How Much Stretch Wrap Do I Need? 3 Critical Factors to Consider

How Much Stretch Wrap Do I Need? 3 Critical Factors to Consider

By AAA Polymer | Stretch Wrap

Feb 26

Determining how much stretch wrap you need is a common struggle experienced by most warehouses and distribution centers. Using too little can result in expensive accidents and product damage; while too much can result in waste, increased costs, and an excessively wrapped pallet or product.

Instead of either of these two extremes, it's best to use the right amount of stretch wrap based on the right factors. To help you achieve this seemingly elusive goal, the experts at AAA Polymer have put together our top tips and strategies.

Gauging How Much Stretch Wrap You Need

One of the first steps to determine how much stretch wrap you need is to choose the right thickness or gauge. Because the force of the load is critical to the overall integrity, the experts at AAA Polymer will guide you to the right gauge. As a point of reference, consider:

  • Household zip closure bags are anywhere from 150 to 200 gauge stretch wrap, which could potentially secure up to 3,500-pound load pallet.
  • Food wrap you use at home is an estimated 40 gauge stretch wrap and could secure around 1,000 pounds on a pallet.

A Look at the Industry Standard 

Traditionally, the standard gauged stretch film was between 60 and 150 gauge. This standard gauge was designed to secure anywhere from 1,500 and 3,500 pounds. With modern advancements in technology, 80 gauge stretch film has become the standard and is recognized as the most versatile on the market.

Every Load Is Different

When it comes to determining how much stretch wrap you need, there are no one-size-fits-all solutions. Instead, it's best to base the amount of stretch wrap you use on the type of load you're wrapping. In fact, the pallet configuration can determine the gauge of stretch wrap you purchase. 

Type A Loads

Type A Loads are uniform in shape with loads virtually identical to the pallet. As you know, these are the easiest loads to wrap — mainly because few potential points of puncture exist. If you wrap the same product — load after load —it's highly likely you're wrapping Type A Loads. These loads can use less stretch wrap and may even be contained with a lower gauge. 

Type B Loads

Type B Loads will either have loads that do not match the pallet or irregular-sized loads with multiple puncture points for the film. A greater degree of film selection judgment is required. These types of loads will usually appear at smaller distribution centers and manufacturing locations where two or three products are packaged for one destination. 

Type C Loads

As the worst type of loads to wrap, Type C Loads are unique in that no two loads are the same with different shapes and sizes. These loads are all over the place and have sharp potential puncture points everywhere. Type C Loads are usually assembled by distribution centers that provide products to retail store locations and each pallet contains several different products. 

Different Stretch Wraps Will Require Different Amounts

If you're asking "how much stretch wrap do I need", your answer will always depend on the type of stretch wrap you're using. 

True-Gauged Stretch Wrap 

Previously, the standard, true-gauged stretch wrap was the primary type of stretch film on the market. It boasts excellent strength, tear resistance, and a reliable amount of stretch. The only downside to using standard stretch film is the potential for waste due to employees not achieving the most optimum stretch.

Micron Stretch Wrap

As an equivalent film, eco or micron stretch wrap is usually offered in 57, 60, and 63 gauge. The primary difference between this film and the traditional wrap is the amount of stretch potential and thickness of the material. Micron stretch wrap will not stretch as much as a standard wrap and is often stiffer. Yet, this wrap will be stronger, more affordable, and can lead to less waste.

Multilayer or Hybrid Stretch Film

Multilayer or hybrid stretch wrap is also an equivalent film designed to replace lower gauged wraps. With less tear resistance than micron film and being stiffer, hybrid stretch film is usually offered in 47,51, and 53 gauge. 

The primary benefits of this type of film will be lighter rolls, lower costs, less physical exertion required to apply, and a stronger wrap. This film's multilayers make it stronger than a traditional true-gauged stretch wrap of the same thickness. However, this stretch wrap isn't available in higher gauges.

Pre-Stretch Wrap

One of the best eco-friendly options for securing lighter loads is a pre-stretched wrap. This film is a true gauged film previously optimized by being stretched up to 90% of its potential before it's ever shipped to you. 

The fact it has been stretched prior to being put on the roll leads to reduced waste. It allows your employees to easily achieve the full potential of the film with little exertion. And this is the perfect equation for using less film with ideal protection. Most pre-stretch films are recommended for loads of 1,200 lbs. or less. 

Still Wondering “How Much Stretch Wrap Do I Need?” Contact AAA Polymer to Find Out

While we only discussed three factors in determining how much stretch wrap you need, the amount of film you use should be based specifically on the load. Fortunately, when it comes to figuring out the best stretch film, you're not alone. 

The experts at AAA Polymer offer years of experience assisting all types of businesses in finding the best type of stretch film. We offer a full catalog of different products and can guide you to the best solution. 

Got questions? Don't hesitate to reach out to the team at AAA Polymer.

About the Author

AAA Polymer, Inc. was founded in 1974, as a plastic resin and material trading company with an innovative vision to create a company to provide plastic recycling services for industrial/commercial businesses. If you have any questions, we're here for you. Just call us at 718.389.2498.

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