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Common Shrink Wrap Questions

May. 17, 2023

What is shrink wrap?

Shrink wrap is a generic term that can refer to many materials. Stretch film used to wrap pallets of goods is often referred to as shrink wrap. Heat shrink wrap is a different material that shrinks when heated and is commonly used to protect commercial, retail and personal products. Both are essential to prevent damage or loss of products.


Can you make your own shrink wrap?

Yes, heat shrink wrap can be made yourself from everyday household items, but the finished product does not look professional. pvc shrink wrap bags and a hair dryer will shrink the product. The tape before heating helps to fix the shrink wrap together. The finished look will not be as clean as a sealer, but the packaging should stay on the product. We recommend purchasing a sealer, heat gun and shrink bags to wrap small amounts of product.


 Shrink Film

What is the difference between plastic packaging and shrink wrapping?

Plastic wrap and shrink wrap are ambiguous terms that refer to many different materials. Cling wrap can be materials such as kitchen wrap, stretch film, cellophane, etc. Shrink wrap can also be several of these materials. Heat shrink packaging differs from all materials due to the additives used in the extrusion process. These additives allow the compounds of the material to shrink when heated without melting the plastic.

Is shrink wrap the same as cling wrap?

Although both can be made from similar compounds, shrink wrap contains additives specifically designed to shrink when heated. PVC was once the material of choice for cling film and shrink wrap. In recent years, polyolefin has become the material of choice for shrink wrap. Do not heat on cling film; it will melt.


How do I measure shrink film?

Measuring shrink film is relatively simple, but depends on the type of shrink product you intend to use. See below for the measurement formulae for each type of film. Remember, if the exact size required is not available, choose a size larger. All our shrink films have a minimum shrinkage of 30%.

 Shrink Film

Folded shrink film measurement formula

Width + Depth x 2 x 1.1 ÷ 2 = required centrefold film width.


Shrink bag measurement formula

Same formula as above to determine bag width, for length, add 1-2 inches to allow room for sealing.


Shrink tube measurement formula

For square objects, use the same formula as above, but most people use tubing for cylindrical purposes. If measuring round objects, use the following equation.


Circumference x 2 x 1.1 ÷ 2 = required tube width.


When to use shrink film and when to use stretch wrap?

Shrink film is often used to protect and package individual products such as toys or CDs. it is also used to help bind multiple products together. It is used to bundle sodas, water bottles and various other packaged products together. Often, stretch wrapping is used to secure boxes and products to pallets for transport. It can also be used to secure other objects together for transport or storage. A variety of special films can be used for stretch wrapping. Examples include UV stretch film, ventilated pallet film, anti-static stretch film, coloured stretch film, pre-stretched stretch film, etc. Are shrink and stretch films recyclable? Both shrink wrap and stretch film are recyclable. Please check with your local recycling centre to ensure they accept flexible plastics.


If you are interested in types of shrink film or want to learn more about its specifications, material, and prices, please email us directly at info@hyfpack.com. We are more than happy to answer your questions.

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