Bubble Wrap Basics

Derrick Lin


Written by Emma, a keen writer with an interest in the packaging industry.

Can you remember as a child being fascinated by the plastic covered in bubbles? The plastic we call bubble wrap and the plastic that provided us with hours of entertainment. Often given to us by our parents as a source of entertainment that would alert many of our body’s senses. The bubbles were smooth and raised and easily burst to create a loud pop. Personally I enjoyed twisting the wrap in my hands so that numerous bubbles were burst at once to create loud cracking noises similar to fireworks. The fun was endless and even now as a fully-fledged adult I still can’t resist the lure of bubble wrap.

With that in mind bubble wrap was however made for a purpose, one slightly more practical than for making loud popping noises. Produced in 1957 by mistake by engineers Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes from New Jersey, USA. The pair who were trying to create a plastic wallpaper with a paper backing, sealed together two shower curtains that created a collection of air bubbles across the surface. Realising that they had failed in producing a wallpaper but aware that they had created something else the engineers fashioned their product as greenhouse insulation. In 1960 Fielding and Chavannes founded their company ‘Sealed Air Corporation’ which branded the product as bubble wrap. It wasn’t however until a year after this that bubble wrap began being used in the packaging industry. Its first role in packaging was to protect the IBM 1401 computer during shipment and it has since been used all over the world for protecting hundreds of thousands of products.

Particularity popular during the festive season where gifts are being sent all over the world to be received at Christmas. A vital accessory for making sure that fragile items are protected and for filling empty space in boxes so that its contents don’t move about too much. The reasons people choose to use bubble wrap over many other packaging protective methods are outlined below.

Light Weight:
Bubble wrap is extremely light so will add little weight to the product you are already sending. This will keep the cost of sending the package to a minimum.

The transparency of bubble wrap makes it easy to carry out visual inspections of a product. This saves time and effort for the likes of security personnel.

Moisture Resistant:
Bubble wrap has water proof properties to prevent moisture from contaminating or destroying products that are packaged.

Protective/shock resistant:
The bubbles on the wrapping protects items from damage when being transported. It is common for parcels to experience movement when being transported as they come into contact with the likes of bad roads, turbulence and rough seas. The bubbles therefore provide a shock resistant barrier that cushions your parcels.

Easy to use:
Bubble wrap is flexible making it easy to wrap around your products. It is also easy to cut so that you can size it to meet your needs.

Bubble wrap has strong properties that prevent it from being torn or punctured with ease. This will further protect your parcels from any knocks and bumps.

Bubble wrap come is a variety of different designs to assist you with your needs.
– Large bubbles for larger items for more protection
– Small bubbles for smaller items
– Anti-static for trans porting electronic products that are sensitive
– Biodegradable for those who are environmentally conscious
– Self-adhesive for secure packaging
– Used as padding in envelopes for sending small but delicate items

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    About the author
    Emma is a keen writer with an interest in the packaging industry. She currently writes for R+R Packaging, suppliers of fast food packaging. You can connect with him on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.