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Sonotube is a structure made from a preformed casing with waxed paper or lamination. It is used to form cylindrical columns. These round structures are used for entryways, light posts, buildings, structural columns and many other applications. There are different types of sonotubes to fit each application. The choice will depend on design of the structure, building codes, soil characteristics and other job specifications. Your building contractor or supplier will be able to help in the selection of the right materials and design for the support system.
The only area where the use of sonotube is limited is in standing water. The structures can only withstand water for about 24 hours. There are special forms that come with maximum strength that allows them to withstand wet conditions for 72 hours. In wet areas, the top should be covered so that the structure does not fill with water.
Two pieces of sonotube can be used together provided they have the same diameter. You just have to slit them vertically to fit together and then strap them above and below. You can either strap them or use sheet metal screws. Note that sonotubes are not fire rated since they are for temporary use only. They should be removed from the jobsite before the project is completed.
By using sonotube, you lessen the amount of concrete you use. And depending on the soil, you may not have to use any concrete. Sonotubes are readily available in the market from the local sonotube distributers.