Stretch film, or stretch wrap or lldpe stretch film, is a versatile and indispensable packaging material used in various industries.

Due to its unique characteristics and capabilities, it is a popular option for securing and protecting goods during transportation, warehousing, and distribution.

In this comprehensive guide, we will investigate stretch film’s definition, composition, functionality, and main benefits.

By the conclusion of this unit, you will have a thorough comprehension of this essential packaging solution and its significance in modern logistics.

what is stretch film

Stretch film is a highly elastic thin plastic film predominantly made from polyethylene (PE) resins.

It is manufactured using a process that stretches the film to its desired elongation, imparting characteristic elasticity.

It is used to secure, protect, and package goods by stretching and compacting, tightly wrapping them together.

stretch films

PE stretch film is a plastic film that exhibits self-adhesive properties. It is a thin film that can be stretched and tightly wrapped around items for bundling and wrapping purposes.

The adhesive does not adhere to the surface of the packaged goods and is present only on the film’s surfaces.

stretch wrap does not require heat shrinkage treatment in wrapping processes, which helps save energy, reduce packaging costs, facilitate containerized transportation, and improve logistics efficiency.

Combining pallets and forklifts in the “unitized loading and unloading” method reduces transportation costs.

At the same time, the high clarity of the films aids in identifying packaged goods and minimizing distribution errors.

Utilizing the film’s strong wrapping force and retraction properties, stretch films securely and compactly binds products into a single unit, preventing any loosening, separation, sharp edges, or stickiness that could cause damage.

More information about stretch wrap

Stretch film Specifications and Thickness :

Stretch film is available in different thicknesses and widths to accommodate various wrapping needs and types of goods.

Thickness is typically expressed in microns or gauge, with standard stretch film thicknesses is 12-30 microns(μm) or 50 gauge – 120 gaude.

Width is usually between 12 to 20 inches (30 to 50 cm) and can be customized according to specific requirements.

Thickness: Different thicknesses offer varying levels of strength and protection.

Thicker films, such as 20-35 μm(80-140 gauge), are suitable for heavy or sharp-edged items, providing enhanced puncture resistance, the film which allows it to handle heavier loads.

Thinner films, like 10-15 microns(40-90 gauge), are ideal for lighter items or when cost-efficiency is prioritized.

Width: Stretch film comes in various widths, typically 12 inches (30 cm) to 20 inches (50 cm).

The choice of width depends on the size and dimensions of the items being wrapped.

Opt for wider widths when packaging larger or bulkier items for better coverage and stability.

Classification of PE Stretch Film Usage:

Hand Stretch Film:
This type is primarily used for manual packaging, where the quality requirements are relatively lower. Each roll typically weighs around 4kg to 5kg for ease of handling.

hand stretch film

Machine Stretch Film:
Machine stretch film is used in mechanical packaging processes, where the film is applied using machine driven by the movement of goods.

It has higher stretch strength and requires a specific stretch ratio, typically around 300%. The rolls weigh approximately 15kg.

Machine stretch wrap is an essential packaging solution for pallet loads, helping to keep them secure during shipping and handling.

Pre-Stretch Film:

Pre-stretch film is a type of stretch film that has been pre-stretched during the manufacturing process. This stretching process involves elongating the film to a certain degree before it is wound onto the roll, reducing its thickness and increasing its strength and elasticity.

One of the key advantages of pre-stretched stretch film is its reduced film consumption. As the film is already stretched during the manufacturing process, less film is required to wrap a given load, leading to cost savings and decreased environmental impact.

Pre-stretch stretch wrap requires less effort to apply compared to traditional stretch films. The reduced tension during application minimizes the physical effort needed by operators, making the wrapping process more efficient and less strenuous.

Colored Film:
Colored stretch film comes in blue, red, yellow, green, and black. Manufacturers use it to differentiate and facilitate the identification of goods during wrapping.

is stretch film recyclable:

Yes, stretch film is recyclable. Stretch film is typically made from polyethylene (PE) resins, which is recyclable materials.

How to calculate the required stretch film specifications?

Weight Calculation Formula

Length Calculation Formula

Weight = Length (m) * thickness (um) * width (cm) * 0.918

Length = Weight(kg) / thickness (um) / width (cm) / 0.918

Give an Example :

550m length, 22um thickness, 50CM width, the weight is about 5.5 kgs. (550*0.022*0.5*0.918=5.5)

3 kgs weight, 22um thickness, 50CM width, the length is about 297m. (3/0.022/0.5/0.918=297)

Nano Stretch Film

The Next Generation in Stretch Film Technology

As leaders in packaging innovation, our company is proud to introduce Nano Stretch Film – a groundbreaking advancement in the stretch film industry.

Utilizing nanotechnology, this film offers superior strength and efficiency, marking a significant leap from traditional stretch films.

What Sets Nano Stretch Film Apart?

Nano Stretch Film is engineered using cutting-edge nanotechnology, which involves manipulating materials at an atomic or molecular scale.

This technology produces a thinner yet powerful film, offering unparalleled load stability and puncture resistance.

Advantages Over Traditional Stretch Films

Enhanced Durability: Despite its thinner profile, Nano Stretch Film’s strength outperforms thicker traditional films, ensuring secure and intact deliveries.

Reduced Material Usage: Its exceptional strength means less material is required for the same wrapping efficacy.

This leads to significant cost savings and reduced environmental impact.

Superior Stretchability and Cling: The film can stretch further with advanced elasticity while maintaining a tight grip, ensuring a secure wrap for various load types.

Want to learn more about nano stretch film?

what is stretch film used for

Due to its versatility and efficacy, stretch film is widely used for wrapping and bundling. Here are some frequent applications of stretch wrap:

Pallet Wrapping:

The stretch film is one of the primary applications for securing and stabilizing pallet cargo.

It prevents the shifting or toppling of boxes, cartons, and other packaged products during transport and storage by wrapping and securing them tightly.

Pallet loads wrapped in stretch film are easier to transport and store, allowing more efficient warehouse space use.

Unitizing and Bundling:

The stretch wrap combines multiple items into one unit for more straightforward handling, protection, and transportation.

It bundles and organizes items such as lumber, pipelines, furniture, and other bulky items.

pallet wrapping & combines multiple items into one unit

Protection and Dust/Moisture Resistance:

The stretch film is a protective barrier, shielding products from dust, grime, moisture, and other environmental elements during transport or storage.

It helps preserve the quality and integrity of the product.

Security and Tamper-Evidence:

Stretch film can provide security and tamper evidence for packaged products.

It reveals if the parcel has been tampered with, preventing theft or unauthorized access.

Wrapping and Packaging of Individual Items:

Stretch film is also used for wrapping and packaging individual items, such as bundling small or irregularly shaped products, sealing bags, and safeguarding fragile items.

Industrial Applications:

Stretch film is used to secure, safeguard, and streamline material handling operations in various industrial sectors, including manufacturing, distribution, logistics, and warehousing.

Stretch wrap is versatile enough to be used with a variety of loads, from irregularly shaped items to large, heavy machines.

stretch film wrap

Retail and E-commerce:

Stretch film is an integral component of retail and e-commerce operations, assuring the safe and secure packaging of products for shipping and display.

The application of stretch films can vary based on the load’s size, weight, shape, and desired level of protection.

Stretch film is a versatile packaging solution that can accommodate the varying wrapping requirements of various industries and sectors.

Advantages of PE Stretch Film

Environmental Sustainability: PE stretch film is a recyclable packaging material contributing to the preservation of the environment. It is recyclable and can be processed into new film or other plastic products, reducing resource consumption and environmental impact.

Unitization: One of the significant characteristics of stretch wrap is its ability to tightly and securely bind products, making scattered items into a cohesive unit.

This prevents any loosening or separation, even in adverse conditions, without sharp edges or stickiness that could cause damage.

Cost-Effectiveness: PE stretch film is relatively inexpensive, particularly compared to other packaging materials.

It offers superior stretchability and packaging performance, reducing the quantity of film required and packaging costs.

Stretch wrap requires approximately 15% less packaging than the original carton packaging, 35% less packaging than heat shrink film, and 50% less packaging than cardboard packaging.

It decreases labour intensity, boosts packaging efficiency, and improves wrapping quality.

Wide Adaptability:  Stretch film rolls are suitable for wrapping items of varying shapes, sizes, and weights. It can adapt the stretch force and packaging techniques to satisfy the requirements of various industries and applications.

PE stretch film

High Transparency and Visibility: The superb transparency of plastic stretch film increases the product’s visibility.

This is essential for inspecting the integrity of packaging, identifying products, and enhancing the efficiency of warehouse operations.

Ease of Use: Plastic stretch films can be applied manually or with machine, making wrapping operations convenient and practical.

Hand stretch film is suitable for small-scale packaging, whereas machine stretch film is suitable for large-scale packaging production lines with high efficacy.

Physically Stable Properties: The physical properties of stretch wrap rolls are physically stable, allowing it to maintain its packaging performance under varying temperature and humidity conditions.

It has excellent abrasion, tear, and chemical corrosion resistance, protecting products from environmental degradation.

stretch wrap roll

Safety and Protection: Stretch wrap rolls provide safety and protection against dust, moisture, sunlight, and other external factors.

It may also include larceny prevention and anti-counterfeiting features, ensuring product safety.

Importantly, stretch film wrapping equitably distributes forces, preventing damage that conventional packaging methods such as strapping, tape, or adhesive cannot achieve.

The optimal method is a combination of these packaging techniques.

These benefits make polyethylene stretch film indispensable in today’s logistics and packaging industries.

It is essential for product protection, minimizing losses, enhancing transportation efficiency, and reducing costs.

how to make stretch film

The production of stretch films involves several stages. Here is an overview of how the stretch film is manufactured:

The initial stage is preparing the resin, typically polyethylene (PE).

Resin pellets are meticulously selected based on the stretch film’s desired properties, such as strength, flexibility, and transparency.

Extrusion: The resin pellets are delivered into an extruder machine, which melts and homogenizes them under temperature and pressure control.

The molten resin is then forced through a die to form a thin, continuous extrudate.

Cooling and Solidification: The molten resin is rapidly cooled and solidified as the extruded film travels through a cooling system.

This phase determines the film’s dimensions, thickness, and other physical properties.

Stretching and Orientation: Following solidification, the film enters a stretching unit consisting of a series of heated rollers or a specialized mechanism for stretching.

The film is stretched in both the machine (lengthwise) and transverse (crosswise) dimensions, which aligns the polymer chains and improves its strength and stretchability.

The stretched film is chilled in order to stabilize its molecular structure and enhance its dimensional stability.

Annealing, a controlled heating and cooling procedure, can also relax the film and improve its properties.

Winding and Slitting: The stretch film is wound onto large rolls as the final phase.

The coils’ width, thickness, and length can vary depending on the intended application.

The rolls can be slit into narrower widths if necessary to accommodate specific consumer requirements.

Conventional stretch film production line

55 layer Nano Stretch Film production line

what is the difference between cast and blown stretch film

Continuous casting process is used to create the cast stretch film.

The molten resin is extruded through a flat die before passing over a chill roller, swiftly solidifying and cooling the film.

This procedure produces a uniform, transparent film with exceptional clarity and quiet unwinding quality.

Blown Stretch Film: Blown stretch film is created via the blown film extrusion.

As the molten resin departs a circular die, it is inflated with air to form a bubble of molten plastic.

The bubble is subsequently chilled and collapses into a thin film. This procedure produces a more durable and puncture-resistant film.

Cast Stretch Film: Due to its high transparency, excellent product visibility or barcode scanning is possible with cast stretch film.

It’s easier and more efficient because of the smooth and silent unwind.

Cast film is preferred because of its superior adhesion to itself, which guarantees safe cargo containment.

The thinner option is usually more cost-effective for smaller weights or those that necessitate less film strength.

In most cases, the production technique and thinner gauge options available with cast film make it more cost-effective than blown film.

The industry’s durability, tear resistance, and load capacity of the blown stretch film are unparalleled.

Its increased tack and rougher surface make it ideal for grabbing and holding onto cargo.

Blow film is your best bet if you have a hefty or uniquely shaped cargo that needs to be protected.

It works effectively in challenging settings.

The higher durability and functionality of blown film make it more expensive than cast film.

Cast and blown stretch films offer benefits and can be used in specific contexts.

Considerations such as load type, film clarity, load capacity, and available funds will determine the best option.

Nano stretch film

KEEPTOP’s nano stretch film uses casting process. But it has a top level of tear resistance.

On conventional films, once the film is punctured, this usually results in tearing of the film around the puncture point. Once torn, the film loses containment.

But Nanotechnology stretch films do not tear easily as conventional stretch films do , ensuring reliable performance and stability under load.

How to identify the quality of the stretch film?

1. Examine the thickness and hardness of the stretch film.

A well-made film will feel thicker and more elastic; a poorly-made film will be comparatively softer and lack the qualities above.

Thickness: Poor materials will be thin, whereas good stretch film will have a rubber layer thickness greater than 0.125.

2. To see the pattern of rainbows.

Excellent stretch wrap film eliminates rainbow patterns outdoors or in an energy-saving bulb with bright light.

On the other hand, you can see quite clearly, just like soap bubbles, as long as the shoddy stretch film is under the powerful energy-saving bulb.

Other uses of stretch wrap

Transitioning between seasons often necessitates the storage of cumbersome bedding, such as comforters and quilts.

The industrial stretch film saves the day by enabling the bedding to be rolled up like sushi rolls, thereby saving valuable space.

Professional organizers frequently use stretch wrap to protect bedding from dust, insects, and moisture while reducing its volume for simple storage.

stretch wrap film for storage

Moving companies frequently employ industrial stretch wrap during relocations as a practical and protective solution.

The stretch film enables them to bundle items, including furniture, together instead of individually packaging them.

It saves a great deal of time organizing items during a move.

On weekends, when picnicking or going on outdoor excursions, it may be necessary to erect a makeshift refuge in the event of sudden weather changes.

Stretch wrap roll can provide a fast and effective barrier against wind and precipitation.

Create an impromptu shelter by blocking the elements with stretch film, allowing you and your companions to enjoy your meal and conversation without interruption.

Small Electronics and Miscellaneous Items Organization:

The self-adhesive nature of the stretch film makes it a versatile organizer for small electronics and scattered objects.

Using stretch wrapping films help to keep cables, adapters, and other accessories organized and prevents tangling.

It’s a convenient way to organize and declutter your living space.

Precautions for stretch film

The stretch film should be stored by placing it inside a cardboard box or vertically on the ground to avoid damage to the edges, which could lead to ruptures and breakage during use.

stretch wrap roll error storage method
lldpe stretch film error storage method

During manual wrapping and packaging, keeping the stretch film parallel to the package is essential to ensure the even and effective securing of the goods.

It helps to avoid single-point stress on the film’s edges, which could cause it to break. Additionally, stretch wrap possesses elastic solid properties, so excessive stretching during use is unnecessary.

Applying moderate tension is sufficient to achieve a secure wrapping.

hand stretch wrap correct wrapping method

In case of film breakage, it is advisable to pull the film widthwise entirely before continuing to use it.

This practice prevents longitudinal tearing caused by edge sticking and edge hang-ups.

hand stretch film correct stretching method
hand stretch film wrong stretching method

Conclusion:

Stretch film is a versatile and essential form of packaging, offering superior load stability, protection, and efficiency in many different settings.

It is a crucial component of today’s supply chains due to its adaptability, self-adhering qualities, and capacity to protect products in transit.

Stretch film can be used in packaging processes to improve product safety, lessen the likelihood of damage during transport, and increase productivity.

If you’re looking for the best quality, dependability, and competence in stretch packaging, go no further than our professional stretch film solutions.

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