How is Bubble Wrapping Made?

January 31, 2017

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Bubble wrapping is one of the most pop-ular cushioning items for shipping and arguably the most satisfying plastic-based product ever.  Did you ever wonder how those lovely little bubbles were made? Well, our friends at Pregis gave us an inside look.

Pellets

Bubble wrap starts with little pellets of resin.  The pellets are then sucked into an Extruder that melts down the pellets into a thin sheet of polyethylene. Since bubble wrap is made of pure polyethylene, it can normally lose air, much like how a balloon loses air over time; so when the resin pellets are melted down or extruded, nylon is added to the mix to strengthen the bubbles. The film is fed into a roller that presses the sheets into a specified size. 

Roller

However, two sheets of film are needed to complete a sheet of bubble wrap.  One warm sheet is applied to a bubble cylinder to a form the bubble half. After applying a little suction to the holes to pull in the plastic and form the bubble, another piece of plastic is laid over the bubbles and heated to seal the air in. Voila! You have bubble wrap!

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