Tube filling machine

Tube filling machine

Superior Sandbag System, an erosion control firm in Orange County, CA, have a new tube filling machine that fills continuous polypropylene tubing. So far it’s been used for erosion control, but it could be utilized to mass produce affordable housing. Steve Villa and Steve Williams, the owners of Superior Sandbag Systems, invented the process and received a US patent in 2000.

Sandbag material is available in 6,000-lineal-foot rolls. The Superior Sandbagging hopper can fill 240 feet of bag at a time without stopping. A two-person crew can fill and place 240 feet of tubing in 90 seconds. I can imagine this working very well on domes and roundhouses, where the machine drives around in a circle. Pneumatic tampers could probably keep up with the tamping. I hope they do some experimenting with this in their spare time and let us know the results.

Tube walls

Tube walls

Special thanks to Steve Davis for finding this bit of news. Steve maintains an extensive list of links on alternative architecture at Sandbag Architecture Links.


Tube Filling Machine — 14 Comments

  1. Please, a would like to know how much the complete Tube Filling Machine costs and if it can be F.O.B. Calexico, Ca… We will star constructing adobe houses with the earthbags.

    Also, we are interested in the Gravity Fed 4 Chute.

    Thank you very much,

  2. Check out our machine-it can be utilized on the side of a truck or with a telescopic telehandler for higher walls. For more information go to our website:

    • That’s real clever, but there are some problems if used for building earthbag (sand bag) houses. You can only place one tube at a time so you can tamp it and place barbed wire. Two tubes at once won’t work.

      • the machine can utilize either one or two sandbag tubes at a time-single layers can be accomodated-thanks for your response Surg

  3. I am the community development director on several projects we are starting in West Africa. We want to go with traditional african architecture (tribal huts) with modern day facilities. Since we are planning large numbers of homes. Reflecting the overwhelming need for proper housing, we are looking at faster, and more efficient methods of construction. The tube,sand bag filling machine looks real good to me. I would appreciate more information on this machine. Cost is always a factor as well as portability.
    Please e-mail me with prices and specifications also users of your machine and availability and delivery schedules.
    Thank you, George

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