What is bubble wrap

Bubble wrap

Bubble wrap (also colloquially Bubble wrap, Bubble wrap or Pop foil, engl. bubble wrap) is an elastic, mostly transparent and at least two-layer plastic film that is used to pack fragile objects (upholstery), for insulation or to fill cavities.

A layer of bubble wrap
Three layers at the top, two layers of film at the bottom


Air cushion films consist of two-layer polyethylene (PE), a smooth cover film and a second layer, into which round air cushions are incorporated at regular intervals by means of a knob cylinder and a vacuum roller, which serve to cushion impacts. Three-layer versions have a second smooth cover film and are therefore more resilient. Small-nubbed foils have a nub diameter of around 10 mm, large nubbed films 25 mm. Often, mailers are also lined with it to protect the contents from damage.

To protect electronic assemblies, air cushion foils can be antistatic or made from conductive foils.

Air cushions are often used to fill transport packaging instead of large nubbed air cushion films. These consist of a regularly subdivided, air-filled film tube. They are perforated at the welding points for easier separation.


Bubble wrap was invented by the two engineers Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes in a garage in New York in 1957, who were actually looking for a new type of plastic wallpaper. The wallpaper should be easy to wash off and also easier to attach to the wall than the usual paper material. Both found that their wallpaper would also make a very light and at the same time robust packaging material and added small air bubbles to the plastic.

On November 27, 1959, the inventors registered their packaging film with the name "Bubble Wrap" at the US patent office and one year later founded the Sealed Air Company based in Elmwood Park in the US state of New Jersey, which now specializes in the production of various plastic packaging concentrated, including air cushion and foam films, air cushion mailers, membrane cushion and fixation packaging and various systems for product protection (air bag systems, paper cushion systems and direct foam packaging systems). The Sealed Air Company took over Instapak in 1976, Sentinel in 1991 and the Cryovac Division in 1998 from the US chemical company W. R. Grace and Company.

Since 2000, production has also been carried out in Germany at the Alsfeld location.

In 2006 the company achieved sales of US $ 4.3 billion and employs 17,000 people worldwide.

In 2009 the company achieved sales of around 4.2 billion US dollars with 16,000 employees in over 100 production sites and in 52 countries.

Cultural effects

There are many fan sites on the Internet dedicated to bubble wrap. These deal with a special peculiarity: the pressing of the air bubbles, which causes a small bang. This is where the slang term comes from Bubble wrap. There are also electronic toys (bubblewrap keychain) in the form of key fobs that imitate the effect. The bubble wrap has also found its way into the New York Museum of Modern Art as a "Humble Masterpiece" (as a humble work of art) as a design exhibit.[1] Since 2001, the "Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day" has been celebrated in the USA every year on the last Monday in January.[2]

Web links

Template: Commonscat / WikiData / Difference

Individual evidence

  1. ↑ http: //news.orf.at/071004-17289/index.html
  2. ↑ http: //www.sealedairprotects.com/NA/EN/products/bubblewrap/appreciation-day.aspx Last accessed on February 27, 2011