Impulse Sealer Heat Settings
Impulse sealers are made to seal a variety of plastics. They are very useful and found around the world. The most popular packaging used with impulse sealers is shrink wrap packaging and polyethylene packaging. For shrink wrap packaging, the most popular impulse sealers used are round wire sealers. Most companies sealing polyethylene bags and tubing commonly use a flat wire impulse sealer or a flat wire impulse sealer with a cutter blade.
A common question we receive after customers purchase an impulse sealer is, what is the proper heat settings for my new sealer? This is an important question, but not an easy question to answer. There are several factors to determine the proper heat settings, the main factor is determining the type of film being used and the thickness of the film. We are going to break down the proper heat settings for the different film types and thicknesses commonly used with impulse sealers in an easy-to-read chart.
Before we get to the chart, understanding the advantages of proper heat settings and the different films commonly used with impulse sealers will allow the chart to make more sense.
Advantage of Proper Impulse Sealer Heat Settings
No matter the brand, type, and size, the basic make up of impulse sealers are the same. Each sealer has a sealing wire that heats up when the sealing bar is closed. The sealing wire heats up the plastic film and mends it together. The ability to keep the heat settings on the sealing wire the lowest possible while still accomplishing a sturdy seal allows each wire to last longer. Lower heat levels allow sealing wires and tape to last longer.
Film Types and Thicknesses Commonly Used with an Impulse Sealer
There are a variety of film types and thicknesses commonly used with impulse sealers. As stated above, the most common use for impulse sealers is sealing shrink film and polyethylene. Below is a brief description of each film and thicknesses commonly used.
Polyolefin Shrink Film- Polyolefin shrink film is becoming the most preferred shrink film in the world. Polyolefin shrink film is FDA approved and available in 60, 75, and 100 ga. thicknesses. A 60 gauge polyolefin shrink film is often used with small products that are individually wrapped and then placed into a larger box for transportation. The 75 ga. polyolefin shrink film is by far our best-selling shrink film. It is an all-around film that can be used in direct contact with food as well as non-food objects. The 100 gauge shrink film is an stronger film often used for shipping objects via UPS or Fed Ex. It is a durable film made to hold up to more stress than lighter polyolefin films.
PVC Shrink Film- PVC shrink film has been used across multiple industries for years. Many users new to shrink film often choose a PVC shrink film to be used with an impulse sealer. PVC film often has excellent clarity with a consistency close to cellophane. The 75 gauge PVC shrink film is the most popular film thickness. It offers all-around protection for a variety of products. It is not FDA approved for direct food contact. The 100 gauge PVC shrink film is used for heavier objects with sharper edges and corners.
Polyethylene Film- Polyethylene film is one of the most commonly used films with impulse sealers. Polyethylene film is available as a shrink film, but the most common use with impulse sealers are poly bags and tubing. The advantage of polyethylene film is the available thicknesses. Poly bags and tubing are regularly available in thicknesses ranging from 2-6 mils. This enables customers to seal and protect heavy products with sharp edges and corners. The most common size of polyethylene film used for product packaging is a 2 mil thickness.
Recommended Impulse Sealer Heat Settings
The chart below breaks down the recommended heat settings for each film type and thickness. We also have supplied a gauge thickness conversion chart below for easy reading and comparison. These recommended settings are for the AIE brand of sealers we offer. Results may vary with other impulse sealers.
|Film Type and Thickness||Recommended Round Wire Heat Setting||Recommended Flat Wire 2mm Heat Setting|
|PVC Shrink Film 75 Gauge||3||1|
|PVC Shrink Film 100 Gauge||3||2|
|Polyolefin Shrink Film 60 Gauge||2||2-2.5|
|Polyolefin Shrink Film 75 Gauge||2||2-2.5|
|Polyolefin Shrink Film 100 Gauge||4||3|
|2 Mil Polyethylene Film||4||3|
The maximum heat settings available on the sealers we offer is a #10 heat setting. This chart shows that unless a thick film in excess of a 2 mil thickness is being used, no more than a 4-5 heat setting should be used.
This will promote longer sealer life and a longer life of parts. If you have any questions about impulse sealers or films commonly used with impulse sealers, call us at 1-800-441-5090.