The Complete Beginner's Guide to Shrink Sleeve label Films Types



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.

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