When working with shrink wrap, the right heating conditions must be met in order to provide an attractive and protective covering for your products. Shrink wrap can be used to add a complete and finished look to your packaging that is also protective against dust, dirt, moisture, and tampering. Sometimes, during the application process, shrink film can be applied with certain defects or unappealing finishes. Here’s some of the common shrink wrap problems you might experience, and how to handle them.


Finding wrinkles in your shrink wrap is one of the most common issues you will experience, especially if you’re new to using shrink film for your packaging. After heat is applied, there shouldn’t be any wrinkles left in your film. If you see wrinkles in your film, you can simply apply more heat to remove them and get a nice, even finish. If you’re working with heat tunnel equipment, you can slow down the conveyor speed or increase the heat to fix this common shrink wrap problem.

Dog Ears

When the shrink film becomes bunched up in sections of the packaging, this is called dog ears. They are little sections of the film that form overhangs, which can resemble the shape of animal ears. This is another very common problem you’ll experience when working with shrink film, but it can be prevented. Dog ears are likely to happen with almost any shrink wrap application but applying extra heat can remove or lessen more extreme dog ears.

Excess Air Inside the Film

When there is excess air trapped inside the shrink wrap after it has been sealed, this is known as ballooning. It’s almost impossible to know which products will balloon if you’ve never used shrink wrap on them before, but there are ways to fix or prevent this problem. You can create microscopic vent holes in the film to eliminate or prevent ballooning from happening. There are also versions of shrink wrap that are perforated to help you prevent excess air from causing trouble.

Burn Holes

During the shrink film application, you run the risk of applying too much heat to the film. When too much heat is applied to shrink wrap, you can end up with burn holes in the film, which compromise any complete seal around a product. To avoid making burn holes, keep the heat gun further away from the film and the surface of the product. Burn holes not only create shrink film failure but can also cause damage to the product if heat is too close. For shrink tunnels, you can speed up the conveyor so products are inside the heat zone less, or you can simply lower the heat level.  

Tears in the Film

If you experience frequent tears in your shrink wrap during application, it may be time to purchase a thicker film. Tears are often caused by a shrink wrap that isn’t thick enough for the product packaging you need. You can also choose a different type of shrink film to solve the problem, such as switching from PVC film to a polyolefin or polyethylene film for more durability.

We hope you never have to experience these common shrink wrap problems, but the truth is that all packaging applications have their difficulties. These common shrink wrap problems can be remedied with quick and effective solutions, so don’t worry if you’re starting to see defects in your film. Simply adjust your packaging operations until you have the ideal environment for perfect shrink wrap application every time.