PVC, POF and PE Difference

PVC, POF and PE Difference

Shrink packaging difference: PVC, polyolefin, polyethylene.

The three main shrink packaging materials used to protect and secure products in retail and transportation environments are polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyethylene (PE) and polyolefin (POF).Each has different functions and features that make it suitable for a particular use environment.

What kind of packing is best for your packing needs?

What is shrinkage packaging material?The material, called shrink wrap, is a transparent plastic package that can be used to wrap millions of products around the world.Shrinkable packaging film will contract around the packaged product when heated.

Each of these three packaging films can be co-extruded with different additives into multi layer packaging to provide the special barrier properties required for shelf life or appearance.Shrink packaging can be molded into flat coils, bags, outer packaging, strapping tape and tubing, and adds tamper-proof protection to the form of packaged goods.If not sure whether it is application scope?Follow these three steps to categorize:

1、PVC shrink packaging:

Due to its lightweight and inexpensive versatility, PVC used to be the most commonly used shrink packaging material in the world, but PVC shrink packaging has since become the last choice for PE and POF for many reasons.Especially in the creation and incineration of health hazards and unsustainable development issues.

PVC is rigid and durable and can be used in many applications, including construction projects and household goods.In packaging, PVC can be seen in rigid applications including construction engineering and household goods packaging, as well as flexible applications such as shrink bags.Polyvinyl chloride is made up of carbon, hydrogen and chlorine.

PVC is recommended for production and use in well-ventilated facilities due to the strong and harmful smell it emits when heated.PVC has been banned in many countries due to its chemical composition and the harmful by-products released during its manufacture, as well as problems caused by the breakdown of the substance.Corporate and socially responsible brands with a strong focus on the environment and sustainability have joined these countries to ban the use of PVC in packaging.It is important to consider whether there is any idea of using it in packaging.

PVC shrink packaging overview:

  • Used to be the most commonly used shrink packaging material in the world.

  • Stability changes with temperature, with under cooling causing brittleness and heat causing wrinkling。

  • Higher resistance to tear propagation, POF has higher resistance to puncture.

  • If you are using PVC packaging, it is important to ensure that the use and temperature changes throughout the supply chain.

  • PVC shrink packaging applications include: packaging, game and software packaging boxes and other non-edible items.

  • It is not suitable for bundling multiple items together because they are more fragile after shrinking.

  • Carbon deposits remain on sealers during use and require proper and regular maintenance to ensure consistent operation.

  • Release of harmful odors during sealing and heating, caution and proper ventilation must be taken.

  • Provides preferred orientation (unidirectional shrinkage, non-bidirectional shrinkage) and low shrinkage force.

2、POF shrink packaging:

Polyolefin shrinkage film is a durable and versatile quality shrinkage film.It has replaced PVC mentioned above in many applications and is an FDA-approved food safety material.Polyolefin comes in several types, including conventional, cryogenic, and crosslinked films, providing high tensile strength and transparency for high-speed packaging applications.Depending on the market application, choose the most suitable type to minimize the cost.

Thinner specifications can be used to make longer film rolls, thus reducing the number of tube changes and improving efficiency and productivity.The puncture resistance and sealing strength of polyolefin shrink packaging materials provide excellent protection for irregularly shaped items throughout their supply chain life cycle.Select the correct thickness according to the specification and weight of the product to be packed.

POF offers versatility and low cost for both machine and packaging forms, making it the preferred choice for protective packaging manufacturers within a limited specification range.In some cases, POF requires a perforation in the packaging film;Tiny holes are added that allow air to escape during shrinkage to obtain packaging.As a result, many suppliers offer pre-perforated heat shrink packaging.

A quick overview of POF shrink packaging:

  • High quality shrink packaging film.

  • Made from recycled materials.

  • Excellent transparency and shiny shelf appearance;Perfect for appearance display of consumer products (toys, games, candy, books, food, most retail goods).

  • Rapid shrinkage ability (when heated, it expands and then contracts, and the internal air escapes from the exhaust hole to form the finished product).

  • Durable, versatile, low cost.

  • Great for bundling multiple items together, such as tissue boxes.

  • POF is ideal for high-speed applications and increases strength without compromising transparency.

  • Polyolefin is more expensive, but more durable - impervious to temperature changes.

  • FDA approved contact with food.

  • Excellent tensile strength and tear extension.

  • Pre-perforated POF is available and allows for uniform shrinkage surfaces.

3、PE shrink packaging:

Polyethylene is a single monomer package of polyolefin which ethylene is added in the polymerization process.PE is used in many forms of flexible protective packaging, including shrink and stretch packaging, each of which varies widely in performance.PE can take many forms, but the three most common are low density polyethylene (LDPE), linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) and high density polyethylene (HDPE).Each is used in different industrial applications, and for shrink packaging, LDPE is the most common form.The advantage of using LDPE over other forms of shrink packaging is that it can increase strength and durability for heavier, larger items such as multi-pack drinks.These packages can also be printed, and graphics can be printed while still maintaining the image and required strength.If the thickness of POF and PVC is limited to about the usual 2.5c, the maximum thickness of PE may be up to 30C!These thicknesses are used in Marine industrial applications, such as shrink-packed ships for storage.PE shrinkage disadvantage is not high shrinkage rate, not more than 20%, and transparency is much lower than other packaging film.

The difference between shrink packaging and stretch packaging:

Shrink packaging and stretch packaging often look similar, but they behave very differently. When used in shrink packaging applications, PE places bulk on one or more items and contracts around them when heated, resulting in a tight, tamper-proof, disassembly resistant seal.When used for stretching applications, PE is formulated differently and can be stretched around the object.

The elastic memory of the wrapping and its own adhesion maintain a tight protective layer around the object.Stretch packing is usually used to unify the stacking of multiple items on pallets to prevent them from moving during transportation.Stretch packs usually stretch about 100-300%, while shrink packs usually only stretch to about 50-75% before breaking occurs.

A quick overview of PE shrink/stretch packaging:

  • LDPE (Low density polyethylene) - Low melting point, good tensile and strength - commonly used in food and meat products as well as stretch packaging/palletizing.

  • LLDPE (Linear low density polyethylene) - thinner than LDPE, stronger, better transparency - for bulk food, frozen food, printed matter, groceries, garbage bags, palletisation/stretch packaging.

  • HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) -- one of the most common polymers in plastic packaging -- USDA/FDA approved for food contact, light weight, durable, water resistant, O 2 resistant -- suitable for certain food, retail products, clothing, pallet stretch packaging.

  • Can substitute corrugated shipper for larger items.

  • More expensive, but more durable.

  • Polyethylene shrink film is recyclable.

  • Thicker - provides greater stretching capacity.

  • It shrinks when cooled rather than heated, requiring additional cooling space at the end of the tunnel.

  • Applications include large weights, including bundling multiple packets of water.

  • Thicker meters and larger applications can be stored using a packing boat.