1-800-456-2467

Stretch Wrap

Complete Guide to Stretch Wrap

What is Stretch Wrap?

Stretch wrap is a film made from polyethylene plastic. This thin film is often used in shipping, palletizing, and warehousing applications and is known for its ability to elongate, or stretch, beyond its resting state. Most commonly, stretch film is wrapped around items on pallets for extra security during movements or shipping. Stretch wraps come in various widths, thicknesses, and types. When used properly, stretch films help reduce product loss and protect against injuries within work areas.

Stretch Wrap vs Shrink Wrap

While some may use “stretch wrap” and “shrink wrap” synonymously, they are actually two different products. Shrink wrap uses heat to constrict, or shrink, to the item it is wrapped around. Stretch wrap does not require heat activation. Stretch films are more pliable and will stretch to create strength during the wrapping process.

Cast vs Blown Stretch Wrap

All stretch wrap products can be categorized under two main categories: cast or blown. The manufacturing process is different for each of these films—which causes the products to have unique characteristics.

What is Cast Stretch Wrap?

Cast Stretch Wrap has become the most popular type of stretch film. It is an extruded film that is available in a wide range of sizes and thicknesses.

Benefits: Due to the popularity of Cast in the market, there tends to be a wider array of product offerings. This means there might be a better chance to find the product that specifically fits your needs. This also generally means lower pricing vs blown wrap of the same specifications. Cast film is also quiet when unwinding where blown is very noisy.

Drawbacks: Cast Stretch Film is two side cling and can stick to other shipments if placed too close on a truck. This could lead to issues while loading/unloading. Cast film also has a slightly lower tear resistance than blown films of the same specs.

What is Blown Stretch Wrap?

With Blown Stretch Wrap, air is used in the manufacturing process, causing these films to have slightly different characteristics.

Benefits: Blown film tends to have slightly better performance (tensile strength, elongation, etc.) than Cast films of the same width and thickness. Blown films offer greater tear resistance and stretching capabilities than Cast. Blown films are also recommended for low temperature applications.

Drawbacks: Due to higher manufacturing costs, Blown films tend to be more expensive than Cast. There also a less robust selection of Blown films in the market due to limited demand. Blown film is noisy when unrolled.

What style of Stretch Wrap should I use?

We offer many forms of Stretch Wrap products for all sorts of applications. Choosing the correct product line for the job is important.

Hand Stretch Wrap

Hand Stretch Wrap products range anywhere from 11” to 20” widths. These rolls have a 3” diameter core and are designed to be used for hand applications. To ease the application process, dispenser and hand saver products can be used but are not required.

Hand Stretch Wrap is available in cast, blown, coreless, colored, pre-stretched, and specialty.

Pallet Stretch Wrap

What we call Pallet Stretch Wrap others may call extended core, pipe wrap, or a specific brand name. These products feature a 1” core that extends beyond the width of the stretch film on both sides. This creates built in handles for easy application. Tension Handles are available for these products to prevent wear on the hands of users.

Pallet Stretch Wrap comes in extended core, coreless, and colored selections. Coreless Pallet Stretch includes a reusable plastic extended core insert in each case.

Mini Stretch Wrap

Mini Stretch Wrap products are small width rolls making them great for small scale bundling applications. Mini Stretch Wrap is a quick and easy alternative to tape, twine, and strapping shipments. Stretch film can be paired with handles or dispensers for easy hand wrapping applications.

Our Mini Bundling rolls include one free handle per case for easy application while Mini Extended Core include a built-in handle. Coreless and Colored products are also available.

Colored Stretch Wrap

We offer a wide array of color choices in multiple formfactors. Many of our colors come in dark/opaque or tinted. Opaque stretch film prevents people from being able to see the product that is wrapped up. This can be good when privacy is a necessity. Tinted stretch film allows the contents to be seen but retains the color of the wrap. Both options can be great for creating easily identified bundles of products.

Colored Stretch Wrap comes in mini, pallet, and machine length applications.

Pre-Stretched Wrap

Pre-Stretched Wrap is great for hand wrapping applications. This stretch film is factory stretched close to its breaking point before being added to a roll. This makes application easier since less strength is required to stretch the film over the bundle, reducing worker fatigue over time. This lightweight film has a 3” core diameter and transparent color. Dispensers can be used during hand wrap applications.

Pre-Stretched Wrap is available in hand length,  mini bundling and coreless selections.

Coreless Stretch Wrap

Coreless Stretch Wrap rolls do not include the standard cardboard core. Because of this waste is reduced making these products a great solution for environmentally conscious buyers. Reusable dispensers take the place of the traditional core for easy application. We have a variety of coreless product styles to choose from.

Machine Length Stretch Wrap

Machine Length Stretch Wrap is ideal for large scale industries. These film rolls are large capacity and are designed for machine applications. This stretch film features a standard 3” core and unitizes multiple packages together for shipments, warehousing, or storage.

Machine Length Stretch Wrap is available in cast, blown, colored, or specialty options.

Specialty Stretch Wrap

For unique requirements, a more specialized stretch film is sometimes needed. We offer a wide variety of specialty products:

Printed Stretch Wrap

Printed Stretch Wrap is perfect for bundling fragile items together. This stretch film features a 3” core diameter and can be easily identified in transit. Printed Stretch Film has a “DO NOT ACCEPT IF SEAL IS BROKEN” message written on it. This stretch film has a quiet, hassle-free application that does not leave a residue.

VCI Stretch Wrap

VCI (Volatile Corrosion Inhibitor) Stretch Wrap is perfect for shipping or storing metal products. This stretch film has a 3” core and prevents rust on products. VCI Stretch Wrap is a blue tinted color for high visibility.

Our VCI Stretch Wrap is available in hand & machine length varieties.

UVI Stretch Wrap

UVI Stretch Wrap is perfect for protecting shipments during long outdoor exposure. UVI Stretch Film safeguards valuable product from ultraviolet light from the sun. UVI Stretch Wrap is tinted blue for high visibility.

Anti-Static Stretch Wrap

Anti-Static Stretch Wrap safeguards product from static electricity. This stretch film is great for shipping electronic devices in bulk. Anti-Static Stretch Film features a pink tint for increased visibility. With a standard 3” core diameter, this stretch wrap has a quiet, hassle-free application.  

Netting/Vented Stretch Wrap

Netting/Vented Stretch Wrap protects items from condensation while providing a barrier to keep bundles together. This stretch film is made from FDA approved materials. Netting/Vented Stretch Film is typically used for packaging frozen food, produce, plants, or wood bundles. This stretch wrap is available in hand, machine length, and pallet product styles.

Biodegradable Stretch Wrap

Biodegradable Stretch Wrap is great for environmentally conscious organizations. This film is created with an additive that accelerates the biodegradable properties of the product. Biodegradable Stretch Wrap maintains a similar performance to non-additive products, protecting items from moisture and dust particles while strongly bundling them together.

Our Biodegradable Stretch Wrap is available in hand and machine length selections.

Made in the USA Stretch Wrap

Our Made in the USA Stretch Wrap category is dedicated to products specifically manufactured in the USA. Made in the USA Stretch Wrap is available in mini bundling and pallet applications.

Pallet Bands

Pallet Bands help secure pallet loads for transport or storage. These Pallet Bands are a quick, affordable alternative to pallet rubber bands or twine. Pallet Bands are great for keeping workers safe while securing materials for shipment.

Mover’s Stretch Wrap

Our Mover’s Stretch Wrap film is a unique product family. These films are the result of a change in production runs. While switching machines from producing one product to another, the film produced will not quite be consistently up to spec until the machines are dialed in correctly. Instead of letting this run of film go to waste, we offer it in package deals at great prices. The measurements of each roll in an order will vary although we do provide a range that each roll’s widths, lengths, and thicknesses will be within. Due to the variability of these product lots, they are only recommended to customers where consistent product specs are not important. Generally, these products are great for moving companies.

Gauge measurement

What is Gauge of Stretch Wrap should I use?

Gauge is a measurement of the thickness of a stretch film. The higher the gauge, the thicker the film. Thicker film is stronger than thinner film but can be more costly.

Heavy Duty

We define heavy duty stretch film as anything over 100 gauge. Due to the thickness of the film, these products tend to have less length per roll but are the strongest available in our catalog. These are commonly recommended for wrapping heavy industrial products.

Regular

Any films that are 80-99 gauge are classified as regular in our catalog. The 80 gauge films are the bestselling and most common products. This thickness offers the best strength for most applications without the added costs of thicker heavy-duty films. If you are unsure of which film to use, we recommend starting with an 80 gauge film in most cases.

Medium

Our medium gauges range from 60-79 gauge. These films are recommended for shorter loads or where lightweight items are being bundled.

Economy

We classify any film under 60 gauge as economy in our catalog of products. These films are only recommended for the lightest product bundling/wrapping. These films offer better pricing than heavier gauge films but at the expense of strength.

Conversion Chart

For questions regarding the thickness of our Stretch Wrap Film, please refer to our conversion chart:

Gauge

Mil

Micron

Millimeter

Inch

45

0.45

11.4

0.0114

0.00045

50

0.5

12.7

0.0127

0.0005

55

0.55

14

0.014

0.00055

60

0.6

15

0.0152

0.0006

63

0.63

16.3

0.0163

0.00063

65

0.65

16.5

0.0165

0.00065

70

0.7

17.8

0.0178

0.0007

75

0.75

19.1

0.0191

0.00075

80

0.8

20.3

0.0203

0.0008

90

0.9

22.9

0.0229

0.0009

100

1

25.4

0.0254

0.001

110

1.1

27.9

0.0279

0.0011

120

1.2

30.5

0.0305

0.0012

150

1.5

38.1

0.0381

0.0015