Bubble mailers, bubble wraps, poly bubble mailers, or poly bubble sheet, whatever you call them, is of great help in shipping the products safely. In recent years, bubble mailers gained a lot of popularity in the e-commerce shipping world. Because choosing the right package and sending the product for shipment determine everything from shipping cost to arrival of the product safely at the customer’s doorstep.
Always remember that no one is willing to pay too much for shipping. Because if the shipping rate is high, then the chances of a positive return on customer acquisition cost will be much lesser. Moreover, if the product gets damaged during shipping or unboxing, you may permanently lose the customer. The customer will not order from you again, nor will he recommend anyone else to order from you.
That’s why poly bubble mailers are widely used worldwide. They can protect the product inside the package and are lightweight and sturdy. The cushioning effect of bubble mailers will protect your product from all the harsh impacts. In this article, you will learn how the bubble mailers were first made, what bubble mailers are, their manufacturing process, and their uses.
What is a bubble mailer?
Bubble mailer is the most widely used packaging material that is used when superior protection of items is required while in transit. Bubble mailers have protective cushioning that can absorb shock and provide protection against all sorts of harsh conditions. Bubble mailers come in many sizes with varying levels of cushioning. These features make them suitable for a variety of packaging needs. But how these bubble mailers are made? Let’s find out.
History of bubble mailers
A bubble mailer is actually a poly mailer whose outer is made up of Kraft paper, and the inner is made up of bubble wrap. That’s why bubble mailers are usually referred to as bubble wrap. Bubble wrap was first invented in 1957. The two engineers, Marc Chavannes and Alfred Fielding, were behind this invention. Like most innovations, this invention was also accidental.
In 1957, two scientists in Hawthorne, New Jersey, were trying to make a plastic wallpaper with paper backing. But the product did not take off. However, they soon realized that their innovation was not a total waste. They observed that their invention could be used as a cushioning material for delicate packaging. And that’s how bubble mailers were first made. Later, more people realized their worth, and now they are among the most commonly used mailers worldwide.
Manufacturing Process of Bubble Mailers
A bubble mailer is a flexible plastic sheet with numerous small air pockets to provide a cushioning effect to items. The average diameter of a bubble mailer is about 6.0-25.4 mm, and the average height is about 4 mm. This water-resistant, reusable, non-scratching mailer is mainly used to pack fragile items.
Step-by-step guide to the manufacturing of bubble mailers
- The process starts when the pea-sized granules of low-density polyethylene are fed into the hopper of 100 mm.
- From there, the beads will go into a 75 mm extruder; an extruder is a long cylinder with a screw inside it that runs its entire length.
- The heater bands heat the barrel in which the screw rotates to approximately 180 degrees. This is done before turning the screw to melt the material.
- This heat adds up with the additional heat produced during the friction of screw movement. This build-up heat is responsible for melting the resin into liquid. This liquid will be squeezed out of the cylinder into two stacked plastic sheets.
- One layer of the film will be wrapped around the drum, and the holes will be punched. The suction will be applied to the hole to form the bubble.
- The second film will be laminated over the first film. This way, when the two films are joined together, the air bubble will get trapped.
- The process sounds straightforward, but it’s not actually the case. Low-density polyethylene is a porous material, just like a sponge. Air can leak out of these pores, easily limiting the cushioning effect of bubble mailers. Due to this reason, many good companies have started using Saran coating to lock the air in bubbles. Some bubble mailers also use an air retention barrier in polyethylene during the extrusion process to lock the air in bubbles.
The process I explained is of 2 layer bubble mailer. You can also make 3-layer bubble mailers, 5-layer bubble mailers, or multilayer bubble mailers. You can also add colors to your bubble mailer.
Properties of bubble mailers
The bubble mailer manufactured from this process has the following properties:
- Excellent water resistant
- Atmospheric resistant
- Has dielectric properties
- Resistant to termite and white ant
- Have attractive look
- Economical packaging
- Can absorb even high levels of shock
- Resistant to acids and alkalis for some duration
- Heat sealable
Uses of bubble mailers
Bubble mailers have a wide range of applications. They have also become part of our daily lives. Here are some most commonly used applications of bubble mailers:
- To pack and ship fragile items like crockery etc.
- For the packaging of electronics and electrical items.
- For packaging of delicate plastic machinery parts.
- Packaging of antique
- Vials packaging
- Pharmaceutical bottles packaging
- Chemical packaging
- Packaging of glassware
- Ceramic products packaging
- Packaging of handicraft items
- Packaging of scientific instruments
- Packaging of engineering products
- Automobile spare parts packaging
Not every product is suitable to be shipped in a box. Bubble mailers are a great alternative to these card boxes. Small e-commerce businesses can get a considerable benefit from bubble mailers. Mailers can help them save money while ensuring that all the products reach their destination safely. Aside from sending the delicate items in bubble mailers, you can also send essential everyday mails. In this article, I have explained the manufacturing process of bubble mailers. The whole manufacturing process is not too expensive, and that’s why bubble mailers are a cheap alternative to other packaging options. Moreover, you can also give a professional touch to your bubble mailers by adding address labels and personalized shipping labels.