Whether you’re a warehouse or distribution center, it’s critical to know how to wrap pallets with plastic stretch wrap or film to reduce shipping damages and protect the product. However, before we actually cover best practices and tips, let’s take a closer look at the two primary types of stretch wrap: cast stretch wrap and blown stretch wrap. Continue reading to learn more about the how to wrap pallets with plastic to reduce shipping damage.
Blown stretch wrap or blown stretch film is created through a process called blown extrusion. In this process, melted plastic is extruded through a slit die to create a thinly walled tube. Then air is introduced through a hole in the middle of the die, which blows up the tube similar to a balloon. An air ring located on the top of tube circulates cool air to cool the film.
The process of blown extrusion allows blown film to be much tougher and more resilient than cast film. In addition, blown film carries higher mechanical properties, which allows for a stronger load holding power. When you use blown stretch film to wrap your pallets, you’ll enjoy:
And while blown film offers a range of benefits over cast film, it’s relatively noisy when unwound and has poor clarity due to the crystallization process, which means the film appears hazy. This may not be the best solution for wrapping pallets with UPC or RFID tags that must be scanned.
Cast film or cast stretch wrap is created through a process called cast extrusion. In cast extrusion, a melted thermoplastic material is extruded through a flat die directly onto a chilled roll, which is where the material is quenched and turned back into a solid.
You can find cast stretch film as machine stretch film and hand stretch film. Whether you use cast machine stretch wrap or cast hand stretch wrap to wrap pallets, you’ll enjoy a unique set of benefits:
And while cast film offers several benefits, it lacks the same holding power as blown film. Cast stretch wrap may also have less tear resistance and less memory than blown.
Now we’ve covered the two main types of plastic stretch wrap, let’s go over a few best practices and tips to help you wrap your pallets that protect the underlying product throughout shipping and storage.
Prior to wrapping any pallet, it’s imperative you choose a pallet of the right size. While it may seem like common sense, you’ll be surprised at the number of W/DCs that start off with the wrong size or wrong type of pallet. Make sure:
Once you have the proper pallet, make sure to use the following best practices for stacking it:
The final step in wrapping pallets with plastic is to use the right type of plastic stretch wrap based on the attributes of your load, the products you’re shipping, as well as several other factors. The plastic stretch wrap should be effectively applied around your pallet from the bottom up. Overlapping by 50% is an excellent way for your employees to have added package protection without creating substantial waste.
Determining whether you need blown or cast film to wrap your pallets can — at first — seem challenging. However, the experts at AAA Polymer offer decades of experience helping facility managers and supervisors choose the best stretch wrap material for the desired results. Since we offer a full range of different types of stretch wrap, we will listen to you needs and guide you to the best solution.
Contact AAA Polymer today for professional-grade stretch wrap and best practices.