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Heat Seal Vs Cold Seal Packaging: Which Should You Choose?

Cold Seal Machine with Cold Seal Blister pack medical

Selecting the right sealing method can be quite difficult as it can affect your product’s quality, shelf-life, cost, durability, and production time. Often, many buyers looking for packaging solutions find themselves considering the two most common sealing methods: heat seal, and cold seal. Each of these sealing methods has its own advantages and disadvantages, which makes them ideal solutions for specific applications.

However, many buyers often get them confused with one another as they can both be used to seal food, industrial and medical products. By understanding the key differences between these two methods, you can effectively seal your packages with peace of mind.

What is Heat Seal?

Heat seal is the process of using heat to melt sides of a film or special coating together to create a seal. This method is the most common as it provides products with a high integrity seal. Heat seal can work with multi-layered films such as an outer layer, core layer, and interior sealant layer.

Heat Seal Packaging Applications

Heat seal can be used to package a wide variety of food, medical, beverage and industrial products. However, products that are heat sealed need to be non-sensitive to high temperatures as products are sealed inside their packaging during fulfillment.

For example, food products that can be heat sealed include chips, snacks, dry foods, frozen foods and pasta. Medical devices and other electronics in addition to industrial products such as screws, nails, pipe parts, accessories and other products may be heat sealed.

Typically, these products are heat sealed inside a pouch, plastic bag, or blister pack.

Heat sealed pouch
heat sealed sachet

Heat Seal Advantages

  • Heat seal has a superior seal over cold seal which allows it to resist chemicals, moisture, harsh weather conditions, and other external elements.
  • No adhesives required
  • Tamper-evident seal

Heat Seal Disadvantages

  • Can damage or melt temperature sensitive products like ice cream and chocolate.
  • Production must be carefully monitored to produce effective heat seals. This involves checking the temperature of heated surfaces, time it takes to seal the material and the pressure needed.
  • This process takes a long time and can be up to 10 times slower than cold sealing. Requires tooling and sealing machine.
  • Heated machinery can lead to burns and workplace injuries.
custom printed lay flat pouch multiple skus
Custom Roll Stock Packaging - Whey Protein Bar

What is Cold Seal?

Cold seal is the process of applying a cohesive onto sides of a film and pressure to create a seal. Cohesive material only sticks to itself, which allows it to easily be sealed when pressure is added.

Cold Seal Applications

Cold seal is common in packaging products that are temperature sensitive. Usually, it is used to seal products such as confectionary items, pharmaceuticals, flammable products, ice cream, chocolate, some baked goods, and frozen products, and more.

Typically, these products are cold sealed inside a pouch, roll stock, corrugated, chipboard, clamshell, or trapped blister pack.

cold seal blister pack
Cold Seal Blister Pack

Cold Seal Advantages

  • Quick production compared to heat sealed, which requires a machine to heat up.
  • Ideal solution for temperature sensitive products.
  • Easier to open and access packaged content.

Cold Seal Disadvantages

  • Does not offer the same level of strength as heat seal.
  • Requires cohesive material
  • Not chemical resistant, which is often required by the FDA for food and beverage products.
Custom Blister Packs
Custom printed pouch bottom gusset

If you are interested in packaging and would like your packaging to be heat sealed or cold sealed, then partner with Brown Packaging today to get started. We will ensure your product uses the correct sealing method based on your application.

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