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Commodity Grade Films vs. High Performance Stretch Film


When presented with choices about which type of stretch film to use in your packaging operation, you might think “Why should I pay more for a high performance film?  What’s the difference between this one and the lower-priced competitors?”

Based on our experience with a variety of applications over many years, we’ve come to understand that high performance films can accommodate a greater level of prestretch and still maintain optimal performance.  The result is that you use less film for the same application and, over time, you lower your costs and improve your sustainability (see How to use Less Stretch Film for Better Sustainability).

Now, with the Film Lab and testing equipment we have at the Packaging Solution Center, we’ve not only been able to prove out this theory, but we’ve also discovered some of the underlying reasons why high performance films outshine commodity films.

Our Film Lab specialists, John Cook and Jake Wyns, use the ESTL Film Performance Tester (FPT) to profile and pinpoint film properties and discern the differences in tear resistance between high performance and commodity grade films. They’re able to see how trends vary across film manufacturers at each of the different gauges and how films react at different tension settings.

They’ve found that consistency varies from lot to lot with commodity grade films because of the variety of resins used in manufacturing the film.  This results in inconsistent quality with the film and a broader range of puncture and tear resistance. 

In high performance films, however, the consistency falls within a smaller range because manufacturers are using specific types of resin to get specific film properties. This results in more consistent quality throughout the film and a higher chance of getting consistent output with your stretch wrapping.

So if you optimize and monitor your stretch wrapping using high performance films, you’re more likely to avoid product damage using the optimal amount of film time after time.  This is how you’ll realize the best cost savings and product protection over the long haul.

Learn more by scheduling a tour of our Packaging Solution Center in Charlotte, NC.