Guidelines about Sonotube and choosing the right one


A high-quality heavy-duty cardboard structure into which concrete is poured to get a smooth-sided column is called as ‘Sonotube’. The tubes have a smooth interior to ensure a flawless column wall finish and have to be able to withstand the pressure of concrete. They are extremely strong in cylinder form and also along with this they are made up of spiral wound fiber layers and adhesive bonding.

Sonotube provides affordable and efficient method of producing a variety of sizes of columns. These concrete columns are used in a wide variety of applications. For parking lot lamps, streetlights, street signals, and deck posts, short and wide columns are often used as bases. Meanwhile, for external decoration or roof support around buildings, foundational support in basements and warehouses, and many others, tall columns are used.

As they have incredible strength-to-weight ratio and cost-efficiency there are many other uses also that have been found for sonotube. As the cardboard walls don’t absorb the sound waves and so are an ideal material choice, sonotubes are also been used to construct sound cabinets.


The overall design of the structure, local building codes, the soil characteristics of the project site, and other details matter a lot. These are some things on which the choice of right material and design to support a given system for any structure depends. A licensed and experienced architect analyses all these highly technical aspects. Even an engineer familiar with your construction project can be included. Precise answers and insights can only be offered by such experts.

-The maximum rate of pour

A standard wall sonotube and a 20-foot long heavy wall commercial sonotube are designed to be filled in one lift with no restrictions on pour rate. Still, to achieve the best results, it is recommended to use multiple short lifts to equate vibration. Hire a technical assistant for concrete columns for more than 20 feet.

-Fire rating for sonotube

Sonotubes are not fire rated. As their intended use is temporary and single-use concrete forms should be removed from the job site once the project is completed.

Can Sonotubes be used in water?

Sonotubes are not supposed to be exposed to stagnant water for a long period. Though Sonotubes are made with patented water-resistant tech. Sometimes you can’t avoid placing them in water but the performance isn’t guaranteed. It is recommended to use Sonotube Commercial form by sealing the bottom edge of the sonotube with duct tape, and complete the concrete pour not more than 4 hours after the Sonotube has been exposed to water. This only happens if groundwater seeps into the specific hole you plan to install a Sonotube.

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