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Well, I checked the site of the brand owners Sealed Air (http://www.sealedair.com). While it does not explain the process, the page on Bubble Wrap advantages does give some indication.It is (probably) done by laminating together two polyethylene sheets between heated rolls, one of which shows a honeycomb pattern. You do not create a vacuum between the sheets, as you would do sealing bags for your deep freezer, instead, you pressurize the whole installation so that the pressure between the sheets is well over that of the atmosphere. (Wouldn't know how much, it must be possible to find out).When the laminate leaves the pressurized room where the machine was, the internal pressure makes the bubbles.Of course, you can ask the inventors Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes (info from Wikipedia), or find a way to see the original pattent.
You know how a seal a mealer works, a vacumn packer! How about something that has heat strips in a grid......OH OH OH OH I have it!!!! LOL I am excited LOL Two pieces of plastic in a machine much like a seal a meal only with a grid wire that heats up in tiny round circles and when it is compressed over the top of the two pieces of plastic the air being blown in is quickly trapped and sealed inside the grid heat coils which seals the individual bubbles !!! Hows that for a hypothesis! LOL Come on that will work right??? LOL