Chocolate in packaging from shrink wrap machine.

Can You Shrink Wrap Heat Sensitive Products?

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Updated for 2019

Sweets packaged in polyolefin shrink wrap bags

There are significant benefits to using shrink wrap for your products. From tamper-proof security to extra protection and unitisation of your goods, shrink wrap – particularly our polyolefin shrink film – is fantastic for protecting your goods.

However, a common concern among our clients is that shrink wrapping involves heat, and their products can be warped or damaged by high temperatures. Can we really shrink wrap their heat sensitive products? In this article, we explore the myths and anxieties people have around shrink wrapping and explain precisely why your heat sensitive products are safe even after going through the shrink wrapping process.

Can You Shrink Wrap Heat Sensitive Products?

A well-wrapped product, particularly with high-quality polyolefin shrink film, does not require much heat to shrink wrap. Indeed, most products will spend no more than a few seconds going through a shrink tunnel or under a heat gun. We have had numerous clients with heat sensitive products who chose a shrink wrap packaging solution and are extremely happy with the result.

In the past, it might have indeed been true that shrink wrapping products which need to not be exposed to excess heat – for example, DVDs or CDs, or certain food products – but today, technology has advanced to the point where the temperature required is minimal, and the risk is non-existent. As long as you use your shrink wrapping machine correctly, you can quickly shrink wrap heat sensitive products.

In the rest of this guide, we go through some different heat-sensitive products as examples, and why they too can be shrink wrapped.

How to Shrink Wrap Chocolate

Chocolate in packaging from shrink wrap machine.

Chocolates and pralines come in a vast arrange of packaging, from single bars to bags and cartons. This type of product requires special packaging requirements to ensure the product stays fresh and protected in the shipping, storage and shelving processes. Chocolate can fall victim to several issues that can cause the product to spoil including moisture, high temperatures and punctures.

The shrink-wrapping process requires heat to shrink the packaging around the product, and this is the part of the process that can cause damage. The average temperature achieved by a PVC shrink wrap will be between 120ºc to 130ºc, whilst a standard polyolefin shrink wrap machine requires a 150ºc to 175ºc setting. Normally, the chocolate will spend five seconds or less with direct contact with the heat within the tunnel of the machine. It is, therefore, no surprise that many manufacturers are concerned that their chocolate will melt!

The most common type of shrink wrap used for chocolate is PVC and polyolefin wraps, with polyolefin shrink film being used when there is direct contact with the chocolate. Whilst PVC shrink wrap films are easy to seal, the polyolefin shrink films are stronger and possess low-temperature flexibility making them the ideal choice for flexible packaging.

When we were contacted by a high-quality chocolate manufacturer needing a shrink-wrapping solution, we had just the right products! We recommended using the Ultra JD shrink film, this is ideal for chocolate because it is printable, retains its shape and structure and has anti-fog properties that stop clouding or condensation. Using the Ultra JD film, Mid-sized bubble seal and one of our shrink wrap machines, the manufacturer could package their product to the highest quality.

How to Shrink Wrap Soap

Bars of soap wrapped in polyolefin shrink film

When customers buy bars of soap, one of the most important considerations is beautiful packaging that protects the product. It is no wonder then that shrink wrapping soap is so popular, thanks to the protective and unobtrusive nature of our transparent polyolefin shrink film.

Melt and pour soap is simple to shrink wrap, and can be done just like any product. Cold process soaps, after they are cured, can be shrink wrapped too, however. Simply make sure when you purchase your shrink wrap film that at least one end of the product remains unsealed so that your soap can breathe. This prevents them from getting damp and spoiling. If you need help with how to shrink wrap cold processed soaps and what shrink wrapping machinery or shrink wrap film would be most appropriate, please get in touch, and we will be happy to assist.

How to Shrink Wrap Bath Bombs

A bath bomb resting and towel with a candle

Shrink wrapping bath bombs is an easy process that greatly extends your products’ shelf life and protects them from being easily cracked or otherwise damaged. Shrink wrapping revolutionised the food industry because it could protect your products from external damage and extend their shelf life for the same reasons. The shrink wrap film looks like a thin and flimsy layer, but is in fact extremely strong and durable. Hence why shrink wrapping is so popular for goods that need to be protected.

If you want to shrink wrap your bath bombs, particularly if you have a tremendous amount to pack, the simplest way of doing so is to run them through an L-sealer and cover them in polyolefin shrink film for protection. We offer a range of high-quality L-sealers which may meet your requirements.

There are two common ways to shrink wrap bath bombs. One is to simply run them through the machine as-is, and then later put them in more fanciful packaging that will please your consumers. The other is to put a decorative base of some sort onto the product first, before wrapping the item in its entirety. The benefit of the first option is that the product might look nicer, while the second option provides more protection for your products. Whichever you choose, your bath bomb will go through the shrink wrapping machine for at most a few seconds, and will not experience any heat-related damage so long as the device is used correctly.

We hope this guide to shrink wrapping heat sensitive products has helped you! If you want any more advice on our polyolefin shrink film or our shrink wrapping machinery, please get in touch through the contact form to the side. We have an excellent team of experts with experience in shrink wrapping a wide range of items who will be happy to give you the advice and support you need.


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