Scaffold Shrink Wrapping

Scaffold Shrink Wrapping

Shrink wrap sheeting has two key attributes that make it useful as scaffold sheeting. First, individual sheets may be permanently joined by heating with hot air and pressing together. Second, the sheeting can be heat shrunk ‘drum tight’ by blowing hot air over it’s surface.

Case Studies

What are the benefits of shrink wrap scaffold sheeting?

Robust – Because scaffold shrink wrap is shrunk ‘drum tight’ it does not flap or ‘self destruct’ in high winds.

Effective - Welded joints between individual sheets of shrink wrap scaffold sheeting create highly effective environmental containment and weather protection.

Versatile - Because it is a shrink to fit solution, which is cut and welded ‘in situ’ there is no restriction on the size and shape of the scaffolding structure.

Smart & professional – The drum tight finish of Rhino scaffold shrink wrap sheeting, which is shrunk tight around the scaffold structure can look much more professional than traditional solutions, (especially if the scaffolding structure has been built with scaffold wrapping in mind).

Temporary Roof Cover

Shrink Wrapping for Weather Protection

Because Rhino scaffolding shrink wrap is heat shrunk over and around a scaffolding structure it becomes ‘drum tight’ and very resilient to high winds. This means your work within the encapsulation can continue uninterrupted. For examples where shrink wrap sheeting can provide weather protection without scaffolding see building screens.

Shrink Wrapping for Environmental Containment

Because individual sheets of shrink wrap can be heat welded together, it is possible to create a continuously bonded skin around a scaffolding project. It is this important feature that makes shrink wrap sheeting useful for situations where the total environmental containment of dust and debris is required.

This feature has led to shrink wrap being used extensively as an environmental containment measure on bridge shot blasting and painting projects. Where paint work needs stripping back to bare metal and repainting, lead in old paintwork that has been shot blasted from the project could contaminate the environment.

Typical ‘containment’ uses;

  • Shot blasting
  • Asbestos removal
  • Concrete cutting

Like to find out more? You can download a case study covering the use of shrink wrap sheeting for environmental containment here 

shrink wrap containment
shrink wrapping for screening and privacy

Shrink Wrapping for screening and privacy

In addition to weather protection and the containment of dust and debris, construction activities in built up areas may require screening to give privacy to local residents and to shield construction activities from view.

Where a scaffolding has been built flush, then shrink wrap sheeting can present a very smart and professional option. An added benefit is that because the shrink wrap sheeting is fitted ‘drum tight’, it will not flap or bang against the scaffolding which can prevent complaints from local residents.

Better than traditional sheeting?

The traditional method of sheeting scaffold is to fix a 2m wide reinforced plastic sheet around the scaffolding, attaching the sheet with bungee cord to scaffold tubes ‘lift by lift’. This type of sheeting has some advantages for scaffolders and main contractors, in particular it requires little specialist knowledge or tools to fit.

Furthermore, because the sheeting overlaps every 2 metres, any protruding transoms or ledgers are easily incorporated and can pass through the sheeting at each overlap.

Traditional sheeting also has a number of disadvantages:

  • It can be difficult to bungee the sheet tightly and it may flap loose and become detached in high winds.
  • Environmental containment of dust and debris is hard because gaps between sheets are overlapped not sealed.
  • For jobs, where a smart & professional appearance is important, the sheeting can quickly start to sag and look scruffy.

Over the last few years, shrink wrap scaffold sheeting has been introduced to scaffolders and contractors to overcome some of these limitations.

What would you like to do next?

Buy Shrink Wrap Materials

If you want to shrink wrap your own scaffolding projects.

Get Installation Services

If you would like us to provide a full supply & fix service.

Learn about Shrink Wrapping

If you want to find out how scaffolding shrink wrapping works.

Scaffold Shrink Wrapping – Frequently Asked Questions

How much does scaffold shrink wrapping cost?

The cost of shrink wrap sheeting will depend on the flame retardant grade (EN1501 or LPS1215) and the quantity supplied (less than or more than a full pallet quantity). We advise that, as a guide, sheeting ‘supply only’ costs from £1.35/m2 and ‘fully fitted’ costs from £6/m2.

How does the cost of shrink wrapping compare with the cost of traditional reinforced scaffold sheeting?

If you are looking for the absolutely lowest cost for your scaffold sheeting, and you don’t need any of the extra benefits that shrink wrapping can offer then traditional products are probably the best option. Most scaffolders and contractors choose shrink wrap because they are looking for something that performs better than traditional products and although the basic material costs are broadly similar, shrink wrap film will require some extra installation time.

That said, once it is fitted, shrink wrapping should require far fewer site visits for repairs and maintenance of the sheeting and with happier customers and clients all round, hopefully an increase in repeat business.

How do I dispose of scaffold wrap?

After project completion, the shrink wrap can be cut from the scaffolding and bundled for recycling. Scaffold shrink wrap is much easier to recycle than traditional scaffold sheeting because it does not have any extra reinforcing, eyelets etc. to contaminate it.

Shrink wrap is manufactured from 100% virgin LDPE resins and nearly every waste company will welcome it for recycling and should be able to provide you with documentation as evidence that you have disposed of it in a responsible way. As always, contact us if you need assistance.

How much does the shrink wrap shrink?

When we measure the shrinkage of shrink film we look at the shrink in the ‘machine direction’ and the ‘transverse direction’. What we are looking for is a film that shrinks equally in both directions, sometimes this is referred to as ‘bi-axial’ shrinkage.

A good quality scaffold shrink wrap film will have a shrinkage in each direction of 40-60%. For more information on buying shrink wrap films take a look at our buyers guide.

What is final seal?

Where a scaffold sheeting project needs to achieve full containment then it is typical for ‘final seal’ to be required. Final seal refers to the process of creating a sealed joint between the scaffold sheeting and a floor / wall / ceiling. The process for creating a final seal may vary depending on the project but generally the process is to install a scaffold tube as close the floor / wall / ceiling where the final seal is required. This tube will bear the weight of the shrink wrap film and any wind loadings.

After the shrink wrap sheet has been joined and welded around the scaffold tube, then a shrink wrap ‘skirt’ is used to bridge the gap between the scaffold tube and the floor / wall / ceiling. The shrink wrap skirt is easily heat welded / taped to the shrink wrap in the normal way. The seal to the floor / wall / ceiling can be more challenging but is undertaken using wooden batten / adhesive tape / spray adhesives.

What are the main disadvantages of scaffolding shrink wrap?

  • It requires some specialist knowledge and experience to fit properly
  • The scaffolding structure must be built flush.
  • Light winds are required during the fitting and heat shrinking process.

For information on the installing shrink wrap for scaffolding, take a look at our free resources

Have an upcoming project requiring shrink wrapping?