With the array of collapsible plastic tube options available, it can sometimes be difficult to select the correct tube type for your product. Following are some helpful tips to help you out.
Mono layer 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. Mono layer 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.
Co-Ex plastic tubes are manufactured in the same way as mono layered tubes, however these tubes normally have 5 layers. These layers are usually formed as follows:
PE material - Adhesive - EVOH - Adhesive - PE material
The addition of the EVOH layers increases the barrier properties of the tube, which allows you to have a soft LDPE tube with high barrier properties or a very high barrier HDPE tube.
Laminated tubes offer a form of material with the advantages of plastic tubes, but are able to include barrier layers and layers of other materials, not possible with extrusion technology. With a laminated tube you are not able to print 360 degrees as the tubes are manufactured from a flat sheet, which is rolled over itself into a cylinder and heat wealded together. Also, laminated tubes are not recyclable. Laminated tubes are typically used for toothpastes.
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.
Click here to find out more about the different materials used in Plastic Tubes.