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What is an aluminium tube?

Today’s packaging industry offers suitable technology for all producing enterprises. The variety of different materials and technologies seems to be enormous, if one considers custom-made packaging for giant transformers on one hand, and little paper bags for pepper and salt on the other hand

Focusing especially on the market for the packaging of pasty and viscous goods, one technology clearly appears to gain the lead: the tube made of aluminium.

But what is an aluminium tube, technologically speaking?

Basically, it is a cylindrical, hollow piece with a round or oval profile, made of the nearly all-purpose material aluminium. Both ends of this tube are treated differently during the manufacturing process and filling. In general, on one end of the tube body there is a round orifice, which can be closed by different caps and closures. The orifice can be shaped in many different ways. Plastic nozzles in various styles and lengths are just one good example.

To attach caps and closures, in most cases a thread is tapped onto the opening structure. Furthermore, something all aluminium tubes have in common is that the other open end is folded several times after the contents have been added. The tube is thus hermetically sealed and nearly germ-free due to the high temperatures during the production process. Furthermore, it is possible to coat the inside of the tube with special coatings to prevent the material from reacting with the contents.

As far as production methods are concerned, the way an aluminium tube is produced appears to be rather different from the way many people might think. Tubes are not poured from liquid aluminium; they are produced by the process of impact extrusion. In this process, the tube body is extruded from a small piece of aluminium with the round shape of a coin.

Unlimited printing designs can be applied to the tube, thanks to the wet-in-wet offset printing method. Six tones can be printed with this printing procedure, which gives packaging designers great opportunities to express their creativity.

The filled content can be easily squeezed out by the pressure of two fingers. The main characteristic of aluminium tubes is the total separation of the contents from the surrounding atmosphere; therefore, such tubes are especially suitable for the packaging of highly perishable contents. Aluminium tubes are used as packaging technology for cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, food, and technical products.

It should also be mentioned that 8 percent of the earth’s crust are composed of bauxite, the ore from which aluminium is obtained. Aluminium is therefore a highly available natural resource. It is also well known for a high recycling ratio in a closed system that includes all kinds of aluminium products. Today, in the face of critical sustainability issues, this aspect and other positive facts clearly put aluminium in the lead, especially from an ecological standpoint.

All about aluminium tubes