Parafilm® M and Dispenser

Parafilm® M is a unique self-sealing, moldable and flexible film for numerous uses in the typical laboratory including electron microscope laboratories. Parafilm® M has unique permeability properties, impressive water vapor transport properties, and is resistant to many common reagents. With the use of the special Parafilm® M dispenser, which is sized to take either the 2 ” ( 50.8 mm) or 4 ” ( 101.6 mm) wide rolls, one can conveniently cut off uniform sized strips or squares of 2 ” ( 50.8 mm) length. The thickness of all Parafilm products is 0.005 ” ( 127µ m) .

The Parafilm M sealing film have become so successful that new products have been introduced for specific markets such as Parafilm Budding ( Grafting) Tape, Parafilm® Florist Stem Wrap, and Floratape® . A comparison between these different Parafilm products can be understood in a very short time period.

Parafilm® is ideal for the scientific laboratory because it is a thermoplastic, self-sealing film. It holds moisture loss to a minimum. It offers excellent protection for the contents of tubes, flasks, and petri dishes. The unique properties of the film enable it to cling around even irregular shapes and convoluted surfaces. Parafilm® M can be stretched 3-4 times its original length before breaking.

TEM laboratory application:
Parafilm® M makes the perfectly hydrophobic surface for transferring small amounts of reagent to a TEM grid. Dispense a single drop of reagent onto the Parafilm surface, it will form a nice non-spreading ” bead ” against which a grid can be ” touched ” to the liquid, picking up a controlled amount of liquid by the grid. Especially useful where expensive reagents are involved. Can also be used for picking up floating grids and films firm liquid surfaces.

Parafilm® M makes a superior bandage cover in drainage cases. It is useful in all hospital laboratories and medical stocking areas. It is ideal when used as a tray and shelf liner to prevent slippage and breakage of bottles, containers, and instruments. Parafilm M can also be sterilized using either radiation techniques or hydrogen peroxide. Parafilm is not considered a sterile product in its as received state.

Gardening / Horticulture / General Agriculture:
Parafilm is a unique budding tape. It forms excellent seals to the wound and protects the scion bud from rain, dust, and fog. It helps prevent the loss of moisture and keeps the bud from drying out. There has been a recent increase in the use of Parafilm M to seal the stems of certain agricultural products such as for ” organic ” bananas after they are cut from the plant to protect it from fungus since fungicides can not be used on products being grown under the ” organic ” designation. Note: View the newest version of Parafilm for use as a budding tape.

Masking applications:
Parafilm will conform to any surface and fill in the tightest corners. It lifts easily and leaves no residue behind on the surface being protected. It is the preferred material by many for model masking. Cut out a thin strip from either the 2 ” or 4 ” rolls and slowly stretch to about four times its original length and let it set for about one minute. This permits it to ” stress relax ” resulting in the development of a nice ” tackiness ” to the stretched material. The thin strip is applied to the surface requiring protection and masking. Using normal finger pressure massage it into a good adhesive situation with regard to the substrate surface. After painting, it will come back up with the gentle lift of a toothpick. Unlike a number of other masking agents, it will absolutely not leave behind a residue on the protected surface.

Government Approvals:
Parafilm has never been tested, for use with food and it does not have any approval for such use from the US FDA ( Food and Drug Administration) . We are not aware of anything in the composition of Parafilm that would be a hazard for food use, but we want to make the point that no such approval has been given for such use. For Europe, the equivalent statement is a bit more complicated. There have been a few reports of evidence that low levels of certain phytotoxins can be released at low levels, specifically butylated hydroxytoluene ( BHT) . Now having said all of that, we are told by the manufacturer that all materials used in the formulation of Parafilm M have been approved for direct food contact and in some materials, can actually quality as food additives.

Dielectric properties:
We are unaware of any data on the dielectric permittivity of Parafilm® M. Based on its composition, we would expect it to be similar to that of polyethylene, which has a dielectric constant of about 2.2

Temperature vs. properties:
At temperatures above 38° C, Parafilm starts to degrade and may become difficult to unroll. Signs of degradation is the film becomes too sticky and unable to be stretched to the desired length without breaking. Storing Parafilm at up to 49° C for short periods can be tolerated but is not recommended. No specific temerature can be used where it can not be used any longer. If higher temperatures are required, we would suggest that DuraSeal™ Laboratory Sealing Film be considered.

The lower temperature range of use depends on the mechanical abuse the Parafilm must endure. It can be put into liquid nitrogen without any problems so long as the Parafilm is not flexed. After a liquid nitrogen exposure, Parafilm will recover to normal properties when it is returned to room temperature.

Optical properties:
Parafilm M is optically translucent in the visible range. For UV exposure, we can provide a UV transmittance curve.

Do not use near open flame!
Parafilm® M is a unique ” waxy ” material not too different from candle wax and is therefore flammable.

Shelf life:
Three years without deterioration if stored between 7° C and 32° C and at 50% relative humidity.