Cardboard tubes have a somewhat limited use. They are used for packaging, as the center holder for materials like paper and plastic, for forming concrete and other liquid-to-solid materials, and even as pots for flowers. However, these few uses are about all the tubes are used for.
Recent innovations, however, have brought about a new use for cardboard tubes. Cardboard is an inexpensive, but sturdy, material that is ideal for the new application. This new design uses a cardboard tube to house an emergency sign for doctors, emergency personnel, and travelers. The tube is home to a thin, flexible, plastic emergency sign. The sign is used to indicate car trouble along the road. The sign can say anything the owner requests, which is particularly useful for a variety of industries. Inside the tube, the plastic sign is green with white letters. This makes it reflective in the night just like road signs, for maximum visibility.
The first use of the signs was in the United Kingdom. In fact, the company that invented the signs actually created them after a local doctor's car died along the highway and the doctor was unable to get to work. No one stopped to help the doctor get to her final destination, because they were unaware that the car belonged to a doctor. The sign was invented to help prevent situations like that from occurring again.
A cardboard tube manufacturer was commissioned to make the case for the sign to keep costs low and to help make the sign lightweight and easily portable. The sign fits into any small space in the car- ready for any emergency. Owners can choose between a variety of sign colors if they do not want to use the green and white combo.
Cardboard tubes can be made to fit a broad range of
products, and are made in different levels of structural strength and
thickness, depending on the level of protection required. Most commonly used
for mailing tubes and shipping tubes, cardboard tubes are readily available for
papers, posters, documents and pieces of artwork which are able to be rolled
into a cylindrical shape. These postal tubes are able to withstand the pressure
and stress that occurs during transit as they are formed from a material such
as high quality kraft paper. Kraft tubes are strong and are often used in
shipping and packaging. Other common uses for cardboard tubes include: paper
cores providing structural strength to items such as rolls of fabric, paper
towels or toilet paper, and electrical wires, coin banks for collecting money
and donations, caulking tubes for construction projects, grease cartridges for
use in the automotive and mechanical industry and paper cans which are used
widely in packaging for foods, cosmetics and merchandise. Another specific use
for cardboard tubing is by contractors and construction industries that use
large, heavy duty and highly durable cardboard tubes, called Sonotubes®, for
concrete pillar forming.
Most cardboard tubes are spiral wound and strengthened with adhesive additives. Firstly, large sheets of cardboard or paper board are cut into thin ribbons which are then coated in adhesive and wrapped on an angle around a mandrel of the desired shape. Numerous layers of cardboard can be added to the forming mandrel, depending on the desired strength of the tube. All paper tubes are measured and defined by their interior dimensions rather than exterior, and while they can vary greatly, most tubes are no longer than 48 inches in length to ensure structural integrity. For heavy duty applications when high strength, waterproof and resistant cardboard is needed, adhesives or interior waterproof sealing layers can be added to the tube fabrication process. The wood pulp-resin mix is formed and cured, and may be followed by further curing in an oven. While post forming heat treatments take place, the pulp and adhesives coalesce to provide a stronger product. The finished product is more durable and holds its shape better in humidity or when affected by elements of weather. These are important features, especially for the storage or transportation of products which in addition to regular transit damage, can be further damaged or ruined by elements of moisture or air.
For transportation, storage or mailing of fragile items, thicker cardboard should be used. Mailing tubes are designed to be strong enough to guard against denting, bumping and breaking during transit, and therefore it is important to purchase the correct size of tube to ensure the contents are not moving around more than is necessary inside the tube. Both ends of shipping tubes are typically closed with a plastic plug, one of which is removable, but may be sealed for postal or transportation purposes, especially of confidential documents or medical and scientific products. Or, the tubes themselves may fold in and close at either end. The measurements given to classify tubes are the interior dimensions of the tube, taking into consideration the wall thickness and closing space at each end. Shipping and mailing tubes are often stronger than boxes or other containers and the cylindrical shapes make an ideal shipping container as there are many products that it is preferable not to fold such as posters, artwork, large maps or blueprints etc.
The most common ways cardboard tubes are used range broadly in terms of function, size and industry. Tubes can be coated in colorful, customizable printed paper or foil. For food processing items, product information and logos can be printed out the outside of the tube. For gift packaging and holiday themed postal tubes, colors, patterns and designs can be incorporated into the cylindrical shape. Cardboard tubes are often manufactured from recycled paper and those made from more durable board can be used over again, making them a cost-efficient alternative to metal, plastic, glass and wood packaging. They are comparably cost-effective because cardboard materials are easier for manufacturers to cut, purchase and dispose of than most other materials. Cardboard tubes also rival plastic and metal tubes in strength-to-weight ratio, making them an ideal solution for mailing, shipping, storing and distributing almost any material. Heavy-duty cardboard tubes are difficult to dent and break, therefore mailing and shipping tubes offer superior protection from rough handling. However, cardboard is a porous material and therefore for specific applications such as those for electrical wiring or food processing, layers of non-porous material may need to be added to the interior or exterior of the tube as a barrier against moisture. Despite this drawback, cardboard tubes are tough, flexible and renewable, and therefore provide a great commercial and industrial solution to many tubing needs.
Image Provided by Ace Paper Tube Corporation
Images Provided by Valk Industries, Inc.
- The fluted middle portion of a corrugated boxes or paper tubes that are made from paperboard and typically produced on a Fourdrinier machine as a single layer, using varying combinations of virgin and recycled fibers.
- The paperboard produced from recycled fibers on a cylinder machine consisting of multiple plies that are bonded together in the papermaking process.
- Rigid metal caps, film caps, plastic caps, paper caps or paper structures that are mechanically attached to the end of a package or a layered plastic film, foil or paper membrane heat-sealed to the end of a rigid package.
- Paper tubes, Cardboard Tubes, and cores of paper or plastic that serve as product carriers for film tubes, paper tubes, tape tubes, textile tubes, metal tubes and more. The carrier tubes are highly engineered to permit take-up of these materials at extreme speeds.
- A composite material made from compressed wood fibers and glue.
- A machine divided into a wet end, a press section, a drier section and, typically but not always a calendar section that is employed in the manufacture of all grades of paper tubes and board.
tube - A coarse paper made from a type of chemical wood pulp, whose color is dark brown but may be bleached to lighter shades of cream. Taking its name from the German word for strong this paper is typically used for wrapping and packaging.
- The core elongated mold around which resin-impregnated fiber, paper, fabric, tape or filaments are wound to form pipes, tubes or structural shell shapes.
- A flexible material attached to the end of a rigid package with a peelable heat seal. This material can be a coax plastic film or a layering of plastic film, foil or paper with a heat-seal coating.
- A subdivision of paper that is generally heavier in basis weight, thicker and more rigid than paper. All sheets of 12 points (0.012) or more in thickness are considered paperboard with some exceptions, such as blotting papers, felts and drawing paper in excess of 12 points, while some corrugating medium, chipboard and linerboard of less than 12 points are still categorized as paperboard.
- Paper and paper derivatives separated, removed or diverted from solid waste disposal for the purpose of sale, use, reuse or recycling, whether or not such material necessitates further separation and processing.
- The process in which cut ribbon of cardboard, coated with adhesive is wrapped in a helix pattern around a set round mandrel to produce spiral wound paper tubes. It's done at an angle that will produce a continual flow of product that can be cut to any specification.