Palletising allows the transport and storage of numerous goods or products of all sizes and weights. The use of heat-shrinkable film is common because it is reliable, easy to apply and economical. In addition to the film, a heat gun is sufficient to wrap all the goods you may have to process.
Palletising by heat-shrinkable film
A pallet is made of wood, plastic or other synthetic material. It supports a weight that can exceed one tonne. It is then manipulated using a manual or electric pallet truck to be stored, or loaded onto a truck or any other means of transport.
Heat-shrinkable film has major advantages. First of all, it protects your goods from shocks. The film, once shrunk using the heat gun, hardens to form a rigid shell. If the goods are particularly fragile, have protruding corners and/or are at risk of being scratched, simply pad the package before wrapping it in the film.
The film-wrapped pallet forms a compact block that becomes stable for transport. It is also easier to manipulate with the pallet truck. It can be stacked or stored without the risk of it breaking apart.
The heat-shrinkable film is available in many versions. You may, for example, need to protect your goods from view and in this case, choose an opaque film. For storing goods that are sensitive to sunlight, even if it’s only temporary, a specific UV-protective film is available.
The heat-shrinkable film is also perfectly waterproof, which allows you to protect your goods from humidity and bad weather.
How to wrap your pallet with heat-shrinkable film
It is important to properly distribute the loads on the pallet, in order to facilitate their transport. If the goods are fragile, you can protect them with polystyrene or other padding. It is often a good idea to place protective packaging on the corners. This then makes it easier to work with the heat gun.
Strapping may also be necessary to improve the stability of the whole package. This is recommended, for example, when the items are quite heavy. There is a strapping accessory available for this purpose in the form of a strip of banding.
This is a metal, plastic or fabric (nylon, polypropylene, polyester) band that is used to strengthen the assembly. The strap encircles the pallet load and is fastened with metal clips or staples. It can also be sealed by friction welding, heat welding or ultrasonic welding.
You should choose your heat-shrinkable film based on your goods, in particular, the weight, and the opacity and level of UV protection that you need. The film is unrolled around the pallet load to create a homogeneous block.
You will then use a heat gun. There are different models available. If you only use it very occasionally, you can choose a small heat gun that uses a gas cartridge. It is light and easy to handle and offers significant autonomy.
On the other hand, if you have many pallets to pack, it is better to choose a heat gun that uses a gas bottle on a trolley. This gives you much better autonomy. The heat gun is also sometimes connected to the bottle by a flexible hose, several metres long, to give you freedom of movement.
Under the effect of the heat gun, the film shrinks and hardens. It then forms a rigid and protective shell. The operation is quick and durable. You can then store your pallet for as long as you wish.