A Guide to Choosing the Right Stretch Wrap Gauge or Thickness

By Michael Kralstein | Stretch Wrap

Oct 08

Whether it’s for a warehouse, distribution center or even a smaller-scale shipping department, it's vital to choose the right stretch wrap gauge or stretch wrap thickness. This flexible and versatile material — stretch wrap — can be one of the most useful tools at your disposal. Wrapping palletized items, affixing packages together and securing loads to the pallet are just a few of the ways stretch wrap can protect your items during shipping and guard them against potential damage or loss.

Moreover, tightly bundling your shipments with stretch wrap also aids in deterring against theft and makes it easy to see if your items were tampered with. Nonetheless, not all types of stretch wrap are suitable for the same tasks, which makes it essential you choose the right stretch wrap thickness for the job.

At AAA Polymer, we offer an expansive selection of different stretch films and stretch wraps. Our wide selection and in depth product knowledge means we'll help you choose the right stretch wrap gauge for your specific shipping needs. Our team can also advise you on which stretch wrap gauge thickness is best suited for your purposes. In the meantime, continue reading to learn all about the different stretch wrap gauges and their intended uses.

Why Choosing the Right Stretch Wrap Thickness Matters

Before we get into the different stretch wrap thickness and stretch wrap gauges, it’s first important to make sure you understand why using the correct gauge is so essential. The specific type of stretch wrap—blown, cast, machine, etc.—plays an important role in determining both how easy the wrap is to stretch and apply and also its overall strength, toughness and resistance to tearing.

These factors are undoubtedly important when determining which stretch wrap to use as well how much stretch wrap is enough. Nonetheless, equally as important is the stretch wrap’s resistance to breaking, i.e. how much force or weight it can withstand before failing, and this is precisely what the gauge or thickness of the stretch wrap tells you.

Essentially, each stretch wrap gauge is rated to secure up to a specific amount of weight. For instance, the industry-standard 80-gauge wrap is typically capable of securing loads of up to 2,400 lbs., which means you’ll usually need to opt for a higher gauge if the total weight of your load exceeds this amount.

On the other hand, if you typically only ship lighter loads, you may be able to cut down on your shipping costs simply by using a thinner stretch wrap since lighter gauges tend to be less expensive than the thicker, heavier gauge wraps.

Choosing the Right Stretch Wrap Thickness

Now you know why choosing the right stretch wrap gauge is so essential, it’s time to look at the different gauges and what each one is best used for.

37 Stretch Wrap Gauge

This gauge of stretch wrap is a bit different from most others. The reason is that 37 gauge stretch wrap is actually 80-gauge film that’s already been pre-stretched for easy application with minimal exertion. Still, the fact that this film has been stretched so thin already means it is best used for lighter, uniform loads up to 800 lbs.

47 Stretch Wrap Thickness

This is another unique gauge, which is typically referred to as an equivalent or hybrid stretch wrap. Essentially, this type of stretch wrap is made using a different type of resin that provides for a stiffer, tighter film with a lower stretch capacity.

As a result, equivalent film typically has the retention power and strength of a higher gauge film despite not measuring as thick. In the case of 47-gauge film, it has the retention power of a standard 60-gauge film, which means it is suitable for loads up to approximately 1,800 lbs.

60 Stretch Wrap Gauge

This is a true-gauged film, which means it should measure exactly 60 microns if you were to measure it with micrometer. As with 47-gauge film, this wrap should be perfectly suited for most uniform loads up to 1,800 lbs.

63 Stretch Wrap Thickness

Although it is only 3 microns thicker than the 60-gauge film, this slightly higher gauge provides even better resistance against puncturing and tearing and is typically suitable for loads up to 2,200 lbs.

70 to 80 Stretch Wrap Gauge

Eighty-gauge stretch wrap is typically considered the industry standard due to its wide versatility. Nonetheless, 70-gauge film is also popular and can provide similar strength and protection. In terms of total weight capacity, both 70- and 80-gauge film are rated for loads of 2,200 to 2,400 lbs.

90, 100, 115 Stretch Wrap Thickness

Ninety-gauge is considered the starting point for heavy-gauge stretch wrap, which tend to much stronger and more resistant to punctures, tears and other damage. Typically, 90-gauge film is rated for loads up to 2,600 lbs. You can also find 100- and 115-gauge films are suitable for use when shipping loads up to 3,000 lbs. or more.

150 Stretch Wrap Gauge

As the thickest gauge of stretch wrap available, 150 stretch wrap gauge is ideal for securing irregularly shaped or sharp items. This thicker stretch wrap gauge is also the best choice for securing much taller loads.

Contact AAA Polymer to Find the Right Stretch Wrap Gauge

As you can see, stretch wrap comes in a wide variety of different thicknesses. Choosing the right thickness can hold the key to both minimizing shipping costs and limiting the potential for loss or damage during shipping.

Fortunately, you don't have to make this decision alone! The experts at AAA Polymer bring decades of experience helping facilities choose the best stretch wrap thickness for their unique shipping needs.

Contact AAA Polymer today to learn how our selection of stretch wrap can help you achieve your goals in the most efficient, effective way possible.

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About the Author

Michael Kralstein started working in sales full time for AAA Polymer in February 2000. In 2006, he became the Sales Manager of our can liner division. He currently manages all aspects related to can liners.

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