Posts Tagged ‘Impulse Sealers’

Direct Heat Sealers vs Impulse Sealers – Which Should You Use?

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

If you are shopping for a bag sealer, you have probably noticed that they seem to come in two different flavors. These are direct heat sealers and impulse sealers (found here). The type of sealer you purchase really depends on the type of bag you are trying to seal. Both types of sealers are designed to quickly seal bags shut for packaging purposes. At ABC Office we offer both types of sealers. I would like to discuss the difference between the two technologies and help you determine which type you should use.

  • Direct Heat Bag SealerDirect Heat Sealers (aka Constant Heat Sealers) – These sealers use constant heat to seal plastic shut. This usually involves both sides of the sealing jaw. This means that the jaws are constantly hot. These types of sealers are excellent for use with sealing thicker materials. Materials that are ideal for use with direct heat sealers include gusset bags, poly cello films, coated Kraft papers, cellophane, waxed paper, mylar, coated polypropylene (PP) and other thick materials. Because direct heat sealers remain hot while it use, a little extra caution is urged to prevent burns.
  • Impulse Bag SealersImpulse Sealers – These sealers don’t need to warm up. They use impulses of electricity to quickly heat up and seal a bag shut. Once the sealing process is complete, impulse sealers quickly cool down. These types of sealers are very convenient because they can be immediately used and the chance of being burned is minimal. These types of sealers are perfect for use with thermoplastic materials. This includes those made from polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP). Impulse sealers can be used with bags and plastics such as padded mailers, foil, coated bags, Kel-F, Polyethylene, Polyurethane, Pilofilm, Polyvinyl Alcohol, Polyvinylchloride, Nylon, Sara, Mylar, Tyve, Polyflex and bubble packs.

Both direct heat sealers and impulse sealers come in different designs, depending on the size of the bag, the volume you are working with and the usage. Here are the different types of sealers:

  • Hand Sealers – These sealers look a lot like an I-bar sealer and are extremely portable and easy to move around. These sealers use impulse-sealing technology and come in different lengths. Most can seal film up to 10 mil thick.
  • Foot Sealers (aka Pedestal Sealers) – These sealers are ideal for continuous sealing operations and situations where both hands are needed to position bags. They usually have some sort of foot pedal that can be pressed to bring down the sealing bar. You can find foot sealers in both impulse and direct heat designs, depending on what you are sealing. Most foot sealers handle film up to 15 mil thick. The heavier-duty direct heat sealers can often handle 20 mil bags.
  • Double Impulse Sealers – These are the toughest impulse sealers you can buy. These include two sealing bars (top & bottom) and can be used with film up to 20 mil thick. These sealers are ideal for heavy duty projects and applications.
  • Sealers w/ Cutters – These sealers are designed to quickly seal a bag shut and then cut off the excess plastic. The cutting blade is usually built into the sealing arm of the sealer.
  • Automatic Sealers – These are heavy-duty sealers designed for continuous operation throughout the day and come in semi-auto and fully automatic designs. They usually sit on a table or countertop. These are designed to be programmed to accommodate the film you are using and then repeat the seal over and over again.
  • Continuous Band Sealers (found here) – These are the fastest bag sealers you can buy. They are designed to seal bags on a mass scale and use a conveyor-style system to quickly seal bags shut. These come in horizontal, vertical and tilted designs.

There are a few things you will want to keep in mind when picking a bag sealer. First, you will want to determine the type of film you are using and establish whether you need a constant heat sealer or an impulse sealer. You will then need to determine the speed that you need to package. You will also need to establish the maximum sealing length you need and how wide you need the seal to be. The nichrome sealing wire, depending on the model, comes in 2mm, 3mm, 5mm, 8mm or 10mm sealing widths.

We carry several different brands of bag sealers. We have great luck with models from AIE, SealerSales and Traco. If you need additional assistance with finding a machine, or if you have some questions, please give us a call at 1-800-658-8788.  You can find our entire selection of direct heat and impulse bag sealers here.

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