When packaging a product, the first step is to decide which type of material you want to use. A broad range of options exist, including plastic, metal, cardboard, paperboard, foil, shrink film, bio-plastics, boxes, and more. In this blog, we will discuss some of the most common types of packaging materials and their characteristics.
Corrugated boxes have been a staple of the packaging industry for years. They can be purchased already in a traditional box set or can arrive in flat stacks. Corrugated boxes are commonly used in tandem with case erectors, a type of packaging material used to form flat cardboard into box shapes. Corrugated boxes are made from corrugated cardboard, a packaging material made from one or more types of fiberboard.
Stretch film is another highly-common packaging material. It is used to contain products on pallets such that they are prevented from collapsing or being damaged during the shipping process. Stretch film achieves load containment, allowing your load to be properly secured in place so it can arrive safely to its destination. There are many types of stretch film available for a wide range of uses.
Shrink film is used to package products in tandem with shrink tunnels and sealers. Both of these pieces of machinery are required to use shrink film on a packaging line. The product is run through the sealer, which places the shrink film over the product. Each side of the bag of film is then sealed with heat and moves down the product line to the shrink tunnel. In the shrink tunnel, the film bag uniformly contracts around the product.
Bundling film is a type of shrink film commonly used to form multi-packs of products. This can include free-standing items or those sitting on top of a platform or sheet of material. The bundle of products is covered in shrink film and moved through a tunnel where the bundle is packaged together by the shrinking of the film.
Also known as seal bands, shrink bands are a type of protective packaging. They are typically made to fit the cap of different products such as bottles, jars, liquid-droppers, and similar items. To apply shrink band, a ring made out of soft plastic is placed on the cap of the container. Next, heat is used to shrink the ring, making it fit uniformly around the lid. This heat can be applied by a heat gun, shrink tunnel, or steam tunnel. Shrink bands are a tamper-evident packaging material used to alert the customer if their product has been tampered with or damaged.
Finally, flexible pouches, made from foil or plastic, are primarily used in food and beverage packing as well as industrial liquid packaging. They have become popular because they are resealable, have a low environmental impact, and are less costly to produce than other packaging materials.
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