Popping bubble wrap is an interesting idle pass time, isn’t it? Admit it, a few of your fondest childhood reminiscences are of you popping away at a sheet of the stuff with absorbed interest, right? In these treasured idle moments did you ever wonder how that bubble wrap is made? Or how these good little pockets of air are trapped between the plastic just on your popping pleasure? Read on to find out precisely how it’s all done.
First, granules of plastic are closely sprinkled onto a heated conveyor belt. This warms the plastic grains to a pliable consistency, though they still hold their shape. Think of those bits of plastic like heated chocolate chips; even when they are sizzling they still keep the identical shape unless disturbed, at which point they turn out to be liquid. So the warm plastic grains pass under a roller which squashes all of them flat. During this squashing, the individual bits of plastic get melded together and a thin, clear sheet of plastic emerges on the opposite side of the roller.
Now, of those sheets are used for making bubble wrap. One has the precise bubbles and the opposite acts as a cover to seal the air in. To form the bubbles, the first sheet is wrapped round a cylindrical bar with little bubble shaped indentations in it. Because the plastic is held taut on the cylinder, suction pulls it into each little gap, shaping the bubbles by stretching plastic into the dents. This is loads like once you poke you finger right into a taut sheet of plastic wrap and depart a dent.
Finally, the second sheet of plastic is laid on top of the first, trapping the air within the bubbles between them. A blast of scorching air seals the two sheets together right into a single piece and voila! bubble wrap! The factory packages the bubble wrap (no stuffing required there) and ships it off. The various companies and companies that use this product everyday receive it and package their own items in it to protect them from damage in transit.
So the next time a large package arrives at your door and also you rip it open to find it stuffed with bubble wrap, think back to the factory the place that stuffing was made. And while you’re indulging your inside child by playing with your noisy improvised toy, remember the simple process that created this wonderfully amusing material. Happy popping!
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