What is bubble wrap?

Bubble wrap and the bubbles themselves, come in many different shapes, sizes and thicknesses. It is sold in various roll sizes and the sheets can be cut to smaller pieces as required, e.g. as small as a regular postage envelope. There are many benefits of bubble wrap and companies that transport goods and items all over the world, know about them and have come to love them.

Who invented bubble wrap?

Bubble wrap was invented by Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes in 1957 and was originally marketed as textured wallpaper. Although this turned out to be unsuccessful, bubble wrap has become one of the most popular and well known packaging materials in the world.

How is bubble wrap made?

Bubble wrap looks like a simple product, but the process of manufacturing this product is actually quite complex and there are many different steps involved. It is manufactured from a combination of different resin pellets.

  • Nylon pellets are used for their strength
  • Black saw resin brings the adhesive that is needed to make bubbles
  • White resin pellets form the rest of the material.

The pellets are vacuumed into an extruder where they are melted into thin film at temperatures exceeding 500 degrees Celsius. The film is then pressed through large rollers, turning it into large sheets of plastic. Finally the sheets are rolled over a cylinder full of holes and as each hole is vacuumed, the air is trapped in a bubble between two sheet layers, resulting in the unmistakable look and feel of this popular product.

When using bubble wrap for transport, you may choose from various bubble sizes and sheet layers depending on the protection and cushioning needed. There is even a type of bubble wrap made of anti-static plastic, which will protect very sensitive items, e.g. electronic devices and parts which require extra care and protection during transport.

Protect your valuables – at home or in transit

  • Online retailers
  • Courier companies
  • Removalists
  • Exporters
  • Storage businesses

…all depend on this versatile product to keep their goods securely protected from incidental impact damage.

Not only businesses use this product regularly. Many individuals will choose bubble wrap over other packaging material when e.g. preparing for a house move or sending presents to their loved ones. It will protect anything from homeware and decorations to furniture and electronics. It will enable you to safely move wine glasses and dessert bowls and can be used to protect valuable paintings, computers, TV monitors and much more. Anyone can buy a roll, cut as much as needed for a specific item, wrap it tightly and seal it with tape and a safe transportation is almost guaranteed.

Bubble wrap in or out?

While the best way to use bubble wrap is somewhat debatable, most people agree that the bubbles should face in for maximum protection. The small bubbles are then able to hold the items in place and provide the best cushioning effect. Tiny pieces of plastic may break away from the bubble wrap and attach themselves to the product. Most of the time this is not a big problem, but if it is of concern, simply wrap the item in some plastic first and then protect it with the bubble wrap.

One thing to remember

For many of us, hearing or reading about bubble wrap will bring back childhood memories. Unpacking boxes and getting your hands on a big piece of bubble wrap just waiting to be squished and popped. With this in mind, it’s important to remember that bubble wrap will lose all effectiveness without the legendary bubbles so it should be stored out of reach of children and any adults who might still succumb to the temptation.