What is shrink film?

what is shrink film

Everything you should know about shrink film, What does a good shrink film look like? How to choose the right shrink film for you? Which factory produces the best shrink film? Everything about shrink film, Ace, Packaging has gathered for you. For those who are searching for a shrink film factory in Thailand, this article will help you understand and choose a shrink film factory that meets your requirements 

“Shrink Film Revolutionize Packaging industry”

In the old days, we can see pictures of plastic bottles are packed and wrapped in cardboard boxes. Sometimes friction from transportation or rain can easily tear the cardboard box. In addition, it may damage the product inside. Like glass bottles, soft drinks glass bottles are wrapped in a thick plastic crate. This wastes a lot of space for transportation. Shrink film innovation has been replaced to make transportation easier, cheaper, and more efficient such as better product protection. Plus, It can reduce gaps between products during transportation as shrink films are ten times thinner than paper while they are a lot stronger as well. Furthermore, there have many other benefits. 

Read more about the benefits of PE shrink film here »»


What is shrink film

Shrink films are plastics resin that has been melted, then blown into a thin film. When it gets to a certain temperature, it will shrink due to the heat, so we call it “shrink film”.

  Shrink film type 

We will categorize shrink film into 3 types based on different raw materials.

  1. Polyethylene (PE)
  2. Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
  3. Polyolefin (POF)

Each type of shrink film has distinct properties such as color, clarity, thickness, stickiness, strength, shrinkage temperature, and the benefits of use vary widely. However, manufacturers and customers are required to test the sample to ensure that production has provided the desired outcome.

1. PE Shrink Film

PE plastic is divided into 4 categories: LDPE, MDPE, HDPE, and LLDPE.  Most LDPE and LLDPE resins are produced as PE shrink films, while MDPE and HDPE are processed into other products.

Shrink films from polyethylene plastic (Polyethylene), also known as PE, in the packaging industry, its chemical formula is (C2H4)n. The main features are clear, light, tough, durable, and have high elongation.   It is hard to tear and can be recycled. The advantage of PE is that it can be produced as a film with a thickness of up to 300 microns, in which the maximum thickness of PVC film and POF is approximately only 25 microns, so it can wrap and withstand heavier products comparing to PVC and POF. Due to more thickness, PE shrink film is less transparent and has an average shrinkage rate of approximately 25%. 

1.1) LDPE(Low-density polyethylene)

Its density ranges from 0.91 – 0.94 g / cm3. LDPE melting point is 105 – 115 ° C, Good resistance to alcohol alkali and dilute acids. Resistant to temperatures up to 80 – 95 ° C, excellent electrical insulation. Very low water absorption Compliant with FDA standards, it is most commonly processed into shrink films, transparent thin films, plastic bags, and plastic bottles.

1.2) MDPE (Medium-density polyethylene)

Its density ranges from 0.94 to 0.95 grams per cubic centimeter. Therefore it has the strength and can withstand most solvents, it is more resistant to dilute alkalis and acids, alcohols than LDPE, but less than HDPE. Compliant with FDA standards. Most of it is processed into plastic glasses.

1.3) HDPE (High-density polyethylene)

Its density ranges from 0.95 – 0.97 grams per cubic centimeter. HDPE has a melting point: 120-140 ° C.  High density, High chemical resistance, it can withstand most solvents, alcohols, dilute alkalis, and acids. Moderately resistant to oils and greases, Higher tensile strength than LDPE and MDPE. They are good electrical insulators. Very low water absorption, Compliant with FDA standards  and USDA/FDA. Especially, it can safely touch the food. HDPE is used to make milk gallons, oil fuel gallons, coolers containers, water pipes, fishing lines, ropes, cables, etc. The molecules of HDPE are denser, stronger, harder, and less transparent than MDPE and LDPE.  

1.4) LLDPE (Linear Low-Density Polyethylene)

They are structurally similar to LDPE, but LLDPE has short, uniform, and intertwined branches. Unlike the longer, tangle-free LDPE branches, LLDPE is widely used as a substitute for LDPE because if LLDPE and LDPE have the same thickness, LLDPE is more flexible, with a higher impact load. LLDPE has a translucent milky color and good resistance to cracks, shocks, and chemicals. Good protection against steam and alcohol. Used to produce an internal film for food packaging by combining with other plastics such as PET. Another widely used product is garbage bag.

Read more about FDA here »»

2. PVC Shrink Film

It is a widely popular shrink film due to its lightness and low cost. It can be used for so many applications. However, nowadays it has decreased in popularity due to the harmfulness to the environment. It contains carcinogenic substances, So, food should not be wrapped with PVC. Many countries do not accept PVC shrink film at all. Plus, when heated, it will produce a bad smell. The outstanding feature of PVC is that it is clear, high shrinkage, but can be fragile and tear easily compared to PE. it can wrap a single product or dozen or pack of products with one direction of contraction. There are many grades, from low to high prices. Easy and convenient to buy. Another caution is that if the PVC film is exposed to high temperatures or is too hot, it will cause the film to have a crease. If exposed to cold weather, it will easily become brittle or break. 

3. POF Shrink Film

Highest quality of shrink film compared to PE and PVC, but with a higher price  Thin, clear, shiny, tough, and durable even with temperature changes. POF is softer and thinner than PVC and PE shrink films. After shrink, the seam is very small and does not feel hurt when touching by hands, It is suitable for luxury brands of products It is relatively difficult to buy, and higher price compared to other shrink films. The wrapping process is more complicated than PVC and PE wrapping process. (PVC shrink film can be put on top of the product and then shrink with heat) It is compliant with FDA standards.  POF is widely accepted and can be exported to every country around the world because it is food-grade and can be recycled 100%. Another advantage is that there is no smell and has no toxicity to the user. 

Comparison of PE Plastic (LDPE, MDPE, HDPE, LLDPE)












It is durable and tough and flexible. Good resistance to alcohol, dilute alkali, and acids. Resistant to temperatures up to 95 ° C, very low water absorption.  

It is more durable and sticky than LDPE, but less than HDPE. 


It is more durable and tough than LDPE and MDPE. 


It is often mixed with PET for food packaging. It is durable, tough, and flexible.



Shrink film, plastic bags, plastic bottles


Plastic cup


Milk gallons, fuel tank, cooler container, water pipe, fishing line, ropes, and cables

Used to produce an internal film that touches the food in food packaging or to make garbage bags.


Comparison of Shrink Films (PE, PVC, POF)






It has medium clarity and is thicker than PVC and POF. Also, light, tough, durable, flexible,  and hard to tear.

It has a higher clarity and shrinkage than PE but it is brittle and it Tears more easily than PE and POF.

It is clear, thin, sticky, soft, hard to tear and the most malleable compared with PE and PVC.


Shrink film for a dozen or a pack of drinking bottles. It is often used for heavy items. Because the shrink film is flexible and strong which can hold heavy objects, unlike PVC and POF.

Shrink film with a single product or a dozen or a pack of lightweight cosmetic boxes. The disadvantage is the appearance of a seam after the film shrinks.

It is an inner film of food packaging that safely touches the food because it is food grade or wrap with luxury brand products, single items, high prices because they have fewer seams than PVC.


Plastic Symbols

Benefits of Shrink Film

There are many benefits of shrink film, for example, it helps packing more conveniently, and reducing the gap between products. This makes it possible to pack larger quantities of products and deliver more products per time. Reducing shipping costs, Helping prevents dust, dirt, sunlight, high temperature, and humidity. Reducing counterfeiting, More importantly, helps in brand building and increasing sales.

Read more about the benefits of PE shrink film here »»

Price of Shrink Film

The price of the shrink film depends on many factors. The main principle is the buying and selling demand in the market. Usually, if the purchase demand is greater than the demand for sales, the price will rise until the demand for sales is equal to the purchase demand. However, the real world is more complicated than that. We will see a situation where plastic resins have low prices but there is no product. For example, the economic crisis in the country caused no demand for buying and selling or a situation that high-priced plastic resins but an oversupply of the market, for example, a large plastic seller hoarding plastic resins in advance due to the news that there was a delay in the oil carrier. it does not follow the theory of supply and demand, but all these events actually happened.

Another important external factor in forecasting the price of shrink film is the oil price in which plastic is one product from oil refining. OPEC group refinery ( Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries ), which is the world’s largest oil exporter of 13 countries, has had a significant impact on the price of plastics. From time to time, we will see the closure of oil refineries from this group. This results in less oil in the market and results in higher fuel prices which leads to higher plastic resin prices, which is the main cost and raw material for shrink film production. However, price volatility always occurs. Business owners need to have market analysis knowledge and capabilities in order to purchase plastic resins at a reasonable price at the right time.

Check world oil prices here »» Read more about the OPEC group here »»

Shrink Film Production

The process of producing shrink film at each factory has different steps. Due to different factors such as formula, raw materials, machines, the expertise of the team. The key steps in the production are a formulation of plastic resins, blowing film, and winding film into the core. In some factories, it is necessary to have a control staff at every step to check the readiness of the machines and control quality at each step.

Ace Packaging strives to be the leader in PE shrink film and wants to provide the best shrink film for our loyal customers. Therefore, we choose to invest in technology and machinery from Germany and buy quality plastic resins. Although the cost may be higher than the machines from other countries, the consistent quality results of shrink film will pay off in the long run. Most importantly, the benefit will go to our customers as well as us. On top of that, our factory is certified for ISO 9001: 2015 for quality.

Read more about ISO here »»

Shrink film maintenance

The technique for keeping the shrink film in good quality is to avoid sunlight, humidity, high temperature, and keep away from flammable materials because plastic is easily flammable. In general, shrink films have a shelf life of 1 year. Shrink films should be kept in a warehouse system to facilitate handling and delivery to customers at convenience or when checking the stocks.

Wrapping Shrink Film Process

The most important thing before ordering shrink films with your chosen shrink film factory is the testing of shrink film on your products with your packing machine (When the film is heated with hot air blow, it will shrink and wrap the product) and should take a note of the setting of the packing machine, such as temperature, speed.

After passing the test, it is time to officially start to order shrink films. After receiving the shrink film from the factory, the shrink film should be checked whether it meets the specifications that the customer has ordered or not. If agreed upon, you should start testing the shrink film roll in production bulk by setting the packing machine to match the initial test values. If there is a problem, you should contact a shrink film factory or a packing machine company for advice. A good shrink film factory should have after-sales service. Ace Packaging takes it very seriously with a Thai heart or Service Mind.

Click here to inquire about products or discuss problems with us »»

How to Choose Shrink Film with Your Products?

In the first step, we recommend researching the market, for example, inside supermarkets, by choosing a similar type of products or competing brands and by observing to see and feel the different types of shrink films on different products. There are mainly three important factors: features, aesthetics, and price. The final step is to choose the raw material of the shrink film, whether it is PE, PVC or POF. 

Ace Packaging will give you advice on complete three factors, for example, you should choose a suitable shrink film thickness and width. If the thickness or width is too low, it will cause the shrink film to become weak. If the width is too large, it is wasteful and the cost will be high. In the end, the cost burden will be on the customer.  Choosing a factory with sincerity and honesty is essential. In addition to high-quality products and consistency, reasonable price, you will also get a long-lasting friendship with us as same as our company vision.

Read more about us here »»

The Best or The Most Suitable Shrink FIlm?

Choosing a shrink film that is right for you. The best quality shrink film might not be the best shrink film for you due to the high price. Therefore, we should look for shrink films that meet both functional features such as strength, aesthetics such as clarity, which can make your product stand out from the competition and importantly at a reasonable price.

Click here to inquire about products or discuss problems with us »»

How to Choose Shrink Film Factory or Supplier


It is best to start by asking someone who has experience in shrink film or inside the industry to learn which factory shrink film they use. Is the product quality good? Is the after-sales service impressive? Is the delivery convenient and fast? and is the price reasonable? If you can reference this information, it will give you a benchmark for comparison. If there is no reference at all, It is recommended to compare 2-3 factories by taking the sample products for testing. Every factory has different advantages and disadvantages. ACE packaging is happy to advise you and be the benchmark.  Let us be part of your family. We assure that you will be impressed with the quality of our products and services.

Click here to get an advice from us »»

Future of Shrink Film

Of course, the future of shrink films is still bright and growing every year. Shrink films are still in great demand in the market today due to their above benefits. However, some environmental organizations and countries have set up laws to reduce the amount of plastic use, and Ace Packaging recognizes the importance of the environment as well.

Not only producing shrink film from 100% new plastic resin( VIRGIN), we have another 2 options for customers: The production of shrink films from recycled plastics is divided into 2 types. 1) Post Industrial Recycled (PIR) where we recycle plastic inside our factory and 2) Recycle plastic from consumer products (PCR) We have reliable suppliers to help us supply good quality recycled plastics to our factory.

Read more about our shrink films here »»