The Benefits of Extruded Plastic Tubes

Last updated: 10 Dec 2021  |  429 Views  | 

Extruded plastic tubes are recyclable and allow full-colour printing directly onto the tube.

Extruded plastic tubes have become a world-leading packaging standard for liquids and gels in the healthcare, cosmetics and food industries. They’ve achieved this status thanks to their pliant yet puncture-resistant quality, the ability to print graphics directly onto the tube and their recycling capabilities. 

These qualities raise the profile and awareness of the brands using them for their products. We’ll take a closer look at these three characteristics that have the world sold on the value of extruded plastic tubes. 


What is Extrusion?

Extrusion is a process that forces a heat-softened material through a form to create a hollow chamber inside the final product. The technique was first patented by Joseph Bramah in 1797 and was used for making pipe for plumbing purposes. 

The technique was first used in thermoplastics manufacturing in 1935. When researchers discovered how easily plastics could be formed and manipulated by the extrusion process, an entirely new industry was born that revolutionised the world of packaging. 


Direct Full-Colour Printing

Packaging has to be branded with logos, company names, contents, and ingredients in order to be practical and appealing to consumers. Initially, the plastics most suitable for extruding were too smooth for direct printing. The inks tended to sit on the surface of the plastic and could be smudged and smeared easily. 

The only recourse initially was to print the graphics on a separate paper label and glue it on the finished tube, adding a separate step to the manufacturing process. This made the production process a bit slower, added to the packaging costs, and slightly increased the weight of the finished tube. It also interfered with the recyclable aspects of the plastic tubes. This last aspect would become more significant in later years as people became more environmentally conscious. 

Developing a reformulated plastic material that offered a rougher surface that could hold and absorb the ink was a major step forward in the industry. Now, a direct, full-colour printing process could be incorporated into manufacturing to solve all the issues caused by paper labels. 


Recycling Future of the Industry

Today, the most eco-conscious packaging manufacturers are continuously researching methods to increase the recyclability of their products. 

Manufacturers such as Victor Packaging in Thailand have redesigned their products to decrease the amount of plastic in their tubes by 20-25% when compared to standard extruded tubes. They work with plastic suppliers to incorporate used or post-consumer resins (PCR) into the plastic material they use. 

By supporting their efforts, not only can you help save the planet from plastic pollution, but you can raise your brand’s image as a responsible company and help spread the word about the need for recycling. 

Contact Victor Packaging to learn more about today's extruded plastic tube packaging and how it can benefit your brand.    

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