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Determining the optimal stretch film thickness for your needs

Determining the optimal stretch film thickness for your needs

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As consumers’ demand for packaging increases, so does the need to find an efficient and effective way of transporting goods. Not only do you want your products to reach their destination unscathed, but you also need a solution that fits your budget. In this blog post, we will discuss the various stretch film thicknesses available in 2023 and how they can help optimize cost savings while ensuring the safe shipment of your products. By understanding which types of stretch films work best for certain packages, lengths, and weights, businesses can select the right product to keep costs low without sacrificing quality or safety. Let’s dive into why it’s important to pick the right stretch film for your needs today!

Common thickness ranges for stretch film

  • Light-duty (below 15 microns)
  • Medium-duty (15-30 microns)
  • Heavy-duty (30 microns and above)

Prepare the load

As businesses strive to reduce costs and remain competitive, they must maximize every aspect of their operation, including stretch film. Finding the right balance between cost and performance can only be easy with understanding the nuances of purchasing and using stretch film in 2023. To make this challenge easier for businesses, it’s important to understand what factors should be considered when selecting the optimal stretch film thickness for their needs. That includes analyzing the type of product to be wrapped, size and weight of goods, level of protection required from pallet loads, temperature range, expected storage time, and more. When these elements are considered together, companies can identify an appropriate film thickness that meets their unique cost efficiency and performance requirements. Additionally, advances in technology have enabled manufacturers to provide superior quality films that offer greater puncture resistance at decreased thickness levels- further extending business cost savings potential. With an ever-evolving marketplace driven by customer needs and emerging technologies, companies need to stay on top of their game by obtaining the correct stretch film information they need to make informed decisions in 2023.

Importance of choosing the correct stretch film thickness for the intended application

Choosing the correct stretch film thickness is essential for any successful application. Depending on the intended use and the types of items being wrapped, different thicknesses can be required to achieve a secure hold. If the film is too thin, it may not hold up to the elements or provide enough support to stabilize uniform loads. On the other hand, using a film that is too thick can lead to higher costs and inefficiency as more film is needed for each application. It is crucial to consider factors such as load weight, size, shape, and product type when selecting an appropriate stretch wrap gauge.


When selecting the correct gauge for your intended application, certain factors should be considered, including load weight/size; surface texture; usage environment; cost; and desired performance outcome. Generally speaking, lighter-weighted uniform loads require less powerful films, while heavier loads benefit from more vital films with higher gauges. Stretch wrap typically begins at 12 microns (48 gauge) – these thinner widths facilitate easier stretchability but often lack puncture resistance for larger objects. For heavier uses such as industrial packaging or storage environments where superior protection is required, 18 microns (36 gauge) or 23 microns (30 gauge) are recommended.

Shrink wrap and hand stretch films are the most common types used in wrapping applications. Shrink wraps are usually thicker than hand stretch filmsince they are designed to protect products from water and dust while providing superior strength and tear resistance. Hand stretch films typically come with a lower gauge measure, mainly used for bundling products together or securely wrapping them with minimal tension applied during the process. Pallet wrap provides maximum protection due to its thicker gauge and heavier material composition, which allows for increased stability for heavy loads and uniform pallet sizes. The pre-stretched film is also available. It offers great value due to its thinner gauge but maintains adequate cling strength for short-term applications like bundling products together or protecting them from dust or moisture buildup.

Another popular option is a pre-stretched film which has already been stretched before being placed onto the roll. This stretch wrap typically ranges from 17 – 40 microns in thickness and offers superior cling characteristics compared to other films. Pre-stretched films are often used to secure heavy-duty loads with high retention strength and provide dust protection when wrapped around palletized goods.

Factors to consider when selecting stretch film thickness

1. Load weight and size

The first factor to consider when selecting stretch film thickness is the load weight and size. This includes the total weight of the goods being transported and their dimensions. The heavier and larger the goods are, the thicker the stretch film must be to wrap them in place securely. If too thin a film is used, there is a risk that it will tear during transit or not provide enough support for a large or heavy package.

2. Wrapping technique

Another factor to consider when selecting stretch film thickness is the wrapping technique employed. Different types of wrapping require different levels of strength and durability from their packaging material to provide an effective result. For example, if using power-stretch wrapping machines, thicker films are generally recommended due to their increased strength over thinner options. On the other hand, manual wrapping techniques involve less force and pressure and can therefore make use of thinner films without compromising on effectiveness.

3. Environmental conditions

Depending on where your goods will be transported and stored throughout their journey, environmental conditions can affect what type of stretch film you should use for your product packaging. Stretch films that are particularly sensitive to UV exposure or temperature fluctuations may perform poorly under certain circumstances or even degrade completely when exposed to extreme weather conditions for long periods. Therefore, selecting a film thickness appropriate for certain environmental conditions is important before any packaging takes place.

4. Cost efficiency

While thicker films usually deliver more reliable packaging results than their thinner counterparts, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they represent an efficient cost solution in all cases – especially in large-scale operations where hundreds or even thousands of items need packing each day. In these scenarios, choosing a film that is just thick enough to get the job done without adding unnecessary costs can be a good way to balance performance with budget restrictions or profit margin goals.

Common thickness ranges for stretch film

Definition of Hand Stretch Film

1. Light-duty Stretch Film (below 15 microns)

Light-duty stretch film is the thinner stretch wrap and typically has a thickness below 15 microns, making it incredibly lightweight yet still strong enough to bundle and secure small loads. It’s perfect for small businesses and home use because it won’t take up much space in storage and can easily be applied by hand without needing any equipment. The flexibility of light-duty stretch film makes it great for bundling irregularly shaped items or wrapping objects tightly without damaging them.

2. Medium-duty Stretch Film

Medium-duty stretch film has a common stretch film thickness. It is slightly thicker than light-duty and usually ranges from 15 to 30 microns, depending on the manufacturer. This stretch film provides more tensile strength than its thinner counterpart, making it well-suited for larger loads that need greater security during transport or storage. Also, because the medium-duty stretch film is stronger than light-duty, you don’t have to use as much material when wrapping with this option – resulting in less waste!

3. Heavy-duty Stretch Film

Heavy-duty stretch film is the right stretch wrap thickness if you’re dealing with more difficult loads requiring extra protection. This stretch wrap has a thickness above 30 microns and provides superior strength and puncture resistance, so even irregularly shaped or fragile items can make it through the shipping process unscathed. The heavy-duty stretch film also includes extra features like UV inhibitors to protect against weathering or increased cling capabilities to help keep the wrap tight around your load. No matter what kind of load you need to secure, there’s a heavy-duty option out there that is perfect for the job!

Tips for choosing the right stretch film thickness

1. Consider the specific requirements of the load and application:

When selecting the right stretch film thickness, you should consider variables such as protecting your products, how much pressure is needed to secure your load, and what type of container it will be packed in. For example, if you’re packing sharp edges, you may need a thicker film to protect against tearing or puncturing.

2. Test different thicknesses

Once you have considered all the factors associated with your particular project and application, it is crucial to test different stretch film thicknesses to determine which one offers the best balance between cost and performance. Try using thinner films for lighter loads with less stress and thicker films for heavier loads that require more tension when wrapping.

3. Estimate the number of wraps required

To determine which film thickness is ideal for securely wrapping a pallet or box, calculate how many wraps are required before beginning the packaging process. This can be done by measuring the width of your item and multiplying it by 3 – 4 times or by measuring its circumference and dividing it by 6-8 inches.

4. Selecting a grade

As mentioned earlier, there are different grades of stretchable films available on the market; each grade has unique characteristics that make them suitable for different applications – you should choose accordingly based on your own product needs and preferences. Grade A films offer excellent cling, while Grade B films offer more flexibility at a slightly lower cost but may require more layers to achieve desired levels of strength and protection.

5. Take into account climate conditions

Depending on where you are located geographically, temperature fluctuations can affect the properties of most types of packaging materials, including stretch films – too much heat can make them too brittle. At the same time, humidity can cause stretching resulting in less effective protection against tears or punctures. It is, therefore, important to limit exposure to extreme temperatures when storing or using thin films as this could compromise their performance over time due to damage caused by environmental conditions such as UV rays from direct sunlight or moisture from rain or snowfall.

6. Use good quality materials

When choosing a stretch film thickness, always opt for high-quality materials that come with anti-slip properties, as this will help ensure optimum performance when wrapping items on pallets or boxes, even under challenging conditions like wet floors or uneven surfaces where extra grip is essential to maintain secure stacking during transport or storage activities – look out for labels such as “premium” or “ultra-strong” which usually indicate superior strength compared to normal grade.


In conclusion, determining the optimal stretch film thickness for your needs in 2023 is crucial to ensure that your products are secure and safe during shipment. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can ensure that your company can choose an optimal stretch film thickness that will provide secure and effective protection while also being cost-effective. Additionally, using higher-quality stretch film with a greater thickness will reduce the risk of product damage and help improve recycling rates. In addition to these benefits, you can further save on costs by choosing a thinner stretch film if it provides the same level of security and protection as thicker stretch film. As such, it is essential to consider all of these factors when selecting an appropriate stretch film for your needs in 2023. Ultimately, finding the right balance between cost-effectiveness and security/protection is key when selecting the optimal stretch film for your shipping needs.

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