Shrink Wrap Film Gauges Explained

Shrink Wrap Film Gauges If you’re an electrician, or have worked with electrical wiring, you probably know that the lower the gauge number, the thicker the wire. For example, 16-gauge wire is actually significantly thinner than 10-gauge wire. This almost goes against common reasoning as higher numbers typically represent bigger or thicker. So is this the case with the gauge of shrink wrap film?

Shrink wrap film is commonly available in 60, 75 and 100 gauge thicknesses. As you might understand, many people wonder if 60 or 100 gauge film is the thickest. Shrink wrap film gauges, contrary to electrical wire gauges, are actually thicker as the number goes up. One-hundred gauge film is in fact thicker than 60 gauge shrink wrap film.

Hopefully this helps clarify some of the confusion out there. While we have established how shrink wrap gauges work, you should be aware that there are two primary different types of shrink wrap film. These are:

  1. PVC Shrink Wrap Film
  2. Polyolefin Shrink Wrap Film

While both PVC and Polyolefin shrink film gauges are literally the same in thickness, you should be aware that 75 gauge PVC and 75 gauge Polyolefin act very differently.

Shrink Wrap FilmOne of the biggest reasons people go with thicker PVC film is to prevent tearing or breaking of the film. This is because PVC film has a more brittle quality to it than Polyolefin film.

While people increase the film gauge with Polyolefin to help increase the packaging strength as well, Polyolefin film has an elastic-like stretchy quality to it. For this reason, 60 gauge Polyolefin film, while thinner, has just as good an integrity quality as 75 gauge PVC film. Simply put, you don’t need as thick a gauge of Polyolefin film to get the same results as 75 gauge PVC film.

I hope this helps you understand shrink wrap film in a little more detail. We have over 30 years experience with shrink wrap packaging, so please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions regarding shrink wrap film or machines.

You can find our entire selection of shrink wrap film and replacement parts here and our entire selection of shrink wrap machines here.

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