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A Guide to Using Heat Shrink Packaging

What’s common between the way board games, a stack of water bottles and electronics are packed – they all use heat shrink packaging. This is basically a polymer plastic film that shrinks when heat is applied on it. The shrinking leads to a close fit over whatever material it encases. The most typical uses for this types of packing material include gift baskets, consumables, boxes and electronics. It’s an interesting material so here are a few things you should know about using it.Advantages and DisadvantagesHeat shrink plastic is flexible and keeps packages secure. It is quite strong and needs force to tear apart. That said, it is strong only if it has been used correctly. Specialized equipment is typically required and hence this material is usually used only by professional packers. It protects the package within from moisture in the air and water but is also known to harden and become brittle in very cold conditions.Using Shrink FilmThe first things to do when using shrink film is cut it to right size. Most sheets shrink up to about 30% of their original size. Keep this in mind when measuring the sheet. If the exact size is not available, it is advisable to choose the next larger size. Similarly, if you are using shrink bags, allow an extra few inches for the bag to seal. The thickness of the sheet also matters. For cargo weighing less than 12 pounds, 75 gauge sheets are sufficient. However, 100 gauge sheets are better for heavier items. You will then need to sue a heat gun on the sheet to shrink it and seal the ends. Some of the common types of plastic that can be used for shrink packing include polyethylene shrink film,polyolefin shrink film and cross-linked polyolefin shrink film.How to Avoid Common IssuesWrinkles in the plastic are the most common issue faced when suing this material. Increasing the temperature or slow down the speed can help avoid these wrinkles. If the wrinkles have already formed, applying more heat may help relieve them. Similarly, applying extra heat at the corners can help avoid dog ears. Ballooning occurs when air gets trapped inside the plastic. Making a small hole with a pin can help remove the air in such cases. If the shrink film tears or burns while in use, you may need to change the plastic and use a thicker gauge sheet. Also Read: 5 Benefits of Using Corrugated PackagingThe ease of using it, flexibility, clarity and versatility make heat shrink film a popular material with professional packers. Whether you’re packing fragile items like glasses or books that need to be held together, this meets all your requirements. If you’ve got a move coming up, you know that the way your cargo is packed determines how well it will travel. To ensure that everything reaches its destination in one piece, it is always better to work with professional packers. Not only will they have access to the best packing material and equipment, they are also more experienced at how to pack things in the safest and more efficient way.........Read more