Understanding Different Wrapping Types: A Guide for Product Packaging

Flow wrap packaging in white

Different wrapping types and product packaging are commonly used to create a protective layer around a product. The right wrapping technique will ensure products look attractive, are protected, and easy to ship. However, there are different wrapping types you must consider.

These are some common wrapping types.

1. Shrink Wrap Packaging

Shrink wrapping is a cost-effective packaging solution that offers superior protection for products. This wrapping type uses films made of heat-sensitive plastic that binds tightly around the product when exposed to a heat gun.

Not only does this provide superior protection against external damage and tampering, but it also looks attractive. Shrink wrapping usually uses polyvinyl chloride (PVC) as shrink film, which offers high clarity and strength. It can be customized to fit the contours of a product’s size and shape.

2. Flow Wrap Packaging

Flow wrap packaging or overwrapping is a technique that uses a thin, transparent film to wrap products like boxes, cartons, or food items. This wrapping technique keeps products safe and secure during transit, but flow wrap packaging also helps enhance brand recognition through improved visual appeal.

This wrapping type is used to secure promotional items or small items like single-use products. Flow wrapping machines are horizontal flow wrappers, so the process is fairly straightforward as it is a horizontal form, fill, and seal wrapping technique. It does not require heat, nor does the plastic get shrunk to fit the contours of the products.

3. Stretch Wrap Packaging

Stretch wrapping is a wrapping type that involves using stretchable plastic films to  secure items on pallets. This wrapping technique provides stability and protection from dust, moisture and shock during transit. Not only does this help ensure the safe delivery of goods, but it also allows for easier handling and storage with minimal effort. Stretch wrapping is popular due to its cost-effectiveness and versatility in securing a variety of items and making them easier to transport during shipping and handling.

What Materials Are Used for Product Wrapping Types?

When it comes to product packaging, there are tons of options for materials used for each wrapping type. Each plastic has unique properties that make them suitable for different wrapping types or product types. Here’s a quick guide to common types of materials in wrap packaging processes:

1. Polypropylene (PP)

Polypropylene is an incredibly useful and lightweight plastic resistant to harsh chemicals, moisture, and extreme temperatures. PP is widely used in wrapping, flow wrapping, and preparing plastic bags and films. Due to its remarkable clarity and sturdiness, PP is suitable for packaging food items, pharmaceuticals, and retail goods.

2: Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

PVC plastic is known for its strength and flexibility, making it a great choice, specifically shrink-wrap packaging. Its clarity and ability to create clear films, bags, and wraps makes it perfect for exterior packaging. PVC is ideal for retail packaging and product protection because it is used as a tamper-evident seal.

3. Polyester or Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)

Polyester or polyethylene terephthalate (PET) film is known for its strength and durability while remaining lightweight and transparent. PET films are known for their impressive tensile strength, dimensional stability, and barrier properties. These qualities make them a preferred material for flexible packaging, including food packaging.

4. Polyethylene (PE)

Polyethylene comes in two forms: low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE). LDPE films are flexible, transparent, and moisture resistant, making them perfect for shrink wrapping and stretch wrapping. HDPE films are stronger and more rigid, providing excellent durability and protection.

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