What Are the Different Types of Protective Film?

Protective film is a type of plastic material used to cover or protect a wide range of surfaces. It is commonly used to protect the easily damaged surface from abrasion, marring or scratching. Plus, it is used in a variety of situations, such as during storage, transportation, assembly or fabrication.

The various types of protective film are distinctly different in relation to the tack levels, type of adhesive and thickness. With such a wide range of choices and combinations of films, there shouldn’t be too much difficulty in sourcing the right material to match a specific application.

Here are six of the most popular types of protective film:

Low-density polyethylene

The low-density polyethylene (LDPE) is one of the most popular types of protective film. Polyethylene is a preferred type of plastic and easily sourced. This film is very elastic, flexible and light to make it useful in a many different applications. In addition to the LDPE, there is also a high-density version of this film, which is thicker and less flexible.

Co-extruded low-density polyethylene

The co-extruded low-density polyethylene (COEX) is designed with multiple layers to give the highest level of protection. The two or more layers combined can include different colors or designs of plastic. For instance, it is possible to combine a layer of white plastic with a layer of black plastic. This has the benefit of combining the UV absorption of black with the UV reflection of white, which is practical for providing the more efficient UV protection

Polyvinyl chloride

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is the most known of the long list of plastic materials in the market. It has a surface that is very slick and very elastic. This makes it a useful choice to use in a wide range of metal forming roles.


Polypropylene (PP) is the right choice to use in high-heat applications. This film has the ability to hold its size and shape and will not stretch in difficult environments like the PVC film.


Polyolefin (PO) is a popular choice to use on acrylic glass applications or painted metal surfaces. Also, the polyolefin shrink film is useful for packaging and relies on a heat source to make it easier to wrap around items.


Paper is a further useful choice to add an extra layer of protection for a wide range of goods. The paper film can absorb a certain amount of impact and is dimensionally stable.

Source by Leo Eigenberg

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