A common discussion topic in the Packaging industry is the quality and amount of stretch films used to protect goods during transportation. New legislations, new products, new trends… Does the number of layers affect the load stability? What if not? What if more layers does not necessarily mean better performance?
Trends like population growth, ecommerce and digitalization determine not only the future of packaging, but also the future of trading, transportation and logistics. As the movement of goods increases exponentially every year, we need to have our finger on the pulse of time to ensure goods are safely packaged and transported to reach their destination point in optimal conditions.
But what are the parameters to consider in order to obtain the best load stability? Certainly stretch films can be used to secure goods to the transportation pallets preventing them from slipping, shifting and falling, also protecting them against dust, moisture and other external environmental threats. However, it is also important to bear in mind that safe transportation depends not only on the type of load units used, wrapping methods and equipment, but also on transportation processes and external conditions.
POLIFILM, SML and Dow Packaging & Specialty Plastics, joined forces to investigate the versatility and complexity of diverse types of stretch films. The companies produced and measured the performance of films with 12, 15 and 23 µm thicknesses when applied on 11, 13 and 55-layers.
This collaborative project has proven that the amount of layers beyond a certain number is not critical for the success of the film, demonstrating that it actually depends on the raw materials, film formulation and processing parameters used.
“It is important to keep challenging ourselves to better serve the ever growing transport market, creating secure and sustainable solutions for load units. We must question the initial perceptions and consider how we can contribute to real improvements in load stability and road safety!” says Peter Sandkuehler, Dow’s Principal Research Scientist.
The results of this collaboration are available at the POLIFILM‘s website. You can also find the full story in Kunstoffe International magazine (10/2017), in an article that covers this research project, titled “How many layers are enough?”