Why Film Thickness Is So Critical To How Your Packaging And Product Look

The thickness of the plastic film you use is one of the more critical factors in how film looks. While dyes and coatings can certainly affect the appearance, too, it's the thickness that contributes most to the plastic's transmission haze value. The plastic film does not function as one massive piece of pure plastic, which means once light hits the outer layer (or the layer closest to you), it meets a number of obstacles that reduce its clarity almost immediately. Once you know what these obstacles are, you can configure your design to eliminate or increase them as much as possible, given how opaque or transparent you want that plastic to be.

More Material, More Refraction

Thicker plastic means more material that the light has to go through, and the more material there is, the more refraction the light undergoes. If the light doesn't have a straight shot through the plastic, the light is going to lose part of its power to illuminate what's behind the plastic. In other words, more refraction can scatter more light, leading to a hazier view. So if you want clearer plastic, you need thinner plastic because there will be less material to cause additional refraction.

Contaminant Interference

Thicker plastic also means a higher chance of having microscopic contaminants in the plastic. "Contaminant," here, does not mean anything toxic or bad; it simply means something that isn't normally part of the plastic or other ingredients that went into creating the plastic, like dust. But these contaminants, as harmless as they may be, cause additional haziness. If you need clear plastic for your product, you'll need to find a manufacturer who can keep as many contaminants out as possible. You can also get haze testing equipment to help compare the transmission haze of different products.

Multiple Layers

Also keep in mind that some thicker plastic may not be one block of the same material, but rather layers of the material stuck together. The refraction of light is intensified in this case because there are multiple layers that the light will encounter. Plastic that has these layers doesn't always look like it, so you need to be sure you know how that plastic you're considering is made.

Hazy plastic isn't necessarily bad -- many products use opaque plastic. However, if you want clear plastic, or if you want to know how to increase the opacity of what you're ordering, knowing the additional factors that go into plastic clarity is essential. For questions about what you can do to assess the haziness of your film(s), contact a company like Imbotec Group.

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About Me

I Find Packaging Machinery & Industrial Equipment Fascinating When some children are growing up, they develop unusual fascinations with things. I became especially fascinated in product packaging and how packages were created. I was always intrigued by how the cashier at a grocery store could just run a grocery item with a bar code on it across the scanner and the price would instantly appear on the cashier's screen. I also developed an interest in how the packages were made and that interested snowballed into a major fascination into how many other things were created, such as cars and trucks, and the machinery used to make them. I have learned so much about how things are made and the equipment used to make them that I thought it would be a shame to not share this information with others who desire it on my new blog!