Types of Shrink Packaging
Shrink packaging comes in many forms, but most people aren’t fully aware of all the different types of shrink packaging available. Various forms of shrink wrap are used in all types of industries, from food processing plants to board game manufacturers. Shrink packaging is incredibly versatile and can be used for a number of different functions, including bundling items together or protecting products against dust and moisture. Here’s some of the different shrink-packaging options available that you can take advantage of for your own packaging operations.
Standard shrink wrap is sold by the roll and can be applied by machine or by hand. You can order shrink wrap stored on centerfold rolls or single wound rolls. Centerfold rolls feature a sheet that’s folded in half before being wound onto the roll. Before application, you would unfold the sheet of shrink wrap and then apply it around your product. This is commonly used in hand applications. Single wound rolls, sometimes called layflat shrink, are not folded and are simply wound onto the core of a roll. These are used in high-speed shrink machines and unwind faster compared to centerfold rolls, which would not typically be used on a machine.
Shrink sleeves are a convenient way to add marketing or branding materials to a product. You can even use them to replace labels in many applications. They are frequently used to wrap bottles or other retail containers for an attractive appearance. You can print in full color on shrink sleeves and they wrap around a product 360-degrees for full visual coverage. They also offer a low maximum shrink rate, which prevents printed materials from being distorted during application.
Shrink bands are a great solution for providing a tamper-evident seal to your product packaging. They can wrap around lids of containers or bottles and be shrinked to create a tight seal that must be cut off to be removed. You can purchase generic shrink bands that can be fit around a number of products, or for different shaped containers you can buy preformed shrink bands. These are shaped in circles or squares, depending on the application they’ll be used for. Shrink bands are frequently found around the lids of mouthwash, ice cream containers, and other similar consumable products.
Shrink tubing is similar to shrink sleeves, but instead of being precut to a specific size, the tubing is supplied on a continuous roll. During application, you size and cut the shrink tubing to your desired length, insert the product, and seal on both ends. Shrink tubing is excellent for packaging facilities that deal with different sized products on the same packaging line. Instead of having to stock multiple sizes of shrink sleeves or bags, you can simply stock one roll of tubing and make your own bags or sleeves.
Shrink bags are similar to poly bags in general, but they can be applied using heat to form around a specific product or bundle of items. You simply insert the product into the bag and seal with heat. Shrink bags speed up productivity for packaging similar items without needing to individual wrap each one individually. Shrink bags come in all different sizes, even pallet-sized bags which are mentioned below.
Shrink Pallet Bags
Shrink pallet bags are essentially the same as other shrink bags, except they are sized to fit over entire pallet loads. They used to be one of the preferred methods of protecting pallet loads before people began switching to stretch wrap and standard poly bags. Since shrink bags require heat to secure them to a load, it can often damage products.
Outdoor/Marine Shrink Wraps
Outdoor strength or marine shrink wrap is frequently used to protect boats and other outdoor equipment. It’s a thicker heat shrink wrap that can fit over large objects and form durable seals against the elements. Marine shrink wrap is often used with shrink tape for a strong application. This shrink wrap is designed to weatherize outdoor equipment and protect it against dust, moisture, snow, and more.
Shrink tape is a type of packaging tape that can be heated to fit tightly around different objects. It’s often used in conjunction with marine wraps to secure outdoor equipment. Shrink tape is also used to wrap around electrical wires in some applications. It is great for securing different wires together. You can also use shrink tape to bundle items together for easier storage or transport.