Laminate tubes consist of a multi-layer coat material (3 -5 layers). This composite material consists essentially of PE layers with a barrier layer embedded in between. The individual layers of the coat material are connected to each other by “laminating”, hence the name for this type of tubes.
Laminate tubes are manufactured by a special technology. The printing process is not integrated into the tube production but precedes the manufacturing process proper. The advantage of this sequence is that printing is not carried out on the finished cylindrical tube body but on a flat surface which is formed to an endless tube similarly like etiquettes. Printing is available in photo quality. It is possible to integrate several printing processes in-line, like flexographic printing, screen printing and foil blocking. Complex print views are possible in one work step.
The tube material printed in the “preliminary process”, the so-called laminate, a semi-finished product, undergoes a second manufacturing process together with shoulder material and cap where the final tubes are made. In this “main process” the printed laminate is formed into an endless tube and joined at the longitudinal side seam which will later be on the back side. Thereafter a shoulder including thread and nozzle is bonded thereon and finally the cap is mounted. With this step the tube is finished. It is packed and ready-made.
Laminate is a composite material which forms the complete tube body of laminate tubes. Laminate consists of several PE layers (normally 3 -5 layers) with a barrier layer embedded in between. This barrier layer can be made of different materials, mostly of EVOH or aluminium. There are also laminates without barrier layer. Currently ESSEL processes laminates in thicknesses between 275 µ and 350 µ.
PBL (Plastic Barrier Laminate)
PBL is a laminate which does not contain any aluminium, i.e. which entirely consists of plastic materials. This laminate consists of several PE layers with a so-called EVOH barrier embedded in between to protect the product.
ABL (Aluminium Barrier Laminate)
ABL is a laminate which contains a small portion of aluminium besides its plastic constituents. This laminate consists of several PE layers with an aluminium barrier embedded in between to protect aggressive products.
The flavour barrier is a constituent of the laminate. It is embedded in between the PE. A flavour barrier fulfils two purposes. On the one hand, it prevents that constituents of the product can escape from the tube. On the other hand, this barrier prevents that critical substances from the environment (such as oxygen) which could affect or change the product penetrate into the tube. The most common barriers are EVOH or aluminium.
EVOH is a so-called flavour barrier based on PE. It prevents that product can diffuse from the tube. In addition, this barrier prevents substances from outside to diffuse into the tube and to change or spoil the product by reacting with it.
EVOH offers good barrier properties for all common products like cosmetics creams or gels, food products, household chemicals, technical filling goods and oral care products.
Aluminium is used as a so-called flavour barrier in some laminates to prevent constituents of the product from diffusing from the tube. In addition, this barrier prevents substances from outside to diffuse into the tube and to change or spoil the product by reacting with it.
The aluminium layer is embedded between several PE layers. Aluminium offers the highest barrier quality. It is therefore suitable primarily for very aggressive and highly reactive filling goods, like depilatories or shaving creams, silicones, OTC products and perishable food.
IBL (Inner Barrier Liner)
IBL is a shoulder inlay with barrier quality. It has the form of a washer which is mounted inside on the HDPE shoulder. This inlay consists of composite PE layers with a barrier layer inserted in between. This barrier is normally EVOH. It can, however, also consist of aluminium, if required.
The top seal is a thin foil which is welded to the shoulder nozzle and protects the product prior to first use.
Our top seal is a PET compound which is available either with a vapour- deposited aluminium layer steamed up (standard design) or printed in blue or white.
The striping insert is mounted inside on the shoulder. This insert is used mainly for tubes to be filled with oral care products, such as two-coloured tooth pastes. It is a small tube which has one larger opening in the middle and 5 smaller side openings. The basic paste (white) is pushed out through the central opening while the coloured stripes are laid on the white paste through the tiny orifices on the side.
Inviseam (Invisible Seam)
An Inviseam is a so-called non-visible seam, i.e. the overlapping of the two ends of the Laminate is kept as little as possible so that the seam is virtually “invisible” after the manufacture.
Caps & threads
The fractal thread is a special quick opening thread for which ESSEL has obtained registered protection as a patent. This thread was further developed from the normal S13 thread. It is predominantly used for tubes to be filled with oral hygiene products.
The S13 thread is a standard thread available on the market. It is predominantly used for tubes to be filled with oral care products or technical filling goods.
M15 thread (M 15 x 1.5)
The M15 thread is a metric thread. This standard thread is available on the market and predominantly used for tubes to be filled with cosmetic products.
TR22 thread (TR 22 x 3)
The TR22 thread is a standard thread available on the market and used predominantly for larger diameters (50 mm).
This thread is not a really a thread. It is exclusively used for picture-oriented flip top caps which are not screwed on but pushed onto the tube so that it can afterward neither be moved nor removed any more.
This is a conically formed and riffled screw cap which does not cover the whole shoulder.
The stand-up cap is a cylindrical and shoulder covering screw cap. This cap is available with smooth or ribbed surface depending on diameter and thread. In some fields of application further options are available, such as mat surface, rounded edges and different cap heights.
The flip top cap is a hinged cap which is not unscrewed from the tube but has an orifice for the discharge of product which is opened by opening the hinged upper half of the cap.
A sponge applicator is a cylindrical ribbed cap. The sponge applicator head is covered by a cap which must be removed to use the sponge which is perforated towards the inside of the tube. The filling good is pushed through the perforation into the sponge. The sponge serves for applying the filling good evenly to different surfaces. Sponge applicators are used mainly for technical purposes (e.g. application of shoe polish, ski wax etc.).
For some tubes ESSEL offers a nozzle which is delivered as a ready to use attachment and screwed on to a standard M15 thread.