12D Degradable Shelters

TUBEX 12D degradable tree shelters with Starch Biopolymer
TUBEX 12D degradable tree shelters with Starch Biopolymer

Tubex 12D Degradable tree shelter

TUBEX 12D Degradable Shelters

What is TUBEX 12D technology?

Tubex 12D DegradableTree Shelters in a Gerrman ForestTUBEX 12D is a biopolymer treeshelter. Whilst our traditional treeshelters are made from polypropylene, photodegrading from UV radiation; our new TUBEX 12D material contains a biopolymer and a catalyst which accelerates  degradation and reduces the reliance on UV degrading the material. The name 12D demonstrates customers receive all the benefits of a traditional shelter with the added  benefit of on site degradation. Our customers will still enjoy the same ease of installation of TUBEX, their trees will receive the same high level of protection and support, and 12D gives the added value of degrading on site.
Tubex 12D: 1) Install the sapling. 2) Establish the Tree D) Shelter degrqdes

The products that will be available in tubex 12D material include:

Service Life vs Degradation period

Our products will be offered in different service lives. The service life is the number of years the treeshelter will remain intact and perform as a treeshelter should; protecting, microclimate, light transmission.
TUBEX 12D material composition
We have 2 service life offerings;

  • 3Y – designed to degrade after approximately 3 years of service life
  • 7Y – designed to degrade after approximately 7 years of service life

The time frame in which the product will degrade will always be dependent on the environment it is in and degradation can take longer in more sheltered conditions. Many factors contribute to the degradation process, with the important ones being sunlight and bacteria. Sunlight is needed to break up the polymer chains whilst bacteria are needed to digest these small chains.
We expect with a 3Y product, around 3 years of service life, with around a further 3 years of degradation in typical northern European conditions.

Tubex 12D Shelters degrade over time to inert dust
Illustrative modelling of Tubex 12D degradation
process - degradation time varies

How does TUBEX 12D degrade?

TUBEX 12D has two elements of degradation. Firstly UV stabiliser is used to control the service life and stop premature degradation. The PP stops premature biodegradation of the biopolymer. Once the UV stabiliser has gone the product will start to degrade. The PP will start to photodegrade and this process is accelerated by the catalyst encouraging a reaction with oxygen. Once the PP chains shorten, they are ingested by fungi and bacteria ultimately making them biodegradable. At the same time the biopolymer is exposed to moisture, bacteria and fungi and will start to biodegrade.


What will it look like when it is degrading?

After its service life, the treeshelter will start degrading from top to bottom. The material will become brittle and eventually crumble. Bits will fall on the ground. As time passes, the pieces will continue to degrade.

Tubex 12D Tree Shelter degrading Tubex 12D Breaks down by UV degrading the starch biopolymer and the catayst breaks down the PP TUBEX 12D breaks down and crumbles into an inert dust

Images illustrating various stages of degradation through the products life in typical use conditions

Benefits vs Cost

TUBEX 12D gives you:

  • A shelter that has all the benefit of a traditional shelter (light transmission, microclimate, ventilation, protection, easy to install) with the added benefit of degrading over time
  • A product lifecycle (shelf life, service life, degradation period) to fit the needs of our customers
  • 3 and 7 year service life available across the range
  • More natural material – 30% biopolymer which comes from natural native resources
  • Reduces the need to remove shelters after tree establishment
  • Saving money on labour and ongoing maintenance
  • Degradation features reduce the need to recycle shelters

The data contained herein is supported by scientific research carried out in controlled environments. The performance of Tubex 12D is reliant on numerous factors which are outside Tubex's / Fiberweb Geosynthetics Ltd's control (such as the environmental conditions local to the tube's location) and for which Fiberweb Geosynthetics Ltd cannot be held responsible. For this reason Tubex / Fiberweb Geosynthetics Ltd makes no warranty or representation as to the performance of Tubex 12D and disclaims all warranties and representations whether express or implied to the maximum extent permitted by law.