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Technology Differences in Shrink Film

Jun. 08, 2022

The global demand for shrink sleeves is expected to continue to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.5%, with the benefits of 360-degree displays, additional print space and tamper-resistant capabilities. As a result of this demand, there is a vast array of different shrink films on the market, each with its own specific composition and properties. Choosing the right film requires a rigorous analysis of the project and may even depend on the environmental footprint the customer wishes to leave behind.

PVC (polyvinyl chloride), the most common material used in such applications, is a high-density film that shrinks in the low temperature range. It offers good clarity and provides high impact strength for additional weathering and abrasion resistance. The film begins to shrink between 122° F and 140° F and has good shrinkage quality - typically between 40% and 65%.

Technology Differences in Shrink Sleeves

PETG (polyethylene terephthalate) is the most heat-resistant shrink sleeve material, offering high abrasion resistance and excellent clarity. This film begins to shrink between 158° F and 176° F and has a very high shrinkage rate (up to about 80%).

Technology Differences in Shrink Sleeves

OPS (oriented polystyrene) is a low-density film with a softer feel and easier squeeze than other shrink materials. It offers the lowest vertical film shrinkage, up to 75%, and has minimal longitudinal (MD) shrinkage.

PLA (polylactic acid) is a biodegradable thermoplastic made from renewable resources. It is the most environmentally friendly film, requires less energy due to lower shrinkage initiation temperature requirements, and can shrink up to 72%. Although PLA is less transparent than other films, it is FDA-approved for direct food applications.

Technology Differences in Shrink Sleeves

Contact a HYF packaging specialist today to learn more about shrink film and which option is best for your next printing project.