Every packaging facility should keep a hearty amount of stretch wrap on hand. Why? Because stretch wrap is the most effective way to ensure palletized products remain safe and secure during transportation.

For your pallets to receive maximum protection, it’s crucial to use the correct amount of stretch wrap for each pallet load. But what constitutes the “right” amount of stretch wrap? A few different factors determine how much wrap you need to wrap a specific load. So, how much stretch wrap do you need? Let’s find out.

Applying the Right Amount of Stretch Wrap

Three main factors—wrap pattern, film pre-stretch, and film gauge—influence the amount of stretch wrap required to wrap a load.

Wrap Pattern

The wrap pattern refers to the amount of revolutions of film the machine puts on the load. Like a building, a load needs a strong foundation. When a load travels in the back of a truck, it needs to be able to release energy during starts and stops. More revolutions at the bottom of the load—and sometimes a cable of film referred to as a rope—provide additional stability. This takes additional stretch film. The right wrap pattern has the right amount of containment force with the right amount of film. You can make these adjustments by adjusting wrap force, film layers, and film delivery system speed.

Film Pre-Stretch

Stretch wrap machines and the film you’re using have built-in pre-stretch capabilities. When used correctly, they work in tandem to optimize your film. For example, a machine with 200% pre-stretch will turn one foot of film into three feet of film. Choosing the right film and stretch wrapper technology can optimize film savings by making your film go further.

Film Gauge

The term “gauge” refers to the thickness of the wrap. It’s normally measured in mils or microns. The lower the gauge mil or micron, the thinner and weaker the film; the higher the gauge mil or micron, the thicker and stronger the film.

68- to 80-gauge is the normal range for stretch wrap, but smaller gauges are available for lighter pallets. To determine the gauge required for a specific load, consider that load’s weight:

  • 30-gauge: can handle loads up to 800 lb
  • 63-gauge: can handle loads up to 1,300 lb
  • 70-gauge: can handle loads up to 1,600 lb
  • 80-gauge: can handle loads up to 2,200 lb

Determining how much stretch wrap you need isn’t always easy. Luckily, there are ways to make the process easier. Robopac USA carries state-of-the-art secondary packaging equipment designed with innovative CUBE Technology. CUBE Technology consistently delivers the right amount of film at the right position and with the right amount of containment force. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of pulling out a calculator every time you need to wrap a new load, come shop with us today!