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Shrink Films: Material, Applications & Choosing for Business

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Shrink films are an integral element of packaging operations across various industries, offering a versatile, cost-effective, and visually appealing solution for product protection, presentation, and transportation. At Australian Wrapping Company, we provide a comprehensive range of high-quality shrink films designed to cater to different business requirements and enhance packaging efficiency and productivity.

In this in-depth guide, we will delve into the fascinating world of shrink films, uncovering the material types, applications, and strategies for choosing the ideal shrink film for your specific business needs. By gaining a thorough understanding of shrink films, you will be better equipped to make well-informed decisions that optimise your packaging processes for success.

To kick off our exploration, we will discuss the various material types of shrink films, such as PVC, polyolefin, and polyethylene, and dive into their unique properties and benefits. Understanding the distinct characteristics of each material type will empower you to evaluate which option is best suited for your specific packaging requirements and objectives.

Next, we will examine the diverse applications of shrink films across industries such as food and beverage, retail, electronics, and pharmaceuticals. By identifying the versatility and adaptability of shrink films, you will gain valuable insights into their importance in ensuring professional, secure, and efficient packaging solutions.

Lastly, we will provide guidance on selecting the perfect shrink film for your business, accounting for factors including your production environment, product type, sustainability goals, and budget constraints. With this knowledge in your arsenal, you will be well-prepared to make sound decisions when choosing shrink films tailored to your unique needs and goals.

Join us on this educational journey as we traverse the dynamic realm of shrink films, delivering valuable knowledge and proven strategies designed to elevate your understanding, streamline your packaging operations, and ultimately drive your business to success. By mastering the intricacies of shrink films, you can ensure superior product protection and presentation, leading to improved customer satisfaction and a positive impact on your company’s bottom line.

Types of Shrink Films

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Shrink Films

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) shrink films are a popular and affordable choice for various packaging applications. They offer excellent transparency, enhancing product presentation and visibility. PVC films have a low shrink temperature, which reduces the risk of product damage during the shrink process, making them suitable for a wide range of products, including food, beverage, and consumer goods. However, it is important to note that PVC can release harmful fumes when overheated, which is a consideration when choosing shrink films for specific applications.

Polyolefin Shrink Films

Polyolefin shrink films are versatile and offer excellent strength, making them ideal for a variety of packaging applications. They are food-safe and can withstand refrigeration or freezing, rendering them suitable for perishable products, while their puncture resistance ensures their durability in packaging irregularly shaped items. Additionally, polyolefin films have a higher shrink temperature than PVC films, reducing the risk of shrink-related defects. These films are often used in industries such as food and beverage, toys, sporting goods, and electronics.

Polyethylene (PE) Shrink Films

Polyethylene shrink films offer a practical, cost-effective option for packaging heavy or bulky items, such as cases of beverages or large consumer goods. PE films provide excellent puncture resistance, strength, and flexibility, ensuring that products remain secure during transportation and storage. Polyethylene films can withstand harsh environmental conditions, making them suitable for outdoor applications or products stored in uncontrolled temperature environments.

Applications of Shrink Films

Food and Beverage Industry

Manual pallet wrapping involves using hand-held wrap dispensers to apply stretch wrap around palletised products. This method is highly portable, cost-effective, and suitable for smaller businesses or those with low volume packaging needs. However, it can be labour-intensive and may not provide consistent wrapping tension, which could compromise the overall stability of the pallet.

Retail and Electronics Industry

In the retail and electronics sector, shrink films are used for securing and protecting products like cosmetics, toys, clothing, and electronic devices. These films provide a visually appealing packaging solution that showcases products while reducing the risk of damage, theft, and tampering.

Pharmaceutical Industry

Shrink films are utilised extensively in the pharmaceutical industry to package and protect medications, medical supplies, and personal protective equipment. The films create a barrier that prevents the ingress of air, moisture, and bacteria, ensuring that products remain sterile and in compliance with industry regulations and standards.

Choosing the Right Shrink Film

Production Environment

When considering a shrink film for your business, it is crucial to take into account your production environment, including factors like temperature sensitivity and potential contaminants. PVC films are more sensitive to heat and potentially harmful fumes when overheated, while polyolefin films are more resilient, making them an ideal choice for environments with high heat or sensitive products.

Product Type

The specific product type and size will significantly influence which shrink film is most suitable for your needs. PVC films are appropriate for smaller products where transparency and an attractive appearance are critical, while polyolefin films are better suited for food-related applications due to their food-safe properties. For larger or heavier products, polyethylene films offer the strength and durability required to withstand transportation and storage.

Sustainability Goals

Sustainability is a growing concern for many businesses, and selecting shrink films that align with your environmental goals is an essential consideration. PVC films are less environmentally friendly compared to polyolefin and polyethylene films, which are recyclable and produce fewer harmful emissions during production. Evaluate the environmental impact of each film type when deciding which option aligns with your company’s sustainability initiatives.

Budget Constraints

Budget constraints will inevitably impact your choice of shrink film. Cost-effective options such as PVC films may be appropriate for businesses with lower-budget packaging needs, while polyolefin and polyethylene films, with their excellent performance characteristics, could be a worthwhile investment for companies requiring premium packaging solutions.


This comprehensive guide has illuminated the complexities of shrink films and equipped you with valuable knowledge that will streamline your packaging operations, enhance customer satisfaction, and leave a positive impact on your company’s bottom line. By meticulously considering the intricacies of shrink films and making educated decisions, you will ensure your products are protected and professionally packaged, catering to both functionality and aesthetics.

Looking for high-quality shrink films and packaging equipment? Look no further than the Australian Wrapping Company! We specialize in the supply of top-of-the-line shrink wrapping, pallet wrapping, flow wrapping, shrink sleeve applicators, and heat sealer packaging equipment. Our products are designed to help you streamline your packaging process and ensure that your products are protected during transport and storage. Don’t settle for anything less than the best when it comes to your packaging needs – choose the Australian Wrapping Company as your trusted partner. Contact us today to learn more and get started!


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