Which Shrink Wrapping Hot Air Gun Is Best For Scaffolders?

Posted on November 05, 2015 by Steve Irlam

Choosing a shrink wrapping gun can be confusing. At Rhino, we test everything we supply with our own shrink wrap installation teams which gives us a great opportunity to find out how shrink wrapping materials and equipment perform in the 'real world', not just on paper.

Shrink wrapping guns, for the most part, were initially developed for 'industrial packaging' such as the heat shrinking of plastic pallet covers. These industrial shrink wrapping guns needed to be used indoors, mostly at a single location and for relatively short periods of time.

Over the last 20 years, scaffold shrink wrapping has become a recognised method of encapsulating scaffold structures, either for temporary weather protection or containment of dust and debris, particularly where a more robust solution is needed. Although the heat tools used for shrinking the scaffolding wrap have to do the same job as for industrial packaging, i.e. quickly heat the shrink wrap film to a high enough temperature that it begins to shrink, the demands on the heat tools used in the construction industry are greater.

The key differences to using a shrink wrapping hot air gun for industrial shrink wrapping and construction shrink wrapping is;

1. Transported from site to site

Scaffold shrink wrapping generally involves moving between sites. Any heat gun used must be robust enough to withstand transport from site to site.

2. Out in all weathers

Unlike pallet shrink wrapping, which generally takes place under cover, scaffold encapsulation takes place in all weathers. Heat tools should always be kept dry to ensure reliable performance but once again, a tool that will keep working in all weather conditions is essential.

3. Used for long periods of time

An operator heat shrinking a pallet cover needs to shrink around 5-6 square metres of a relatively lightweight shrink wrap plastic film. A scaffold shrink wrapper could easily shrink perhaps 2-300 square metres per day of a much thicker construction grade plastic wrap.

Is the power of the heat gun important?

Sometimes, when faced with an uncertain choice between tools, we decide to go for the most powerful tool available. However, as the video below demonstrates, although the output of a shrink wrapping gun will affect the speed of installation, the difference is not that great.

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