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What is a tube?

  • UDN Packaging Corporation
  • Miguel Fernández Lizarbe
Beauty, Personal Care, Cosmetics, Personal Care, Primary Packaging, Tubes, Tubes - Laminated, Tubes - Plastic, Tubes - Aluminium/Metal, Packaging Decoration

The story of the tube

The use of tubes may derive from aluminum tubes that are treated as the container of pigments for watercolor paintings. Artists encase the pigment in aluminum laminate and roll it up so they can get to the paint easily when they squeeze the bottom of the tube, which is convenient for people on the go. As time passed, with the advancement of technology, there were variations in tube materials, e.g. PP, PE, laminate and so on. In addition, tube designs and tube decoration are getting sophisticated. Tube diameters, head styles, and even caps can be customized upon request. More and more options are available every day.

There are full of daily commodities with tube packaging in our lives, such as facial cleanser, toothpaste, shampoo, hair conditioner, cosmetics and so on. UDN believes tube packaging is not only the container but also the bridge between brands and the consumers. UDN’s mission is to help brands to communicate with their consumers to show brand’s personality and make the products be the brand’s spokesperson on the shelves 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by perfectly combining the tube packaging with the formula.

Tube types and tube materials

Two most common tube types nowadays are Extrusion Tube and Laminate Tube. Furthermore, the major materials of Extrusion Tube are polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) and the major materials of Laminate tube are aluminum barrier laminates and plastic barrier laminates.

  • Extrusion Tube: A mixture of resin is placed into an extruder hopper and then heated. After the resin is melted, the calibrator extrudes the raw material into a cylinder shape. Its major materials are polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

  • Polyethylene (abbreviated PE) is the most common plastic. It has excellent chemical resistance and the plastic tube retains its shape after each squeeze so PE is the ideal material for packaging. Over 90% tubes that UDN manufactures are made of PE. UDN uses food grade resin that is safe and comply with the EU-Regulation.

  • Polypropylene (abbreviated PP) is another widely produced synthetic plastic. Its thermal resistance is better than PE and can be up to above 100℃. It is mechanically rugged and mostly used in pharmaceutical packaging.

  • Laminate Tube:Aluminum Barrier Laminates (ABL): An aluminum barrier is incorporated to provide superior barrier property of light, air and moisture and reduction in flavor absorption. ABL packaging is common in toothpaste, ointments, creams, gels and OTC pharmaceutical products etc.

  • Plastic Barrier Laminates (PBL): PBL is a laminate made completely of plastics so the structure can retain its shape through the memory of plastic, which shows a more beautiful look. PBL is also recyclable after use so it is eco-friendly. A layer of EVOH barrier can be added to offer better barrier property and extend the lifetime of bulk. Standard material is offered in white or natural. However other colors can also be customized.

Tube decoration

Offset Printing: UDN adopts 6 colors offset printing machine. Through the multiple processes of 6 colors ink transferring and spreading ink to printing plates, transferring and spreading ink film to printing blanket, transferring ink film from blanket onto plastic sleeves, curing ink, overcoating, our client’s artwork can be presented on the tube perfectly. The speed is up to 80pcs per minute and the cost is lowest among other printing methods.

Silk Screen Printing: UDN offers 1-5 colors silk screen printing. The process applies one color at a time. Its thick ink makes the printing durable and creates a sharp-edged image. You can even feel the strong texture by touching the printing surface of the tube.

Hot Stamping: Hot stamping is the process of applying the foil to the target surface at high temperatures. Metallic foil is widely used for creating luxury look. Shiny gold or silver is the most common.

Labeling: Labeling is recommended when the artwork is complex and exceed the parameters of offset printing and silk screen printing since labels provide greater graphic details.


Tube packaging is common in our life from daily necessities, cosmetics (e.g. foundation, lip gloss, mascara etc.), skincare, and pharmaceutical products and so on. UDN believes that tube packaging is not just only a container. We can help brands to deliver their personality and thus communicate to the consumers. With the aim to let unique design make life new, UDN continues to develop new products that will blow the market away.


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  • English
  • Modified 03 Sep 2018
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