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A carton box with Parafilm.

Parafilm is a plastic paraffin film with a paper backing produced by Pechiney Plastic Packaging Company, based in Chicago, Illinois and Bemis Flexible Packaging, based in Neenah, WI primarily used in laboratories. It is commonly used for sealing or protecting vessels (such as flasks or cuvettes). It is ductile, malleable, waterproof, odorless, thermoplastic, translucent and cohesive.

It is also used to further seal a lidded container against moisture and air contamination for long term storage. However it is also claimed that Parafilm breaks down over time on exposure to air and light and so does not serve as a long-term sealant.[citation needed]

Since it is a thermoplastic, Parafilm is not safe for use in an autoclave.

Volatile organic solvents will dissolve Parafilm.

Parafilm is used by some modelers as a masking material during airbrushing, due to its lack of adhesion, which can destroy a finish.

Horticulturalists sometimes use Parafilm in grafting. Several grafting styles call for wrapping a graft to hold it together, and sealing it to prevent drying and Parafilm does both. In this context Parafilm is also known as grafting tape.

Entomologists have used Parafilm as a membrane to feed hematophagous insects such as mosquitoes and bedbugs[1] reared in the lab.

A new application of Parafilm is to make paper-based microfluidic device.[2] Paper-based microfluidic devices are considered a suitable way to fabricate low-cost point-of-care diagnostics for developing countries and areas where expensive medical instrumentation is not accessible.

A similar but now long discontinued product was Sealon film by Fuji.[3][4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Mitsuhashi, Jun (1979). "Materials for Artificial Rearing of Leafhoppers". In Maramorosch, Karl & Harris, Kerry F. Leafhopper Vectors and Plant Disease Agents. Academic Press. p. 375. 
  4. ^ Takahashi, K.; Mogi, I.; Awaji, S.; Watanabe, K. (2011). "Non-contact measurement of diamagnetic susceptibility change by a magnetic levitation technique". Measurement Science and Technology 22 (3): 035703. doi:10.1088/0957-0233/22/3/035703.  edit

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