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What Gauge Stretch Film Do I Need?

Pantero_StretchWrap_186597984.color2000Stretch films come in different thicknesses, known as gauges. How do you know what gauge of stretch film you need? Let's take a look.

Understanding Stretch Wrap Thickness: Gauge vs. Microns vs. Mils

Gauge is one way to measure the thickness of a material. Stretch wrap typically comes in gauges ranging from 37 to 150.

Gauge can be converted into mils, microns or other units. If you need to convert stretch wrap thickness to other measurement units, this handy conversion chart can help.

 

Gauge

Mil

Micron

Millimeter

Inch

35

0.35

8.9

0.0089

0.00035

45

0.45

11.4

0.0114

0.00045

50

0.50

12.7

0.0140

0.0005

60

0.60

15.2

0.0152

0.0006

80

0.80

20.3

0.0203

0.0008

100

1.00

25.4

0.0254

0.001

120

1.20

30.5

0.0305

0.0012

150

1.50

38.1

0.0381

0.0015

180

1.80

45.7

0.0457

0.0018

200

2.00

50.8

0.0508

0.002

 

Selecting the Right Gauge for Your Application

Of course, what you really want to know is what gauge stretch film do you need for your application? This depends on a few factors:

  • What is the weight of the load? The heavier the load and the more force the stretch wrap will be under, the stronger your stretch film will need to be.
  • What is the shape of your load? Uniform loads, such as pallets of same-size boxes, require less holding power and durability than highly irregular or unstable loads with lots of sharp corners and edges.
  • What kind of stretch film are you using? Gauge isn't the only factor in determining how much a stretch film can hold. Different film types—e.g., cast vs. blown, pre-stretch, or high-performance stretch wraps—have different properties and holding power. Read our blog on stretch wrap types to learn more about the different kinds of stretch film.

Stretch Wrap Gauge and Load Holding Power

While the type of stretch film you are using matters, there are some general rules of thumb you can apply to determine which gauge of stretch film is right for your load.

The guide below lists some of the most common gauges for cast stretch films.

  • Pre-stretch films have been mechanically stretched prior to rolling, so they are thinner than their true-gauged equivalent. Pre-stretching 80-gauge film results in a 37-gauge pre-stretch film.
  • Hybrid or equivalent films are thinner than their true-gauge equivalents but offer similar holding power.
  • A true-gauged film has not been pre-stretched. The thickness it has after the extrusion process is the thickness it has on the roll.

 

37-gauge

A light pre-stretch wrap suitable for light, uniform loads of up to 800 pounds.

47-gauge

A hybrid or equivalent film. Can be used for box and case wrapping or medium-weight loads up to 1800 pounds.

60-gauge

A light true-gauged film suitable for light to medium loads up to 1800 pounds.

63-gauge

A hybrid or equivalent film, sometimes sold as 16-micron film. Suitable for loads up to 2200 pounds.

80-gauge

A versatile, medium-duty true-gauged film for loads up to 2200-2400 pounds. The most common stretch film thickness.

100-gauge

A heavier-duty true-gauged film that can hold loads up to 2800-3000 pounds. Machine stretch wrap in this gauge can be used to wrap pallets of heavy, irregular objects such as steel beams or 55-gallon drums.

150-gauge

A very heavy-duty true-gauged stretch film for extremely heavy loads, loads with many sharp points or corners, and heavy irregular objects that may shift during transit. Typically must be machine applied to achieve proper tension.

 

What Gauge of Stretch Wrap Do You Need?

Pantero carries stretch wraps and films in a range of gauges, including cast and blown stretch film, high-performance equivalent stretch wrap, and pre-stretch films.

Not sure which gauge of stretch wrap you need? Contact one of our stretch wrap experts! We'll be glad to help.

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