Pallet Wrapping Films

Pallet wrap film helps to ensure load stability for goods in transit. By holding products to pallets securely, it prevents products from coming loose and supports overall pallet stability during storage and transport.

Also known as stretch wrap or stretch film, pallet wrapping film is lightweight and extendable, able to be stretched by hand or by machine to secure goods in place.

A range of films are available, offering different levels of tension and resistance as well as additional benefits such as transparency, to allow for text or barcodes to be read or scanned beneath it.

Finding the right type of pallet wrap for your operations will depend on the size, volume and regularity of products needing palletising. The right product will also depend on whether goods need to be wrapped by hand or by machine, and the needs of operatives in your facilities and supply chain.

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Pallet wrap – How it works

Pallet wrap works by covering products on a pallet to securely hold goods in place ready for storage or shipment. Films can be stretched and manipulated so that the tension, or holding force, of the wrap ensures load stability. Pallet wrap is ideal for goods in transit, square pallets or irregular shaped palletised goods.

What thickness of wrap is available?
Pallet stretch wrap is available in a variety of thickness, measured in micron (μ) – typically, higher micron thickness means a stronger film.

How much can the wrap be stretched?
Pallet stretch wrap comes with a range of stretch capacity, anywhere from 30% through to more than 300%. A higher percentage gives greater stretch and length – 1m of film stretched to 300% becomes 4m of film, for example – allowing for less wrap to be used while still achieving the maximum hold strength.

To utilise a film’s stretch capacity, the film must be used with the correct wrapping method. For example, using a film with 300% stretch capacity on a machine only able to stretch to 150% will limit the effectiveness of the wrap.

How is the wrap dispensed or applied?
Pallet wrap can be dispensed manually or by machine, depending on the size and type of operations. Larger or higher volume operations typically require pallet wrap machines while smaller operations, by size or volume, can use hand held dispenser or turntable machines.

Is pallet wrap the same as shrink wrap?
No – although pallet wrap is sometimes referred to as shrink wrap. Shrink wrap must be used in conjunction with heat – it is loose when first applied and shrinks to mould to a product when heated. Shrink wrap protects products against the elements but does not offer the same level of load stability.

Pallet wrap film types and uses

Cast wrap and blown wrap films are the most commonly used stretch wrap films, each with advantages around their resistance, holding forces and ease of application.

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Cast pallet wrap film

This clear plastic film is made up of ‘layers’ which give it stretch capacity and resistance.

Advantages:

  • Naturally tacky on one side, to cling securely to loads
  • Transparent even after stretch, allowing for clear reading or scanning of information or barcodes beneath
  • Able to be applied by hand or by machine, and silent when released from the roll

Limitations:

  • Can only be stretched lengthways
  • Liable to shifting if not applied to a pallet correctly

Nano pallet wrap film

This film offers greater levels of resistance or stretch thanks to Nano technology – which allows the film’s molecules to be controlled to enhance various characteristics. Essentially, nano wrap film is thinner film able to deliver the same performance as thicker, traditional films.

Advantages:

  • High puncture and tear resistance
  • High stretch capacity
  • Thinner, without losing effectiveness

Limitations:

  • Low weight or holding force
  • Low tear or puncture resistance
  • Should be used with low tension

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Blown pallet wrap film

This robust film is made by blowing a ‘bubble’ into molten film to orientate and manipulate its fibres.

Advantages:

  • Once applied it cannot be stretched again, giving reliable holding forces.
  • High puncture and tear resistance – ideal for loads with sharp edges
  • Able to be stretched by both length and width

Limitations:

  • Requires more energy to stretch the film
  • Creates a more opaque film, impacting the ability to read or scan information beneath it

Both cast and blown pallet wrap film are typically available in 15μ through to 35μ and is able to stretch anywhere from 150% to 300%, making them resistant to slippages or punctures.

Pre-stretched pallet wrap film

Pre-stretched pallet wrap film is stretched during production, requiring less force or energy to apply to pallets and less film to be used overall. Cast or Blown films can be pre-stretched to create a thinner, ready-to-use film.

Advantages:

  • Dispenses at optimum stretch capacity
  • Pre-stretched to optimum level, supporting low wrap weight

Limitations:

  • Low weight or holding force
  • Low tear or puncture resistance
  • Should be used with low tension

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Other film types.

Net film

Net film is perforated, allowing the products it holds to ‘breath’. It is suitable for plants, or products which are hot when packaged, or fast frozen. It can be pre-stretched or be stretched up to 250%.

Fibre film

This film has fibres woven through it to offer increased tear resistance and additional holding forces while minimising the volume of wrap required. It can be stretched up to 250%, can be used manually or by machine, and is 100% recyclable.

Coloured wrap

Some stretch wrap can be coloured, allowing products or pallets to be easily identified. Black wrap can be useful when shipping valuable or confidential products.

Printed wrap

Printed wrap can display branding or text. Customised stretch wrap can ensure important messaging or handling instructions are seen by operatives managing goods in transit.

Biodegradable wrap

This stretch wrap breaks down after use, suggesting good environmental credentials. Many stretch wrap solutions are made from recyclable plastics, LDPE, offering environmental benefits too.

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Packaging Stability Audits

Stable pallets are essential to maintain the integrity of the products being transported and ensure the safety of the workers handling them.

Pallet stability is also a regulatory requirement, ensuring you fulfil compliance criteria around the security of pallet loads.

Managed Packaging Services

Managed packaging services give you the right packaging products in the right volumes at the right time. With a focus on service, sustainability and value, we’ll tailor a packaging service that is flexible to your operations and requirements.

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Packaging Costs Audit

Maintain high levels of efficiency and keep your costs low through comprehensive packaging audits.

Assessing your packaging processes and materials will ensure your products are packaged and shipped securely without mounting cost for unnecessary types or volumes of packaging. And using the right solutions will keep waste to a minimum and prevent damage during transit.

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Frequently asked questions

How do you wrap a pallet?

This depends on the nature of your products and operations. For large or bulky items and a high volume of goods needing to be palletised, pallet wrap machinery is ideal – ensuring security of loads, consistency of wrap, and safety of your operatives and products. For smaller items or lower volumes of goods, hand pallet wrap solutions are sufficient. We’ll take the time to understand your products and operations to advise on which types of stretch wrap and methods of applications are most appropriate, efficient and cost-effective.

How do you wrap a pallet by hand?

Stretch wrap can be applied manually for smaller products or low volume operations. Where this is the case, it is essential the right type of stretch wrap is chosen, to ensure protection and reduce the risk of operator error or injury. A pallet can be wrapped by hand using roll holders, hand pallet wrappers or a turntable machine.

What’s the difference between extended core and standard core?

Hand pallet wrap film comes in a variety of roll sizes. Rolls with an extended core hold the wrap on a longer cardboard centre, allowing operatives to manually dispense the wrap by rolling the extended core. A standard core, or flush core, can be used with a mounted dispenser. We can also supply coreless film, to minimise any wastage.

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