packages. These two products provide protection from moisture, dust and tampering, and are also effective in keeping items from moving or being dislocated during transit.
These two protective packaging products share a lot of characteristics, the most immediately apparent being the fact that they are both made of plastic, which gives them innate high strength-to-weight ratio and low toxicity. This similarity is among the reasons why a lot of people think these two items are the same and can be used in the same applications.
What they don’t know is that these two products have properties that are unique to each other. Take a look at how they differ from each other below:
Hand stretch wrap
Hand stretch wrapping is made of polyethylene. It is a stretchable plastic film that is wrapped around a bundle of packages to help protect and secure it in place. Its high stretchability (some variants can be stretched by up to 300 percent) and elastic recovery provides a formidable cling, allowing it to keep items tightly bound together. This characteristic also allows it to be applied without the need for glue, adhesives or heat.
Because of its low manufacturing cost, hand stretch wrap is the more economical wrapping of the two. It doesn’t need a machine when it comes to application because it can be applied manually, although there are automated and semi-automated tools to improve the efficiency of application.
Shrink wrap film
Polyethylene makes up most of shrink wrap film. Unlike hand stretch wrap, shrink wrap film is loosely placed around a bundle of items, only shrinking tightly when exposed to hot air. When enough heat is applied, the film melts and shrinks to conform to the surface of the item. The film shrinks only to a certain extent, however, so the size of the item to be wrapped must be carefully measured.
Shrink wrap film is much more expensive than hand stretch wrap. The tools required for applying them are also more expensive than those used for stretch wrap. However, unlike hand stretch wrap, shrink wrap film can be customised to include logos and branding. Shrink wrap film also provides sealing that is much more visually appealing than its stretchable counterpart, making it ideal for shipping items where branding is needed.
Hand stretch wrap and shrink wrap film are two efficient packaging products that provide the best protection for your products. Knowing the differences between the two can help you decide which one is better for the job, which in turn helps you achieve the best results.
For all your protective plastic packaging needs, KF PLASTICS is here to help. We offer a wide range of high-quality plastic packaging products, including hand stretch wrap and shrink wrap film. 
Visit the KF PLASTICS website to know more about our various protective packaging solutions, or go to our Contact Us page and tell us how we can help you.

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