Ace Packaging

How Are Cardboard Tubes Made?

Unveiling the Art and Science Behind Cardboard Tube Production

Cardboard tubes, commonly known for their utility in packaging and mailing, are created through a fascinating process. This article delves into the intricate steps involved in their production, exploring the materials used, manufacturing techniques, and the wide range of applications for these versatile products.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the world of packaging design and explore the various components that make it such a fascinating field. Plus, we’ll introduce you to some amazing packaging solutions to help your brand stand out from the competition.

Key Takeaways

1Trimming large cardboard sheets into narrow ribbons
2Applying adhesive coating
3Wrapping around a mandrel
4Adding multiple layers for strength
5Customization for specific uses

The Manufacturing Process

Cardboard tubes are typically made from wood pulp processed into various forms of cardboard, such as paperboard, fibreboard, and kraft paper. The process involves several key steps:

  1. Trimming and Preparing Cardboard Sheets: The production begins with large sheets of cardboard which are cut into narrow ribbons​​.
  2. Application of Adhesives: These ribbons are then coated with an adhesive before being diagonally wrapped around a custom-sized mandrel. This process is crucial for the tube’s durability​​.
  3. Layering for Strength: Depending on the required strength of the tube, multiple layers of cardboard can be added. This spiral winding technique ensures resilience and durability​​​​.

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Customisation and Uses

Cardboard tubes are highly customisable. They can be made with various levels of thickness and structural strength, based on their intended use, ranging from lightweight mailing tubes to heavy-duty packaging solutions​​.

  1. Heavy-Duty Applications: For more robust requirements, such as water-resistant tubes, special adhesives and interior seals are incorporated. Additional oven curing may be employed for extra strength​​​​.
  2. Design and Aesthetics: The tubes can include colourful, custom-printed outer layers, particularly for food packaging or gift packaging​​​​.
  3. Sealing Methods: Typically, the ends of the tubes are sealed with plastic plugs or by folding the edges in, taking into account the tube’s wall thickness and closing space​.

Environmental Considerations

Sustainability is a key aspect of cardboard tube manufacturing.

  1. Eco-Friendly Material: Cardboard tubes are often made from recycled paper, contributing to their status as a cost-effective and environmentally friendly packaging alternative​​.
  2. Reduced Carbon Footprint: Compared to plastic, cardboard has a significantly lower carbon footprint, making it a more sustainable choice​​.
  3. High Recyclability: Cardboard tubes are widely recyclable and have a higher recycling rate compared to plastic​​.

Innovative Reuse of Cardboard Tubes

Beyond their initial purpose, cardboard tubes offer numerous possibilities for creative reuse, further enhancing their environmental appeal:

  1. Office Supply Organisers: They can be used to create desk organisers.
  2. Home and Garden Uses: Cardboard tubes are great for organising cables, starting garden seeds, or even as bird feeders.
  3. Creative Crafts: From gift boxes to firestarters, the potential for craft projects is vast.


Cardboard tubes are not just simple packaging materials; they represent a world of ingenuity, sustainability, and versatility. From the precise manufacturing process to their widespread applications and potential for reuse, they are a testament to human creativity and environmental consciousness.

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