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New Kind of Tube Format

UFlex won two more Gold Awards (for Expanding the Use of Flexible Packaging and for Packaging Excellence) as well as a Silver Award (for Technical Innovation) for its Flexitube Package.

Flexi Tube

The other 2020 Flexible Packaging Achievement Award Winners are Innventure's AeroFlexx (Highest achievement)   |    UFlex Ltd.’s 4D Bag with Handle    |     Plastic Packaging Technologies’s Hill’s Recyclable Pet Treat Bag    |     Amcor Healthcare’s Insura Seal Verification     |     Printpack’s Paqui Tortilla Chip Pouch     |      Amcor Flexibles’ Predilecta Sacciali Jar Shaped Pouch     |    Glenroy’s Premade Standcap Inverted Pouches      |      ePac’s Skratch Labs Mosaic Packaging     |    Printpack’s Stacy’s Women’s History Month Package      |     Paxxus’ StreamOne  |  Silver Winners

This multilayer tube is positioned as a new and improved alternative to conventional laminate tubes. Precise details on how the layers come together and then how the tube is formed are scarce. But the schematic drawing below provides a fundamental understanding.

One key point of differentiation that Uflex claims for Flexitube is in the area of decoration. The outside layer—which can be either BOPP or polyester—is reverse printed using a gravure press, “providing true-to-life pictures and allowing reproduction of high-graphic images,” says Uflex in its FPA entry form. “It also enables 360-degree printing on the tubes—first time ever, enhancing the overall look of the tube.”

FlexiTube SchematicFlexiTube SchematicThe next layer in the Flexitube construction can be metallized PET or metallized PET with a holographic feature built in. Then comes the barrier layer, which can be any one of four options. And finally there is a sealing layer of PE.

The value proposition of this packaging format, says Uflex, is three-fold:

• Aesthetics—reverse-printing using gravure opens up options for graphic designers that didn’t exist before, and the use of matte films and holography brings additional opportunities to maximize shelf impact.

• Barrier—the barrier can be customized to specific product requirements, and barrier materials can be selected as stand-alone layers or in various combinations.

• Anticounterfeiting—features like holographic patterns, security strips, or fresnel lens effects can be built into the structure of the tube, making it virtually impossible to duplicate.

Uflex also says the Flexitube brings sustainability advantages because with less wall thickness it provides the same or better properties in terms of bursting strength and “bounce back” compared to conventional tube structures. As for commercial users, Costa Mesa, Calif.-based Bio Creative Labs has launched three 8-oz varieties of hair care products in the tubes.

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