Just how much should a stretch wrap stretch?

Just how much should a stretch wrap stretch?

Believe it or not, the world of plastic wrap is a busy and complex place. But without getting down to granules and resins*, let’s take a general look at what the ‘stretch’ in stretch wrap really means.

Think back to last nights’ dinner. Cover a dinner plate with Gladwrap and it’s more secure when the wrap is pulled tight.

Wrapping a pallet operates under the same principle: the tighter the wrap is pulled, the more firmly it will hug the load underneath. Like Gladwrap, stretch wraps tears if it’s stretched too thin. Except in our line of work the stakes are a little higher than spilling the peas from your leftovers: companies can lose thousands of dollars in product damage from poorly wrapped pallets.

Think back to last nights’ dinner.

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That’s why it’s important to select the right wrap for the job. Many conventional films are made up of 5-7 layers squeezed together, giving it more strength and elasticity. More elasticity not only translates into a tighter fit around the load, it also provides a greater yield from a roll of film.

Stretch to secure

Clearwrap is a popular upgrade from standard plastic film because it guarantees up to 200% yield per roll. That can only be achieved when using a stretch wrap machine of course. When wrapping by hand plastic film can only be pre-stretched by around 20-60%.

But for those hand wrappers there are options for wrap that’s easy to apply tightly with minimum effort. A film like Quickwrap offers superior puncture resistance and also comes pre-stretched. The extra air in the roll created by the pre-stretching process makes it lighter and easier to apply and because it’s already pre-stretched, securing the load requires less wrap.

Looking at the latest film technologies is where things get really exciting. Thinner, stronger and more elastic, NanoWrap is the most recent addition to our range. This film provides unprecedented level of stretch thanks to specialist resins and production machinery that combines 33 layers to create an ultra-thin, super-tough film – one that can reduce wrap use by 35-50%.

So to answer the original question, how much should you stretch, it all depends. But whether hand-wrapping or letting a machine do the work, knowing your load containment metrics is a good place to start. Get in touch for our help with this.



*If you do want granules-and-resins-type detail, check out Stretch Wrap 101

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