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Heat Shrink Hooding

Introduced in the 1960s, heat shrink-hooding is the oldest form of pallet packaging by means of polyethylene film. Until the advent of newer technology, heat shrink-hooding was the preferred method for optimal stability and pallet load protection. 

Heat shrink-hooding equipment uses gusseted tubing that is cut and sealed to form a bag. The over sized bag is applied over the pallet load and is then shrunk using heat. The most common heat sources for shrink-hooding are natural or liquid propane gas, but other heating methods, such as infrared or electrical “hair dryer-style” heaters, are also used. There are various types of heat shrink-hooding equipment available. Most contemporary approaches to heat shrink-hooding are of the ring type, which allows for a much more controlled heat application and provides the all-important bottom shrink that ensures proper pallet and load unitizing.

The heat shrink-hooding method provides very good pallet load stability and protection; it works particularly well with loads that have a substantially smaller footprint than the pallet as the film will shrink tightly around the contours of the pallet and load.
The operating costs of a heat shrink-hooding system are higher than those of both spiral stretch-wrapping and stretch-hooding. Because the film bag is shrunk (as opposed to stretched), it must have a larger pre-shrink circumference than the perimeter of the pallet load so that the equipment can apply the bag over the pallet load prior to the application of heat—requiring substantially more film than stretch-hooding. Using significant energy consumption for heating, the heat shrink-hooding method also carries the risk of fire, which can often mean higher insurance premiums to protect against potential losses. 
Additionally, heat shrink-hooding equipment can be more maintenance-intensive compared to the other two methods.
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