The thickness of the plastic stretch film is called its gauge, which can be expressed in mils vs microns. A “mil” is essentially 1/1000th of an inch. This measurement can sometimes represent a millimeter to those outside of the states. To calculate the gauge, multiply (mils) x (100), so a stretch film that is 0.5 mils = 50 gauge. And to move from mils to microns, you will need to multiply the mils x 25.4. Let's take a closer look at stretch film micron and gauge.
Stretch Film Micron vs Gauge Conversion Chart
The thickness of the stretch film is called its gauge. And gauge can be measured in microns or mils. Simply put, the higher the gauge micron or mil, the thicker the plastic. And the thicker the material, the more durable the product.
1 mil = 0.001"
25.4 microns = 1 mil
Common Stretch Wrap Gauges & Film Thicknesses
Most stretch film thickness is listed in terms of gauge. We've outlined a few of the most common stretch film gauges below.
37 Stretch Wrap Gauge
This gauge of stretch wrap is unique because it's essentially an 80 gauge film that has been previously pre-stretched for easier application with less force. Even so, this film is ideal for uniform, lighter loads up to 800 lbs.
47 Stretch Wrap Thickness
Also referred to as a hybrid or equivalent stretch wrap, 47 gauge stretch wrap is manufactured with a different type of resin. This resin creates a tighter, stiffer film that has a lower stretch capacity.
A 47 gauge stretch wrap boasts the strength and retention power of a higher gauge without being as thick. This film is suitable for loads up to approximately 1,800 lbs and offers the retention power of a standard 60-gauge film.
60 Gauge Stretch Film Thickness
This film is best suited for uniform loads up to 1,800 lbs.
63 Gauge Stretch Wrap Thickness
This slightly higher gauge film offers more resistance against tearing and puncturing. The 63- gauge stretch film is suitable for loads up to 2,200 lbs.
70 Gauge to 80 Gauge Stretch Wraps
As the industry standard, 80 gauge wrap is suitable for loads of up to 2,400, while 70 gauge film can usually handle up to 2,200 lb loads.
90 Gauge, 100 Gauge & 115 Gauge Stretch Thicknesses
The starting point for the heavy-gauge stretch wrap is 90. This film is more resistant to punctures, stronger, and can be rated for loads of up to 2,600 lbs. Thicker stretch films of 100 and 115 may be used for loads of up to 3,000 lbs or higher.
150 Gauge Stretch Films
150 stretch wrap gauge is the thickest film available and may be ideal for securing sharp or irregularly shaped. This thicker gauge film is useful for securing taller loads as well.
Types of Stretch Wrap
The gauge of your stretch film is important, but there are a few key rules you should use when choosing a film. Here are a few key categories of stretch films
Pre-stretched film is a type of wrap that has been previously stretched to breaking point before being placed on the roll. Because of this, it delivers higher cost savings by reducing the amount of material required to wrap your loads. At the same time, pre-stretched film offers many benefits:
Easier to apply because it requires little to no stretching in application
The rolls are lighter and easier to handle
Improved security because it creates a tighter load.
Increased consistency throughout the load
Performs exceptionally well in cold environments
Delivers remarkable cling
Excellent clarity for easy inspections
Perfect for misshapen or protruding loads
The greener, more environmentally-friendly solution
Learn more about Pre-Stretched films.
Hybrid or Equivalent Stretch Films
Equivalent or hybrid stretch films are thinner than the true-gauge equivalents. However, these films offer similar holding power.
True-Gauged Stretch Film
As the name suggests, a true-gauged film has not been pre-stretched. These are the standard films.
How to Choose the Right Stretch Film Gauge for Your Application?
When choosing the best stretch film, it's imperative to do so based on the specific application. Consider these key factors.
The Shape of the Load
If you have a uniform load, such as a pallet of same-size boxes, it will require less durability and holding power than an unstable load with several sharp edges and corners.
The Weight of the Load
Simply put, the heavier the load, the more force the stretch film will be under. And this means, your stretch film will need to be stronger.
Type of Film
The gauge of your film isn't the only consideration. Different types of stretch wrap, such as blown vs cast, high-performance wraps, or pre-stretch, all have unique wrapping power and properties. You can read more about the different types of stretch films and their unique holding power and wrapping characteristics.
Contact AAA Polymer
When it comes to choosing the best stretch film for your application, one size doesn't fit all. Because of this, we take a tailored approach to helping you find the best film for your application. In doing so, we can help save you time and money, and create efficiencies.
At AAA Polymer, we offer decades of experience helping facilities select the best stretch wrap thickness for their shipping needs.
Contact us today.