Insights
Nano technology – How can nano technology benefit transport & logistics companies?
How nanotechnology is improving packaging products
The use of molecular science is creating incredibly strong and durable stretch wrap films

Nanotechnology allows for materials to be manipulated or structured at nanoscale by working with their molecules or atoms. To understand the scale, a standard sheet of paper is 100,000 nanometers thick (according to the US National Nanotechnology Initiative).

In manufacturing nanotechnology can be used to produce new or enhanced materials, making them stronger, lighter, more porous, more reactive or more conductive. For example, it allows clothing manufacturers to create lightweight windproof and waterproof coats, technology manufacturers to create antireflective surfaces, and buildings to have mark-resistant and self-cleaning windows.

It also allows for the development of highly durable stretch wrap films.

Using nano technology, a wrap films molecules can be controlled to enhance various characteristics – increasing its resistance or stretch capacity, for example. Essentially, nano wrap film is a thinner product able to deliver the same performance as thicker, traditional films.

Pallet wrap film is traditionally developed using five layers of polymer. These make up the film, giving it its properties. Typically this gives a core layer offering its core function – whether high stretch capacity, good puncture resistance, or transparency. This is then contained within an outside layer to give slip-resistance, to prevent wrapped products from sticking to one another, an inside layer to ensure the wrap clings to itself when applied and two protective layers to prevent the interior and exterior layers from migrating through the film. Simple and effective but limited.

Benefits of nano wrap films

As packaging manufacturers have embraced nanotechnology, films with, typically, 20 to 35 layers are being developed, to significantly increase the effectiveness of their performance. With these extra layers can come greater strength, greater resistance, higher stretch capacity and more reliable transparency after stretch. Some films are even being developed with 50+ layers.

As well as increasing stretchability and resistance nanotechnology, crucially, improves the holding forces a film offers. Essentially, thinner films can offer the same performance as traditional thicker films.

This means pallets wrapped in nano films achieve a lower overall weight, reducing the financial and environmental burden of packages in transit. 

Packaging developed using nanotechnology is allowing businesses to ensure load stability while reducing their overall packaging or pallet weights, without compromising on the security or stability of their products during transit. This, in turn, is reducing overheads for wrapping pallets and waste from packaging processes, requiring less product to be used. And by ensuring the security of loads, it reduces the risk of damaged or delayed goods, which would create knock-on costs.

While nanotechnology is not a new phenomenon, it is beginning to be embraced more and more in packaging manufacturing. By developing higher performance products it is helping businesses to improve the financial, environmental and safety sides of their packaging processes.

With all these benefits, it’s easy to see why many are switching to nano films for their packaging solutions. However, as with all packaging, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, and the aim should always be to achieve optimum pallet stability at the lowest packaging weight and cost possible – rather than simply switching to the latest new product. Working closely with our customers, we offer films and wrap solutions tailored to their needs.

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