Stretch film is a highly stretchable plastic film that is wrapped around items. The elastic recovery keeps the items tightly bound. In contrast, shrink wrap is applied loosely around an item and shrinks tightly with heat.
It is frequently used to unitize pallet loads but also may be used for bundling smaller items.
Types of stretch film include bundling stretch film, hand stretch film, extended core stretch film, machine stretch film and static dissipative film.
Stretch films are made from linear low-density polyethylene resins. Since its early introduction in the early 70’s, stretch film has become the most important method of unitizing product loads for transport. There are a number of key features for this including:
- The uniform and relatively high holding force that stretch film applies to a load
- The protection from dust and damage it provides versus other unitizing methods.
- The optics that allow for customers and shippers the ability to identify the product while also keeping it clean.
- It is the most economical method of unitizing
- More details of these and other unitizing features.