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Poster tubes will be discussed in detail in this article. It provides more details on the following topics:

  • Poster tube principle
  • Types of poster tubes
  • Application of poster tube
  • Pros and cons of poster tubes

1. What is a poster tube?

This chapter discusses what a poster tube is and what it does.

1) Definition

Poster tubes are hollow prisms that are commonly used to transport rollable, frameless artwork, important documents, or long, thin materials. They also carry items such as large documents, blueprints, and flag banners. They are widely used because they offer substantial protection against bending, crushing, denting, dropping, and dents due to rough handling during shipping.

Many poster offices, office supply stores, and dropshipping companies sell poster tubes at relatively low prices. They also come in a variety of sizes to accommodate the various lengths and widths of items that need to be transported. Boxes made of cardboard do not protect fragile paper products as well as poster tubes. This is because their circular shape resists and distributes pressure and stress evenly, while their dense, thick walls provide extra protection for the contents.

Some poster tubes come in beautiful designs and have good properties. For example, some are waterproof and covered with a layer of polyester canvas. This protects the contents from damage caused by liquids or spills. Additional tubes feature shoulder straps and zipped compartments.

2) Design and use of poster tubes

The poster tube is made from wood pulp fibers and has a cylindrical shape that is versatile. Cardboard material consists of several layers, which are cut into strips and coated with adhesive wrappers or fibers for reinforcement, then wrapped at a constant angle around a mandrel of the desired shape. Finally, the long paper tubes are adjusted and cut to size. It is very important to select the correct size poster tube before shipping the intended content.

Carrying a small package in a large tube can damage the package as it has room to move back and forth during transit and damage the edges. Small tubes, on the other hand, cannot be used to transport large packages, as this would cause accidental folding and possible tearing of the contents inside.

Optimal tubing should be slightly longer than the rolled product. The ends of the tubes are plugged with caps that snap on or stick on, and they’re usually made of plastic, wood, or thick sheet metal. Some custom-designed tubes can use vellum to provide beautiful text, designs, colors, and images.

Design and use of poster tubes

2. Types of poster tubes

Packaging and shipping materials are constantly evolving to meet ever-increasing technical requirements and different shipping methods. Initially, long items that needed to be shipped were boxed or wrapped in paper in the hope that nothing would be damaged in transit.

The modern poster tube has been perfected to meet the demands of today’s shipping. To accommodate different lengths and widths, these tubes come in different shapes and sizes. These tubes offer increased sturdiness and durability which makes them successful in various modes of transportation.

1) Telescoping poster tube

Telescoping poster tubes, also known as adjustable tubes, are retractable and can extend their length to accommodate other objects of different sizes, such as maps, documents, banners, parts, and posters. These poster tubes are made of thick cardboard walls wrapped around them.

Telescoping tubes are usually a tube within a tube inside another tube. The inner tube slides easily in and out of the outer tube to calculate the length of the object that needs to be transported. Metal rods, long industrial parts, and other long objects can be transported easily in telescoping poster tubes due to their durability and sturdiness. Additionally, these tubes can be custom-made to fit any given length. Labels or tape are taped to the joints between the tubes to prevent the tubes from retracting.

Telescoping poster tube

2) Snap-to-seal poster tube

Snap-seal poster tubes are also known as crimp-end mailing tubes. They are known for eliminating the need for tape and end plugs. For a snap-seal poster tube, one end is crimped and the other is left open. Anything to be transported slides in through the open end until the tube is full. The open end also curls when there is no more room for other items.

Of all the poster tubes used, snap seal poster tubes are the most economical, yet they still retain the strong and rigid construction common to other poster tubes. You can easily open and close the poster tube’s closed end, saving time and creating a tight seal. Snap seal poster tubes are usually made of wound vellum glued onto a mandrel. They are usually between a few inches and four feet (1.2 m) in length.

Snap-to-seal poster tube

3) Triangular poster tube

Triangular poster tubes are manufactured in the same way as boxes, the difference is in the shape. The tubes are die-cut with flaps, then folded and glued to form triangles. The main advantage of the triangular poster tube is that it lays flat and will not shift, roll, or move during transport. In most cases, they are made of corrugated cardboard with flaps.

Like snap-on glands, they range in length from a few inches to four feet. The three sides of the triangular prism also have different widths to suit the specific requirements of the product. The size of the tube opening also depends on the width of the triangle dimension. Often, one side will be made larger to serve as the bottom of the tube to increase its stability during transport.

Triangular tubes can be opened in a variety of ways compared to wound cylindrical tubes. In one of these cases, the tube can be opened at both ends, with three flaps overlapping to close the tube. Items to be transported are placed in the tube by sliding in through one open end, just like a cylindrical tube.

Another way to open is the same as the box with a flip and lid. In this configuration, one side of the tube acts as a cap. The ends of the tubes look like the ends of the box and are tightly sealed and glued for strength when closed during shipping. Items to be shipped are fed through one side of the tube, then the lid is closed and tapped. Different types of tube opening configurations allow the tube to be adjusted to precisely meet the needs of the product.

Triangular poster tube

4) Poster tube with plastic stopper

Plastic Plug Poster Tubes are another alternative to snap mailer tubes. They are made using the same method as snap poster tubes but with a plug inserted into one end in place of the snap. They are wound on a mandrel with overlapping layers of kraft paper. Plastic plug poster tubes come in a variety of different designs depending on the type of plug used.

Plastic Stopper Poster tubes can be closed with a permanent metal stopper, a cardboard lid, a permanent stopper made of plastic, or a removable stopper at one end. The end plastic plug or the type of plug depends entirely on the manufacturer and the design of the tube.

Additionally, plastic stopper tubes are available in various lengths and diameters. They are usually up to several feet in length and up to ten inches (25 cm) wide in diameter. Plugs in this design are usually pressed into the tube to create an impermeable seal to keep out dust, water, dirt, and other contaminants.

Poster tube with plastic stopper

5) Metal poster tube

Metal poster tubes are an alternative to plastic stopper tubes. This type is permanent and more durable than its plastic counterpart. Unlike plastic plugs, metal plugs can be wedged into poster tubes’ end holes. Another type of metal plug is self-clamping or self-locking, which is permanently attached to the end of the poster tube after insertion with a mallet.

One end of the metal bung tube is accessible and the other end is permanently plugged. Plugs are made of durable, long-lasting materials and are versatile. Also, they vary in diameter from 1 to 9 inches (2.54 to 22.86 cm). In the poster tube packaging industry, plastic, metal, or any other form of stoppers are known as closures and are designed to meet the different shipping needs of various applications.

Metal poster tube

6) Curled poster tubes

Crimped poster tubes are also known as crimped cans. It has telescoping tubes with two or three interchangeable pieces, and sometimes one-piece tubes as well. In one design of the roll-up poster tube, the circumference is folded inward, and a round piece of heavy paper or cardboard is glued on top of the roll-up.

In a two-piece adjustable curl poster tube, the stretch piece is curled and sealed with a sheet of cardboard or paper. The three-piece crimped end is replaceable and has a single tube with no seal at the end. It comes in two crimped tubes that are crimped at one end and sealed.

Curled poster tubes

7) Paper cap poster tube

Paper cap poster tubes are one of the oldest forms of poster tubes. Its ends are usually paper-shaped cups placed at the ends of the tube. Kraft paper is used to make the end caps strong and one of the ends is secured with glue or staples. The cap on the other end can be slid off to load the tube.

Paper cap poster tube

8) Square poster tube

The square poster tube is constructed the same as the box and is die-cut. They can be opened at one end like long boxes, or on the side like any other box. Like the triangle poster tube, the square poster tube lays flat, and other poster tubes or items can be easily stacked without moving or shifting.

These tubes can be made of white-coated cardboard or corrugated cardboard, they are durable and can withstand the stress of shipping. After being shaped during the manufacturing process, the tubes are shipped flat to the intended user, who then folds them and secures them with tape or glue.

Square Poster Tube

3. Application of poster tubes

This chapter discusses the application of poster tubes.

1) Valuable confidential documents

Very important valuables are shipped in poster tubes. Poster tubes are designed for transporting items such as maps, blueprints, expensive artwork, or classified documents. These valuable documents are inserted into tubes for better protection during transport from accidental bending, folding or damage. Tubes can be sealed to prevent damage from spills, rough handling and sometimes overpacking of tough goods.

2) Maps, blueprints and paperwork

Another great use for poster tubes is to store important paperwork. Maps and blueprints are stored safely in poster tubes and packaged on shelves and boards. To prevent water or any liquid from damaging important documents, the custom-made tube is waterproof. Also protects stored files from termites and other pests that destroy or eat them. Unframed paintings can be stored in poster tubes until delivered to intended users. Paintings and blueprints require near-mint conditions, so tubes prevent the paper from folding.

3) Arts and crafts

Some designs cannot be packed inside a box or any other packaging medium. Poetry and crafts are priceless and fragile, so extra care needs to be taken when storing and transporting them. Poster tubes provide structural support and extra strength to keep crafts and artwork safe.

Modern banners are stored in poster tubes when not in use and the tube is rolled out when in use. Long, thin devices such as radio antennas were housed in tubes because they were easily damaged when folded and handled roughly.

4) Theater and movie sets

Props used during theater and film productions require poster tubes for storage and preservation. These tubes can be labeled, organized, and neatly packed without worrying about items being damaged.

5) Firework mortar tube

These tubes are designed to be good supports for pyrotechnics. The large-scale fireworks display adopts a tubular arrangement, which can be automatically detonated continuously without igniting them one by one.

6) Construction work

A poster tube can be used as a base layer. Cardboard tubes can be used to stack building materials and hold them in place before going through the building process. They are often used in areas where ground relief is expected and they are designed to retain their circular shape even after the pouring process.

7) Tree planting and seedling raising

In a controlled environment, poster tubes can be used to grow trees and other plants. Seedlings grow inside the tubes, and compost, manure or other prerequisites for plant growth are collected to nourish the plants.

8) Pack a camping backpack

Cardboard tubes are very important to greatly simplify the packaging of your survival camping kit. It saves space and allows other essentials to be packed, which is an adding value to a hiker or camper

Pack a camping backpack

4. Pros and cons of poster tubes

This chapter discusses the pros and cons of poster tubes.

1) Benefits of poster tubes

The benefits of poster tubes include:

#1. Eco-friendly

A growing number of companies and retailers looking to avoid plastic are looking for alternatives for their product organization and packaging. Being of cardboard, paper poster tubes are completely eco-friendly, plastic-free, and biodegradable, reducing your environmental impact. The carbon footprint in the atmosphere is greatly reduced, improving overall health and quality of life.

With the increasing global awareness of plastic pollution and environmental protection, customers often choose to live a green lifestyle and further integrate it into their purchasing behavior. Because of this, a company that offers recyclable and sustainable packaging has an advantage over competitors that don’t offer eco-friendly products. Customers will view the product as a “green” choice.

#2. Security

As mentioned earlier, cardboard tubes are made from paper and cardboard, making sure the product is safe, natural, and non-toxic. This is very important if the tube is to hold food (dietary supplements, protein powder, or milk), beverages (coffee, tea bags, or loose-leaf teas), cosmetics, beauty products, or other personal care items (such as lip balm, Deodorant or bar soap. There is no need to worry about the packaging material contaminating, poisoning, or corroding the contents inside.

#3. Sturdy

Poster tubes are also naturally sturdy. Since the tubes are helically wound with multiple layers of cardboard, they become durable, strong, and physically unbreakable. Custom thick cardboard walls provide premium cushioning and protection for delicate and fragile items such as glass round bottles, cosmetic cream jars, wine bottles, glass candle containers, or other products during shipping and handling.

#4. Save weight and space

Compared to wood, metal, and glass, paper is relatively lightweight. For packaging spices and seasonings, more and more brands are using cardboard shaker tubes instead of glass shaker jars. This is because cardboard cans are very lightweight and cheap to manufacture.

Moreover, the cylindrical shape of these tubes saves even more space, especially when packing blueprints, posters, certificates, drawings, or other important documents. This property ensures that many items can be shipped in one tube, saving on shipping costs.

Save weight and space

#5. Cost-effective

Compared to glass, metal, PET, and wood, paper is not only the lightest but also the cheapest raw material. A choice of post-consumer waste (PWC) or virgin paper stock can be selected based on packaging requirements, providing budget flexibility. In addition, rigid boxes require more labor and increase manufacturing costs; therefore, it is more advantageous to use poster tubes. Another advantage is that due to the tight packing in the tube, more products can be shipped at once, reducing the number of trips to complete the shipment and saving a lot of money.

#6. Customized

The key to gaining an edge in the modern competitive marketplace is branding. Using visual symbols such as logos, icons, taglines, and color schemes, brand identity can be established and defined on the poster tube. Cardboard Tubes are extremely flexible as they can be easily customized in terms of size, style, value-added finishes, and minimum order quantities for custom artwork design and printing.

To enhance marketing efforts and build brand awareness, cardboard poster tubes can be customized to meet specific specifications and match visual systems.

#7. Document protection

Poster tubes are a popular choice for shipping items because of their ability to protect those items from harm. These tubes give users peace of mind that their documents will reach their intended destination safely. Additionally, the files are rolled before being placed inside the tube to keep them from wrinkling or tearing.

#8. Stand-out emails

Depending on the nature of items being shipped to customers or businesses, mail may need to be different. Items shipped in plain, obvious envelopes may look like any other package a customer receives in the mail. However, the shipping tube is sure to make a statement.

If the mail is sent in a poster tube, the mail cannot be ignored. These mailboxes can be made of a variety of materials, usually cardboard, and can be further reinforced with other materials to protect the contents inside. It is also possible to customize these tubes with attractive visual graphics and printed information.

Stand-out emails

2) Disadvantages of using poster tubes

Despite their use, poster tubes do have a series of disadvantages that make them less popular. Disadvantages of poster tubes include:

#1. High shipping cost

The high load-carrying capacity of poster tubes is well-known in the shipping industry. Because some tubes carry too much content, shipping companies charge more for shipping these tubes. The number of items that can be rolled and packed inside the tube for shipping maps and blueprints is not fixed. This means that transporters can charge astronomical prices for the transportation of pipes, whether they are full or not.

#2. Non-waterproof

Cardboard poster tubes are not naturally waterproof. There is no guarantee that the contents will not be soaked by liquid; if any liquid slips into the tubes, they will most likely be damaged. The process of waterproofing the pipes is complex and resource-intensive.

#3. Non-fireproof

Despite being used to protect documents and items, poster tubes have little or no fire resistance. Since they’re made of flammable cardboard paper, it’s hard to guarantee that the contents will survive a fire.

#4. An easy target for attackers

During a robbery, thieves know poster tubes contain valuable documents, making them easy targets.

Easy target for attackers

3) Points to note when choosing a poster tube

Poster tubes are useful for shipping blueprints, posters, banners, architectural drawings, artwork, vinyl car decals, and other paper that can be rolled into a cylindrical shape. These tubes can also be used to transport cylindrical items such as steel rods. However, since these tubes often carry valuables, the exact packaging must be carefully considered.

#1. Item size

The first and most important consideration is the size of the item. If the item has considerable height, the dimensions to be aware of are length, width, and height. The tube must be slightly larger than the item being transported. Some objects are irregular in shape and size, such as golf clubs, so measuring the overall length is important.

#2. Product weight

The weight of the contents is important because the best poster tubes must be determined in terms of thickness and strength. For example, if you need to transport a steel rod, consider using a thicker, stronger poster tube than the tube used to transport the documents. Triangular or rectangular prism tubes are ideal for heavier items because they have a stable base.

#3. Item fragility

For the consignment of fragile goods, be sure to choose a poster tube that can ensure the safety of the goods to the greatest extent. Poster tubes with padded inner walls are recommended so that the tough walls will not damage the fragile items inside.

5. Conclusion

Shipment of rollable, frameless artwork, important documents, and elongated items often involves the use of poster tubes, which are triangular, rectangular, or cylindrical containers with a hollow interior. They are also used to transport materials such as large sheets of paper, blueprints, and banners. These tubes are used so often because they do a good job of resisting damage from rough handling during shipping such as bending, pinching, dents, drops, or creases.

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