Global high demand for shrink sleeves is growing at a 5.5% CAGR with the benefits of 360 degree view, extra printing space and tamper evident capability. Due to this demand, there are a various shrink films on the market, and each has its own specific components and characteristics. Selecting the right film requires a rigorous analysis of the project, and may even depend on the environmental footprint the client wishes to leave. Below is a brief overview of the various shrink films available:
PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride), the most commonly used material for this type of application, is a high density film that shrinks at low temperature ranges. It provides good clarity and offers high impact strength for extra weather and scuff resistance. The film starts to shrink between 122° F and 140° F, and possesses good shrinking qualities – generally between 40%-65%.
PETG (Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol) is the most heat resistant shrink sleeve material, offers high scuff resistance, and provides excellent clarity. This film starts to shrink between 158° F and 176° F, and has a high shrink percentage (up to about 80%).
OPS (Oriented Polystyrene) is a low density film that delivers a softer feel and is more squeezable than other shrink materials. It offers the lowest vertical shrink of the films, up to 75%, and has minimal machine direction (MD) shrinkage.
PLA (Polylactic Acid) is a biodegradable thermoplastic made from renewable resources. It is the most environmentally-friendly film, requires less energy due to low shrink initiation temperature requirements, and can shrink up to 72%. Although PLA offers less clarity than other films, it is FDA approved for direct food applications.
Contact a Polimex Team today at [email protected] to learn more about shrink films and which option is best for your next label print project.