Plastic Tube Types explained
With the array of collapsible plastic tube options available, it can sometimes be difficult to select the correct tube type for a product.
MonoLayer Collapsible Plastic Tubes:
Monolayer plastic tubes are formed through the extrusion process, where a cylinder of plastic material is pushed or drawn through the required diameter cross section and cut into the desired tube length.
Monolayer tubes are formed of one layer of plastic material, which can be made up of a certain percentage of LDPE or HDPE. e.g. tubes can be 100% HDPE, 80% HDPE 20% LDPE or any other requried combination depending on what properties you require from the tube.
Collapsible Plastic Tubes (Multi Layered Plastic Tubes):
A collapsible plastic tube comprising a laminate of an inner ply and an outer ply, the inner ply being a heat flowable nonoriented thermoplastic polymer and the outer ply being a heat flowable, oriented, shrunk thermoplastic polymer.
The collapsible plastic tube of this invention is also excellently adapted for making packaging and dispensing tubes for items such as toothpaste, shaving cream, lubricating greases, medicinal pastes, ointments, and the like.
Laminate tubes are manufactured by using the laminate feed stock that is simply a poly-foil-poly structure that has polyethylene on either side of a thin gauge of foil.
Some laminate structures also incorporate paper.
A subset of laminate is Polyfoil. The most popular way of decorating the laminate feedstock material is by either letterpress or rotogravure printing.
Rotogravure printing is used extensively to provide a high quality print buried within the laminate structure. Letterpress printing is used to decorate the surface of the laminate feedstock just prior to tubing that is ideal for added flexibility or smaller quantities.
Multiflex tubes are manufactured from laminate, however contrary to the lamination process there are no distinctive weld seams since the layers are not overlap-wealded, but fused bluntly and reinforced with a thin plastic strip, allowing for 360 degree print.
Also, with Multiflex tubes they are able to have different material in the inner layer compared to the outer layer, which is not possible with laminated tubes.