Stretch Film Gauge: A Comparison

By | 2018-02-14T09:28:39+00:00 February 6th, 2018|Packaging Supplies|0 Comments

Let’s face it, stretch film has come a long way over the years. Some really smart people went and made it all complicated. That’s good in terms of providing a better product for your needs, but it also means you need to be smart about purchasing decisions.

With all of the technological advances made in today’s manufacturing, not only do you need to figure out what stretch film gauge your application requires, but you also need to decide if you want a standard or high-performance film.

Standard or High-Performance Stretch Film?

Standard Stretch Film – Standard stretch film, or true-gauge stretch film, offers a large amount of stretch, tear resistance and strength.  The main downside to using a true gauge stretch film is that the standard worker is not able to apply enough force to reach the maximum stretch potential of the film, so the result is more wasted material.

Economy Stretch Film – Economy stretch film, sometimes referred to as micron stretch film is a step down from the true-gauge stretch film and often comes in a 57, 60, or 63 gauge.  Here your drawback is that this film is often stiffer and does not offer as much stretch as a true-gauge film.  On the other hand, it is strong, economical, and you’ll have less waste.

Hybrid Stretch Film – A hybrid film, also known as multilayer stretch film, is commonly used in place of lighter gauged stretch films.  You’ll find it in 47, 51, and 53 gauges.  It contains more layers and gives less tear resistance than the economy stretch films.  However, here again, the pros include:  economical, lighter, and easy to apply.

A quick note on the types of stretch films:

Lighter gauged high-performance films work for light to moderate, regular-shaped loads that you know won’t be subjected to a challenging transit.  They offer excellent load retention, high elastic film recovery, high-stretch formulation, and reduced film neck-down.  However, the traditional, heavier films, are considered “foolproof” and often result in fewer complaints.

Choosing the correct stretch film gauge for the application

Thickness 2”-5” Bundling Film 12-20” Hand Grade /20” Machine Grade Film
60 Gauge Applications include bundling lighter, smaller objects and/or boxes, together. Weight Approximation: 800 lbs

12”- 18”  Hand Grade: Small loads/loads that only require a minimal top or bottom wrap.

70 Gauge Similar applications to the 60 gauge film, with slightly more holding strength. Weight Approximation: 1100 lbs

12”- 18”  Hand Grade: Small loads/loads that only require a minimal top or bottom wrap.

80 Gauge The most common gauge of all stretch film types.  Versatile and capable of handling varying applications Weight Approximation: 1500 lbs
90 Gauge Similar applications to the 80 gauge film, with slightly more holding strength.

Note: The 90 gauge film is the starting thickness for heavier films.

Weight Approximation: 1750 lbs

18-20” Hand Grade: Uses include taller / heavier loads – 90 gauge and above

100 Gauge Applications include medium to heavier boxes/loads. Weight Approximation: 1870 lbs

18-20” Hand Grade: Uses include taller / heavier loads – 90 gauge and above

115 Gauge  Applications include heavier boxes/loads.

Note: A good application example for this gauge is lumber.

Weight Approximation: 1950 lbs

18-20” Hand Grade: Uses include taller / heavier loads – 90 gauge and above

120 Gauge Provides a greater amount of strength and puncture resistance. Applications include regular and irregular shaped loads. Weight Approximation: 2000 lbs

18-20” Hand Grade: Uses include taller / heavier loads – 90 gauge and above

Alright, here is the deal. We’re packaging nerds, so we know things like stretch film gauges inside and out. When you sell the stuff, you need to know about it. It’s that kind of knowledge that has allowed us to help companies just like yours find the right product and save some cash doing it. You don’t need to deal with the tricky stuff. Instead, let us do it, while you enjoy the benefits.

Let’s start with a packaging assessment to get the ball rolling. Or, give us a call at 877-410-5564 and we’ll gladly walk you through the process.

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