Tag Archives: infusionwrap

Ever wondered how they put the stretch into stretch film?

Following our April Fools InfusionWrap™ launch, we investigated how bubble wrap stays so strong under pressure yet is so easy to pop after use, and delved deeper into exactly how bubble wrap is made.

We had so much fun that we wanted to do the same, but for stretch film. The laws of physics suggest that a material becomes weaker when stretched, so how does stretch film manage to remain durable and strong even when stretched to around 500% its standard size?

Strength and Versatility

It’s a product used in retail, shipping, deliveries, transport and now increasingly in airports, where people are shrink-wrapping their suitcases when they fly abroad to prevent damage or theft. Across all industries, shrink wrapping helps to prevent tears and damage to materials and keeps items secure in one place; it helps to protect products and save on space and material.

Stretch Film Machine

Getting ready to stretch

Stretch film is usually used to secure large or heavy loads on transit pallets. Like bubble wrap, the film stays durable and strong under pressure.

The resemblances between the two packaging products stem from a similar manufacturing process for both.Stretch Film

Bubble and Stretch

Both bubble wrap and stretch film are manufactured from polyethylene and involve a system of melting and cooling.  The difference between the two, and the reason why stretch film has stretch properties, is through the use of higher alpha-olefins, which are chemical compounds with a higher reactivity rate.

This chemical process gives slack to the material which means it can stretch, but interestingly also makes it puncture resistant. Some stretch film can stretch to around 500% of its normal size, although most packaging requires only 100-300% stretch.

The difference between stretch film and shrink wrap

On many occasions, stretch film is mistaken for shrink wrap because they can look very similar. However, apart from both being manufactured from plastic resin via the blown process, they aren’t similar at all.

The properties that make the shrink wrap ‘shrink’ are frozen into the plastic during manufacture and can only be activated by a heat source. When the right amount of heat is applied to the wrap it moves towards melting point which makes it contract and ‘shrink’.

Shrink wrap is made from low density polyethylene which doesn’t have the tear resistance or holding force that stretch film has.

There are two common process for turning polyethylene into stretch film, both resulting in quite different types of film:

Blown Stretch Film

The first method creates Blown stretch film, the more durable and high quality form. The longer cooling process of blown stretch film allows the bonds in the plastic to spread out more, making it more durable.  In this method, the polyethylene resin is heated until it melts and then pulled through an annular die. This puts pressure on the resin and turns it into a sheet.

The sheet is then cooled to form what we would recognize as stretch film.

Cast Stretch Film

The second form of manufacture creates Cast stretch film which is not as high quality as blown, but is cheaper and quicker to manufacture. Because of the quicker cooling time, the chemical bonds spread into individual lines rather than evenly across the film.

It still goes through a similar process of melting resin being put through a die, but with this method the resin is passed through a slot die before it then moves over moving over cooling rollers, as opposed to being given the time to cool naturally at room temperature.

Time to wrap it up

Stretch film is an important part of any efficient packaging operation; its versatility and durability make it ideal for both large and heavy items, as well as small and awkward ones. Stretch film is ideal for protecting parts of products, keeping items clean from dust and dirt and for securing difficult shapes.

It can also be designed in different colours, which can help strengthen a business’ brand impact. Stretch film is a cost effective and simple way to package.

Rajapack’s own range of stretch film includes coloured film, dispensers, mini stretch film, cast film and blown film. If you want to know more about the different uses of stretch film for your warehouse or packaging operation, call us today on 0800 542 44 28.

Sorry to burst your bubble….

April Fools!

Product not available

We have a little confession to make to you. We haven’t really invented InfusionWrap. We apologise to anyone who got excited about the announcement and hope no one re-wrote their annual budgets around this fake product.

But if you can’t have a little fun on April Fools, then when can you?

Although a couple of patents were gained in America in the 90s for the invention of a scented bubble wrap, we can’t find any evidence that suggests that the product is in development…..or is even a possibility for that matter.

Can we sniff out an opportunity?

That last question got us thinking; if we take a look at the process of how bubble wrap is made, is there any way we can see of introducing a scent or lasting smell?

For those of you who aren’t too sure on how it is made, here is a short walk through of the process.

1)      Resin is melted into layers of film

Starting in the form of beads, polyethylene resin is melted down to create the transparent or translucent plastic that forms the bubble wrap. The layers have to be strong enough to properly protect packaged items, but thin enough to pop under the right amount of pressure.

2)      Two layers of film are placed together to create a bag

The bag is then filled with air to create a sack.

3)      The sack of air is then placed onto a giant vacuum roller

Bubble Wrap

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The air sack is placed on to a giant metal roller. The roller looks much like a beehive in the sense that it is covered in small, bubble-sized craters. These craters act as a vacuum which suck in all the air, creating the bubbles that we see in the finished wrap.

4)      The cooling plastic sheets bond together

With all the air from the sack now occupying these pockets, the cooling film sheets are left to bond together. The bubble wrap is then taken off of the roller in the form that it will be delivered to the customer.

We can see from this process that the only way of creating a scented version would be to fill the large sack with scented air. However, we couldn’t really guarantee that scent staying fresh for long periods. Most fragrances that last do so because they’re in liquid form.

Did bubble wrap just pop up one day?

Even though scented bubble wrap hasn’t been invented (yet), it is incredible to see just how far the product has come since it was invented in 1957 by Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes. In fact, bubble wrap was originally intended as a wacky new form of wallpaper!

The idea came about when the two fused two shower curtains together, trapping bubbles inside.

People really didn’t buy into it as wallpaper, but were much more interested in bubble wrap as an ingenious way of protecting their valuable packages.

From then, it has come on leaps and bounds, with our range of Rajabul, for example, available in more types than ever before.

Innovations in bubble wrap

Bubble Wrap’s versatility has led to the need to create different strengths of the wrap, as well as different materials for a range of protective packaging uses. Here are just a few examples the different kinds of wrap that you can buy today:

Antistatic Wrap: This dissipates surface charges and prevents the build-up of static charge, perfect for protecting sensitive electronics.

anti-static-bubble-wrap_PDT01561

Heavy Duty Wrap: Heavy duty bubble wrap offers triple layer protection, with layers of inner and outer film providing extra strength, ideal for larger products.

Recycled Wrap: Made from at least 15% recycled polythene and is fully recyclable after use. 

recycled-green-bubble-wrap_PDT04720
Blanket Wrap: Made from a tough but soft polythene sheet, the blanket wrap combines the protective qualities of bubble and the softness of a tissue layer that protects furniture and delicate surfaces from scratches and marks.

 

So, we’re sorry again for fooling you with InfusionWrap, but it is worth remembering how awesome bubble wrap can be!

Photo Credit- ‘Wrap‘ by Michael Pardo is licenced under CC by 2.0

Presenting InfusionWrap™ – Scented Bubble Wrap

As number 1 in Europe for Packaging, at Rajapack we continue to innovate in the industry; it was only a matter of weeks ago that we introduced our brand new Rajaprint custom packaging tape system and now, we have an industry-first to unveil.

It is our absolute pleasure to announce the forthcoming release of our revolutionary new protective packaging: InfusionWrap™ – Scented Bubble Wrap.

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THE PRODUCT

InfusionWrap™ will be introduced to the RajaBul range of bubble wrap.  Customers have always been able to see a product, feel a product, even taste a product in some circumstances. Now, they can smell it as well for a full sensory experience.

By this, we don’t mean the smell of the cardboard or plastic that the item has been packaged in. We mean subtle scents of real products; coffee, fresh-baked bread, flowers, or sizzling bacon. Each bubble in this special edition bubble wrap will release aromas that stimulate the senses and evoke memory recall across a range of emotions.

Infusion Wrap

THE SCIENCE

The science behind the InfusionWrap™ is simple; we’ve used this exact same methodology that perfume manufacturers use when sampling their scents, only we’ve managed to reduce it from a liquid form.

Each bubble of our scented wrap contains 12 Olfactory units of fragrance. These are released once the bubble is popped. As our sense of smell is linked to our memory, the 12 Olfactory units can influence our mood, bring back memories and even effect how we work! This is because our olfactory senses are located in the limbic system, associated with the ’emotional brain’.

THE MATHS

There would be no point sending such an innovative and potentially market-changing product to market if no one could afford it. That’s why, for only £10 more than standard bubble wrap (per unit), you can bring this experience to your customers and enhance their experience when they unwrap your products.

That’s incredible value even if we do say so ourselves.

THE FUTURE

We truly believe that scented bubble wrap could completely replace standard bubble wrap in a matter of years, so get on board now so you can beat the competition by more than a nose!

Coming Soon

With the introduction of Rajaprint and two more big announcements to come over the next week, it’s an exciting time here at Rajapack.

Although one of those announcements is top secret, we can reveal that the other will be centred on the introduction of a brand new product.

Another UK industry first, we honestly believe that our new product launch has the potential to take the market by storm and revolutionise a customer’s packaging experience.

If you want to stay ahead of your competitors, you really need to stay tuned to the Rajapack blog over the coming days.