26 April 1996

Sticky wrap to go on sale in UK

GLUE-COATED, round bale stretch wrap will be commercially available for the first time in the UK this season.

Agra Stretch, produced by Lakufol in Germany, was tested by its UK distributor, Sunbaba Agricultural, in 1995. The tests proved successful, hence the decision to make the wrap more widely available this year.

"Although Lakufol film has been sold on the Continent for about eight years, we were still keen to limit sales in the first year. It uses different technology to anything else sold over here, so we did not want to take any risks," says Sunbabas Trevor Booth.

Lakufol claims coating the stretch films inner surface with glue has several advantages over traditional methods of conferring "tackiness" – a PIB additive incor-porated within the film to give it its "cling together" properties.

"PIB tends to migrate through the film when stored for long periods," says Jurgen Kloecking, Lakufols managing director. "That means either the wrap loses its tackiness altogether or both sides become sticky. This increases the risk of damage when handling the wrapped bale. In contrast, glue does not migrate through film, so the wraps properties stay the same during storage. One side stays tacky, the other slippery."

Mr Kloecking says glue coating down-sides are limited to the film production process, in which tolerances are low and quality control has to be high. Should the film be made too sticky the consequences are obvious – coaxing the film off its plastic core would be nigh-on impossible.

The glue-coated Agra Stretch film costs about £30/500mm (1.6ft) wide x 1800m (1968yd) long roll. &#42