Plastic film is defined as a continuous form of plastic material, that is thin and usually wound on a core, or cut into sheets. Generally, plastic film is made from thicknesses of .00025″ (.06mm) up to .010″ (.25mm). Anything thicker is considered plastic sheet. There is a HUGE universe of plastic film materials, ranging from film made of a simple single plastic material to film comprised of a complex structure of different materials and coatings, depending on the needs of the application. Plastic film can be manufactured out of various plastic resins, each with its own unique physical properties, again, depending on the needs of the application. In addition to all the different materials plastic film can be made out of, these materials can be clear, colored, smooth, rough, functionally embossed, opaque or semi-transparent. So when looking for plastic film for your application, it’s our goal to help you get to the specifics, so we can fulfill your needs.
If you know you need a plastic film material but don’t have details about the particular material that will best suit your application, it’s helpful to start by considering what you are going to be doing with the material, and how you expect it to perform. Next, it’s critical to understand the size and quantity of material required. Finally, you’ll want to ask about the film’s expected life time, to ensure it will meet the length of service your application requires.
Often, we hear… “Oh just give any plastic film, i’m trying to protect a window on a display we’re installing in a piece of machinery, it doesn’t have to last long, it just has to be cheap.” However, it is worth examining the circumstances more critically, to ascertain whether the film needs to withstand certain conditions.….. has to protect the window from certain chemicals, than we need to make sure that the specific plastic material used is resistant to that chemical. Not all plastic materials are resistant to the same chemicals. Especially when it comes to solvents. Or if the window is outside, and needs UV protection, that requires a specific material to be used with UV resistant properties.
One of my favorite examples of confusion about plastic film is right behind the meat counter at the grocery store. Did you know that there are two identical looking plastic films used to wrap meats? There is a clear cellophane type wrap made of LDPE, and another clear cellophane type wrap made of PVC? The LDPE film prevents oxygen from getting through, so it is used for wrapping items like chicken that would otherwise spoil by being exposed to oxygen. Interestingly, beef needs a little oxygen, or it spoils faster. So PVC is used in the wrapping film used for beef because PVC lets just the right amount of oxygen through. If you examined these two films side by side, there would be no way you could tell the difference between them just by looking. However, they are very different where it counts for these applications.
Grafix Plastics stocks a wide variety of different kinds of plastic film products in a variety of thicknesses and finishes. Our Plastic Film Products page outlines all the different types of material that we offer.