Bubble wrap is a flexible plastic sheeting containing numerous small air pockets, used in cushioning items during shipment. Standard average bubble diameter is 6.0 - 25.4 mm and height about 4 mm.
Bubble wrap is lightweight, water resistant, reusable non-scratching. And, Commonly used for packing fragile items. Also called 'bubble pack'.
Bubble Wrap manufacturing process
- Bubble Wrap starts as polyethylene (plastic) resin, in the form of beads about the size of pea gravel.
- The beads go into an extruder - a long cylinder with a screw inside that runs its entire length.
- The barrel that the screw rotates in is heated by heater bands to approximately 180 degrees prior to the screw turning to melt the material. The heat builds up with added heat from the friction of the screw movement and the resin melts into a liquid that is squeezed out of the cylinder into two stacked sheets of clear plastic film.
- One layer of the film is wrapped around a drum with holes punched in it, and suction is applied drawing one web of film into the holes that form the bubbles.
- The second layer of film is then laminated over the first so that when the two films are joined, they stick together and trap the air in the bubbles.
- This may sound easy, but polyethylene is a porous material like a sponge. Air can easily leak out through the pores, which tends to limit the cushioning ability of the packaging. Realizing this, some manufacturing companies such as Sealed Air started using a Saran coating to seal the air in the bubbles. Eventually, a method of encapsulating an air retention barrier in the polyethylene during the extrusion process was developed. This process is a trade secret of Sealed Air Corporation.
History of Bubble Wrap
Bubble Wrap was created by two engineers, Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes, in 1957. Like many innovations, it was accidental. The story begins in a garage in Hawthrone, NJ where two engineers were trying to make a plastic wallpaper with a paper backing. Surprisingly, this product did not take off but they quickly realized, that their invention could be used as a cushioning material for packaging. And, later pair founded Sealed Air Corporation in 1960.
Benefits of Bubble Wrap
- Light weight - reduces freight and packaging costs
- Transparent - enabling visual inspections of the product
- Moisture resistant
- Protecting surface against abrasion
- Easy to use
- Good insulation properties
- Elastic and strong
- Multiple use
- Easy to trim by hand tools and trimming machines
Major UK suppliers:
Bubble wrap which protects items during shipping and for storage are generally available in different types and sizes. This depends on the size of the object being packed, as well as the level of cushioning protection needed.
- Bubble bags: Quick & Easy to use, Ideal for faster wrapping
- 'Plain Bubble Bags' - to protect general purpose items & 'Antistatic Bubble Bags' - to protect sensitive electronic parts and components from static damage
- Lightweight/Standard bubble wrap rolls: Used for cushioning lightweight products, interleaving and surface protection
- Medium duty bubble wrap rolls: Used for cushioning of medium weight products, interleaving
- Heavy-duty bubble wrap rolls: Used for cushioning heavier items such as shipping motors, compressors, valves etc.
- Bubble mailers or Bubble envelopes: Used to protect CD's, DVD's, video cassettes, jewellery, antiques, valuables in shipping
6mm (0.25") to 25mm (1")
up to 4mm
Options for Bubble Bags/Wrap
- Adhesive Bubble Wrap - 'Adhesive Bubble Wrap' has an adhesive backing that sticks to virtually any other surface
- Cohesive Bubble Wrap - 'Cohesive Bubble Wrap' is similar to adhesive bubble wrap, but it sticks only to itself
- Antistatic Bubble Wrap - 'Antistatic Bubble Wrap' is made from a special blend of plastic that provides protection for electronic components that may be damaged from static discharge.
Common material used for Bubble Film/Roll or Bags:
- Low density polythene
- Recycled polythene
Normally, Clear Polythene bags in Great Britain should follow widely accepted industrial standards according to British Standard - see BS7344, 1990
- Width: Plus or minus 3mm (0.125") or 2% whichever is greater
- Length: Plus or minus 6mm (0.25") or 2% whichever is greater
- Gauge: Plus or minus 10%
To protect any item in transit packaging - for cushioning lightweight, medium weight or heavy weight products
Tips for proper use of 'Bubble Wrap'
When using Bubble Wrap®, there are a few "tips" for proper use.
First, when you are using Bubble Wrap® as a cushioning material, make sure to use enough wrap so that all sides and corners are protected.
Make sure that there is at least two inches of bubble padding between your product and each wall of the box.
You also want to make sure to use enough wrap (or other void fill material in conjunction with Bubble Wrap®) to eliminate movement of the packaged item when you shake the box. When you are done packaging your product, shake it. If you feel the product moving, you need to add more packaging material.
- Standard bubble rolls
- Large diameter bubble rolls
- Bubble in a box
- Plain bubble bags
- Antistatic bubble bags
Alternative Uses for Bubble Wrap
Unencumbered by those annoying and restrictive instructions, Bubble Wrap lends itself quite nicely to uses other than its original packaging application. Join the Spam Guy and the Duct Tape Guy as they apply their wacky inventiveness to this indispensable product. Here are some excerpts from "The Bubble Wrap® Book" from HarperPerennial (Available now at a book store near you!).
Bubble Wrap Burglar Alarm
Make a burglar alarm for your home. Lay Bubble Wrap on the floor inside your doors and windows. When a thief breaks in and walks across the floor, the "pop-pop-pop-pop-pop-pop-pop" will alert you to the intruder.
Improvise a football or motorcycle helmet. Wrap massive quantities of Bubble Wrap around your head and seal in place with clear packaging tape (or duct tape). If Bubble Wrap can protect a hand-painted egg shipped from Czechoslovakia across the Atlantic, it can protect your head when it hits asphalt.
CAUTION: The specific amount of Bubble Wrap required to provide adequate protection has not yet been determined. Bubble Wrap Insect Repellent Prevent mosquito bites on arms and legs by covering your extremities in Bubble Wrap. When mosquitoes do try to bite you, the Bubble Wrap bubble will pop and the tiny explosion of air will send the mosquito spiralling through the air.
Sleeping while camping can be a real pain in the back, unless you are carrying a lightweight six-foot roll of Bubble Wrap as a mat to place under your sleeping bag. Or fold a twelve-foot-long piece of Bubble Wrap in half and duct tape the sides to make the padded sleeping bag of your dreams.
CAUTION: If you are sleeping on the beach, high tide may cause you to float out to sea.
Bubble Wrap Boob Job
Enlarge your breasts. Padding a bra with Bubble Wrap gives a nice natural feeling without the nasty side effects of silicone implants.
WARNING: Do not substitute Bubble Wrap for silicone implants during plastic surgery.
Bubble Wrap Instead of Cash
Impress your date by padding your wallet with a piece of Bubble Wrap behind your money. It will look like you have a lot more money than you actually do. Or just impress your date with the fact that you always carry around a trusty piece of Bubble Wrap.Reference:"The Bubble Wrap Book" is written by Joey Green (the Spam Guy) and Tim Nyberg (the Duct Tape Guy)
101 Uses for bubble wrap
- Bubble wrapping underneath the wallpaper can prevent it hurting so much when you hit your head against the wall in frustration
- Apply it to all the pavements in the world to cut down on suicide rates
- Wrap up the blades in a liquidiser to prevent the little ones hurting themselves
- Wrap up the bar in the bar joke so that the poor guy doesn't have to go "ow" any more
- Bubble wrap handcuffs to prevent the fragile criminals from hurting their wrists when they get arrested
- Bubble wrap the bars in the cells as well
- Bubble wrap the planet to fend off alien invasions
- Fill bubble wrap with ozone and wrap it around the planet to replace the ozone layer
- Wrap it around your torso to stop your sides splitting when you laugh too much
- Bubble wrap your bike pedals so they don't scrape your ankles when you get on awkwardly
- Bubble wrap the road so it doesn't hurt when you fall off
- Make a cocoon for your baby so he bounces when he falls over
- Protect your PC from AOL by wrapping all their free discs in bubble wrap
- Shut you friends up with it
- Wrap up your lawnmower... No reason, I'm just getting desperate for more uses.
- Wrap up your morning toast so it doesn't matter which way up it lands
- Protect your knives from the little kids
- Wrap it round the steering wheel and eliminate the need for air-bags
- Twist it and make a lot of loud popping noises to piss of the rest of the family
- Larger bubbles make deeper notes. You could write a symphony
- Bubble rap
- Protect people from sharks' teeth by wrapping up the sharks
- Wrap up the sea so that it floats to the top with the sharks
- Use a few layers on your wheel rims and you don't need a new tire
- Carry it around as an emergency air supply
- Attach it to every wall in the Titanic II so that it still floats even when sinking
- Soft hankies
- Soft bog rolls
- Air cushioned soles
- Fill some with water and you can have a water-bed
- Make a shrine to bubble wrap
- Cut out individual bubbles and use them as a fashion statement
- Fill it with water and make ice pebbles
- E.Z. Swim trunks
- Little sauce sachets for Tabasco sauce helpings
- Make fake spots and pretend to squeeze them. Gross out your friends!
- The big version works as tear-off disposable whoopee cushions
- Put it on a red piece of paper and use it in a movie about the colonisation of Mars
- Center Parc domes for fleas
- Print fake tyre tracks all over mum's clean kitchen floor
- An alarm system to wake you up
- Drop your mobile and see it bounce!
- Wrap up drum kits to finally shut the drummer up
- Wrap up blind people so that nothing hurts them
- Carry some with you so you can float home from your desert island
- Put it in some chocolate... We all like our bubbly chocolate
- Special contraceptives for extra stimulation
- Roll down hills in it
- When quitting smoking, use it to relieve your stress by annoying everyone else with the noise rather than the fag smoke
- New-age Lego
- Build your greenhouses from it. It's refractive index will reach even higher temperatures for your melons to be huge
- Become a spy and put it on the soles of your shoes so they make no sound
- Cheap breast implants
- Soundproofing walls
- Colonic irrigation
- Construct a bouncy castle and have a mega birthday party
- Finger-friendly Braille
- Space helmet for a mouse
- Bouncy draughts
- Send it into space to show alien species how technologically advanced the human race is
- Shower curtain for free
- Wrap up everything below a foot from the ground so you don't stub your toe ever again
- Orthopaedic socks
- Something to land on when you fall out of bed
- Chop the tops off and use them as contact lenses
- Ant rafts
- A bed of nails for wusses
- A replacement for a parachute that protects you even if it doesn't open
- Wrapping delicate items for transport
- Wrap up your computer so that you don't break it when it crashes
- Scan it and use it as a background for Windows
- Attach it to fabric and you have a nice warm coat
- Chew it... It's like popping candy, but chewing gum style
- Protect yourself from mosquitoes. Wrap yourself up and they get shot off when they pop a bubble
- Strap some to your shoes and you can float upside-down in a pond
- Anti-vandal flooring
- Build a miniature boat in one of the bubbles and get acclaimed for being the greatest miniature craftsman/woman in known history
- Make your own Rice Krispies sound FX
- Bumper stickers that don't hurt
- Stick it to your teeth and you can grin while on your motorbike without having to wipe the flies off your teeth
- Get a strip of them and light one end.. You can use the regular pops to time things
- Put pills in them. You can have a pack of 7 and never take too much insulin again
- Write on it and have a soft touch keyboard
- Stick it to car bumpers so it doesn't hurt as much when you get run over
- McDonald's would probably get away with calling it popcorn if they spray it white
- Fill it with helium and call it a blimp
- Give it to your most hated acquaintance as a birthday present. For best results, give them the stuff your alarm clock came in.
- A ball pool for leprechauns. You'd have to cut them up...
- A rather dull poster
- Get a suntan but with bonus UV protection
- New-age beaded car seats
- Pop one and use it as a hilly mini mini-golf course
- Artificial pea substitute
- Inside out cheese
- Plastic jellyfish
- Dip it in PVA and sand and you have a scouring pad.. wonderful exfoliator
- Child-friendly pebble dashing
- Fill it with the White Powder and sell it at raves
- Protect your car when you go banger racing
- Throw it away
Practical and fun uses for Bubble Wrap® Cushioning
- Add a little comfort to a long plane ride with a pillow made with Bubble Wrap® cushioning and DUCK® brand duct tape.
- Use as a temporary air cast to support a sprained ankle or wrist. (Make sure to see your doctor as soon as possible!)
- Make a kite using Bubble Wrap, DUCK® brand duct tape, balsa wood and string. The Bubble Wrap's cushioning feature will come in handy when the kite falls out of the sky and hits the ground.
- Line boots or use as a shoe protector when it's cold or wet outside. It will keep your feet warm AND dry.
- Protect kids' textbooks and notebooks with an original cover made of Bubble Wrap. When it's time to turn them back in, they'll be just like new!
- Tired of fumbling around with tissue paper or wrapping paper? Use Bubble Wrap to wrap presents or as the "filling" in a gift bag. With enough layers, the recipient will never be able to tell what's under the wrapping.
- Design an out-of-the ordinary pencil case or make-up bag or purse using Bubble Wrap and DUCK® brand duct tape.
- Placing the bubble-side down, make coasters or place mats using Bubble Wrap.
- Computer jockey? Protect wrists when typing by folding or rolling a sheet of Bubble Wrap to use as a keyboard cushion.
Bubble Wrap Bikini
Valentine's Day is our anniversary and instead of going out and buying something expensive to wear, I thought of another idea. I had a roll of bubble wrap and decided to make a slightly see-through two piece bikini with it. I lit candles and had a wonderful meal prepared. When my husband walked in he was smiling ear to ear. When he saw my creative bikini he couldn't keep his hands off me! He had fun taking it off and even better fun afterwards.Reference: http://scripts.lovingyou.com/mdb/search.cgi?mdb=ideas&cat=intimate&pg=2&rec=10
Tell your partner to try to pop as many bubbles as they can (without using their hands of course).Reference: http://www.fetishexchange.org/kinky-crafts.shtml
Bubble Wrap Fun Ideas
- A Brilliant Idea From The Prince Of Fun (http://www.galactic-guide.com/articles/8S11.html) Bubble Wrap Game, The (Semi Real)
- (http://www.sealedair.com/products/protective/bubble/funstuff/personality.html) Bubble Wrap® Brand Personality Test
- (http://www.sealedair.com/products/protective/bubble/funstuff/quiz.html) Bubble Wrap "Pop" Quiz
Bubble Wrap Games
- Let the hours waste away with the PERPETUAL BUBBLEWRAP!
- Pop Bubble Wrap Now!
- Bubble wrap Music
- Bubble Wrap "Pop" Quiz
Bubble Wrap Humour
bubblewrap.tv (view the latest bubblewrap.tv commercial here)