You were prepped for an afternoon of exquisite leisure by the pool. Little did you know a scoundrel with a squirt gun was lying in wait behind the bushes. Now you’re drenched and that steamy romance novel you were about to dive into is history.

While it’s the most cost-effective storage solution for many industries, the great outdoors can catch you off guard. Aside from sneak water gun attacks, there’s nasty weather and those unfortunate Ultraviolet (UV) Rays. A raincoat or sunblock might keep you covered, but outdoor equipment, construction materials and other items stored outside are vulnerable to damage. 

Luckily, there’s a variety of weather protection products deigned to keep even the largest, odd shaped items safe and secure from the elements (Yeah Maverick, even helicopters).

True professional-grade products need to kick it up a notch when it comes to providing real protection against the elements.  That’s why many poly products have the added benefit of shrink capabilities or UVI and UVA additives.

You might find yourself wondering:

What the heck is the difference between UVA and UVI?

How does Shrink Film work?

Why does my pool float keep deflating?

Let’s take a dive into the deep end to discover the technology behind how UVI, UVA and Shrink Films provide an additional layer of protection to flexible packaging products.

Ultraviolet Inhibitors (UVI) and Ultraviolet Absorbers (UVA)

A foreboding forecast may loom overhead, but it isn’t just those accumulating cumulonimbus you should be wary of. That bright beaming ball in the sky is cause for concern as well.

We’re all familiar with the effects of UV Rays on skin. Long-term exposure, as we know, is even more damaging.

Polymers are particularly vulnerable (i.e., plastics, rubbers, neoprene and PVC). When UV Rays are absorbed by a polymer it excites the photons in the material, which causes the molecular make up to break down. The result, known as UV degradation, creates damaging physical and chemical changes to the material. Plastics without UV protection are subject to cracking, loss of strength and flexibility as well as disintegration over time. In short, the tarp you tossed over the boat loses its luster, leaving that prized vessel prone to cracks, oxidation and rust.

So, what to do about those pesky UV Rays?  Sadly, you can’t slap SPF on the boat. Heavy duty construction equipment won’t fit in a shed, either. The best option is outdoor storage – but first, we need to equip the equipment with the right protection to prevent UV degradation. Enter Ultraviolet Inhibitors and Ultraviolet Absorbers.

The terms UVI and UVA get thrown around a lot, but what do they actually do to prevent UV degradation and what is the difference between the two?

UVI

UVI is an additive that can be included in poly films to extend the life and performance of your product by delaying the oxidation process caused by UV Rays. Think of it as SPF 30 – it gets the job done.

UVA

UVA, in turn, absorbs UV Rays and boasts the ability to prevent colors from fading. Sweet! UVA provides an extra boost if you want to prevent the printing or color of the film from diminishing. UVA is the SPF you put on your face that also moisturizes and protects.

Unfortunately, as with sunblock, the effectiveness of UVI and UVA isn’t infinite. UVI and UVA only lasts between 1 and 3 years for most applications. After that, it’s time to reapply, or in this case, rebuy.  

Boat Film, Pallet Covers and Containment Film are just a few examples of items that can be pumped up with UVI/UVA protection. A wide range of other flexible packaging products can also be manufactured with these additives. Not only does this ensure the protection and preservation of the equipment being covered, but it will extend the effectiveness and life of the cover itself.

The Science of Shrink Film

No, it won’t reduce that tractor to a convenient carry out size, but the science behind Shrink Film is still pretty cool.

It’s actually pretty simple. Throw a plastic bag or sheet over your product. Then, turn up the heat with an industrial-strength heat gun (think super-powered hairdryer) or bypassing the product through a heat tunnel. The material quickly shrinks and shapes itself around the form of its content. The result is a durable, glove-like cover that serves as a thick barrier and leaves no room for chaffing or other damaging abrasions.

No, it’s not magic – Just molecules. You see, Shrink Film is designed with a randomized molecular structure, meaning that the molecules are arranged in no particular pattern. When heat is applied, the molecules straighten and align themselves and, yeah, shrink. Once cooled, the molecules remain set in their new form, creating a strong protective cover around your product.

There are many applications of Shrink Film, but you’ll often see it in the form of pallet sized Shrink Bags, Boat Film, Containment Shrink Film, Shrink Bundling Film (to name a few) or as a covering for any product that requires a tight and secure fit.

Sunshine and storm clouds beware. We’re prepared.

So, go enjoy the splendor of a leisurely dip. You now know how best to stay safe from damage (you AND the heavy equipment). From Shrink Bundling and Containment Film to Pallet Covers with UVI and UVA, Laddawn weather protection products have you covered for any situation. Toss that squirt gun scallywag in the pool. Then, make a splash with our incredible line of weather protection films.