Bubble out bags are probably the most commonly used and cost-efficient packaging materials available as on date. These bags are made from bubble wrap sheets that were inadvertently discovered in 1957 by 2 engineers – Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes while they were sealing 2 shower curtains and found a pattern of air bubbles between the two sheets. As years passed by, bubble wraps evolved and the present day ones have fine, evenly distributed bubbles and more sophisticated appearance. These bubble wraps offer a great shock safety specifically while your items are in transit. Let us understand the making of these intelligently crafted shipping mailers:
RAW MATERIAL USED
* Plastic resin: It consists of polyethylene and polypropylene which are thermoplastic materials and can be cast into strong flexible films that can hold air without leaking.
* Other additives: The polypropylene or polyethylene films contain a variety of additives mixed with base polymers. The lubricants and plasticizers control the resin blend’s flexibility while the coupling agents enhance the pakapro bond between the filler and the polymer. The material also composes of antistatic agents and biocides that reduce the building up of static energy and prevent microbial growth respectively.
THE MANUFACTURING PROCESS
- The mixture of polyethylene resin and the additives is heated and melted to form small pellets (approx. 0.125in in diameter).
- These pellets are introduced into an extruder and are then dumped into a hopper.
- The pellets are then transferred into a long heated barrel which pushes the plastic forward.
- In the heated barrel, the resin melts due to high temperature and can be easily forced out through the opening in the die.
- The extruded sheets then pass through a series of steel rollers (three roll stack/three roll finisher)
- Two sheets are then sealed together such that they trap the air bubbles. This is done in the lamination process.
Although this process seems simple, but as polyethylene is a porous material like sponge, air can easily leak out. This limits the cushioning ability of the packaging.
POKA YOKE MECHANISM
- While blending the resin and additives, the formula components must be in a proper ratio.
- Before sheet extrusion begins, the finished resin must be analyzed to ensure its chemical as well as physical properties.
- The resin must be kept at the proper temperature throughout the process.
- In some methods, it is important that the top and bottom sheets respond differently to heat so that during the lamination process, one of the sheets distorts while the other does not.
Bubble wraps are most commonly used in the form bubble out bags for packaging and shipping fragile items safely. They are transparent and are also available in metallic colors so that critical items can be transported without any damage. They are easy to use, self-sealing shipping envelopes that can be conveniently used for bulk shipping tasks too. Moreover, the material’s insulation properties make it a more popular choice in industries too.