Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Self-Shrinking Wrap

Self-shrinking heat-shrink packaging
  (+4, -1)
(+4, -1)
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Years ago (and possibly still, but I haven't been since it was privatized), the UK Post Office used to sell an ingenious envelope/mailer. After you had labelled it, and inserted your delicate items, you pulled a tab. This broke a seal and allowed air into the packaging, which fluffed up and expanded to cushion the contents.

So, I was thinking we could do something similar with heat shrink packaging. With thin metal filaments running through the plastic, all we need is a way to generate a modest amount of heat where the wires intersect, either a solid chamical reaction, or maybe a miniature battery.

Either way, and after a lot of careful research to make sure the thing cannot catch fire, you pull the tab, and hey presto, the bag automatically shrinks to fit the contents.

P.S. Not to be used for livestock.

DrCurry, Apr 03 2007

Ideal. http://news.bbc.co....geshire/4621092.stm
[MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 03 2007]


       Why not just expose it externally-applied heat? You still get the same hey presto factor, with less cost.
Texticle, Apr 03 2007

       Or internally applied warmth.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 03 2007

       how about an elastic shrink wrap. An external layer keeps the shrink wrap under tension. When the external layer is peeled off, the shrink wrap reduces in size.   

       Alternatively, a shrink wrap that has one side which shrinks on exposure to air. peel off the external layer and watch it shrink.
xaviergisz, Apr 04 2007

       Could you trigger a series of cell-like structures to contract, based on sensing an electric current, or maybe some kinetic impulse.   

       I'm thinking along the lines of a similar process to how the poison delivery cells work in jellyfish tentacles. You brush against them and they suddenly contract. If you could arrange enough of them (or some cell configuration that worked similarly) in sheets, you could wrap up your package, and then tap it, triggering the shrink-wrap to shrink.
zen_tom, Apr 04 2007

       How about coating the inner surface of the wrap (the side toward the core) with a chemical that reacts exothermically with air. Once you pull it off the roll it is exposed and you have a few seconds to get it in position before it warms up and shrinks tight.
Galbinus_Caeli, Apr 04 2007


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