Plastic tube sealing machines are used in a production line to hermetically seal plastic tubes containing various liquid or gel products, including food ingredients, cosmetics, glues and pharmaceutical creams and medication.
Plastic tubes are sealed in a number of ways depending on the type of tube material and the product contained within the tube. Sealing methods include hot-air sealing, ultrasonic sealing, impulse sealing and hot-jaw sealing options.
For example, composite tubes are made with a combination of thin aluminium and plastic materials layered together to form a strong, flexible tube. These types of tubes are commonly used as toothpaste tubes, which are probably the most popular types of tubes purchased every day by consumers from shops and supermarkets.
Hot air plastic tube sealing is by far the most popular method of sealing tubes. There are countless uses for hot air sealed tubes in laboratories, medical production lines, for creating new product samples in R&D departments and for use with products where using heat sealing will not negatively affect or damage the product being sealed in the tube.
Hot air sealing is ideal for collapsible tubes made from laminate. These are tubes formed from laminated plastic with a cap applied to one end and the other end of the tube left open to be filled with product and then have the ends melted with hot air and clamped tightly together to form an air-tight seal.
The tube acts as a safe container for the product held within, keeping out air and external contaminants that could spoil the content. For example, liquid glue that will harden on contact with air will need to be sealed in an air-tight tube that prevents the glue from leaking and also protects the liquid glue from air exposure.
The tube filling and sealing process
Empty tubes are carried to a tube filling machine open-ended and held in a hopper for automated feeding into the filling machine. In some cases, open-ended tubes may be added to filling machines by hand for smaller runs and test sample production. Some production lines use high-speed robotic machinery to load tubes into the filling machine pucks.
Once a tube is placed upright with its open end up into a puck, a nozzle is lowered into the open end of the tube to blow ionised air into the tube to remove debris, which is then removed by vacuum.
The tube is then ready to be filled and a nozzle will lower into the open end of the tube to dispense the product cleanly, maintaining itself just about the product level in the tube to avoid contact with the product and to keep the sealing area of the tube clean and free of any product splashes.
Once the tube is filled with the correct amount of product, it will be moved to a plastic tube sealing machine where hot air is carefully blown around the open end of the tube to soften the plastic.
The tube will then go on to be sealed where sealing jaws will clamp the warm plastic walls of the tube together. Because the end of the tube has been warmed by hot air, the two walls will weld together keeping the two sides together and sealing the tube closed.
Hot sealing jaws can often be fitted with changeable character stamps to imprint a batch code, creation date or use by/expiry date into the crimped plastic seal.
The tube will then go on to be trimmed where any excess plastic will be cut away from the seal to leave a clean aesthetic look and finish to the tube. Finished tubes can then go on to be inspected before being packed into any further packaging, such as boxes or branded packaging.
No matter what sort of tube packaging solution you are looking for, MSD has years of plastic tube filling and tube sealing machine knowledge under their belt.
We strive to deliver the highest quality of new and refurbished tube filling and tube sealing machinery to buy or to rent, plus all of the change parts you will need to keep your machines working and productive for years to come.
Contact our friendly team for more information.