The term cardboard typically refers to material with very thick, stiff paper, usually pale brown in colour, used especially for making boxes. Typical applications include backings of books, toilet roll cores, cereal boxes, milk cartons, gift boxes and other smaller consumer goods packages.
Many people use the word “cardboard” to refer to any type of paper packaging. But one thing we don’t realise is that, when we are talking about packaging engineering, we should be using the term, “corrugated.”
Corrugated material, on the other hand, is easy to identify. It consists of a fluted corrugated sheet and one or two flat linerboards. It is made on “flute lamination machines” or “corrugators” and is used in the manufacture of shipping containers and corrugated boxes. The most typical applications of corrugated are in shipping boxes packaging, retail displays, pizza delivery boxes and even some retail packaging.
One of the important functions of a corrugated box is to provide crush resistance (product protection) and adequate strength for stacking in warehouses. A box can be designed by optimizing the grade of corrugated board, box design, flute direction, and inner supports. (Click here to understand more on Carton Fluting and Carton Box Types) This comes back to the packaging engineers who would design the corrugated boxes based on particular needs of the product being shipped, the hazards of the shipping environment, (shock, vibration, compression, moisture, etc.), and the needs of retailers and consumers.
Customization of corrugated boxes are available on Yellowbox.com.
Just a snapshot of the types of corrugated boxes available:
What is Carton Fluting?
Corrugated fiberboard is a material consisting of a fluted corrugated sheet and one or two flat linerboards. These two linerboards sandwich a middle sheet that is in a wave-shaped A-pattern of arches known as flutes. These flutes are anchored to the linerboard with an adhesive.
Material strength for stacking, resistance to crushing, or suitability for other uses are contributed by the fluting element of corrugated cardboard. The types of fluting vary depending on the number of flutes included per foot, and how thick the fluting is.
There are many different sizes and varieties that need to be considered when choosing your corrugated box fluting. Generally, the larger the flute (A & B), the greater the strength and cushioning; the smaller the flute (D & E), the better the printability and foldability. There are variances across the industry in the range of flute sizes based upon the container characteristics as well.
There are five standard types of fluting:
A-Flute : A-Flute is the original fluting for corrugated boxes. With about 30-36 flutes per 30cm, it can be used for a double wall application or thick corrugated pad.
B-Flute : B flute provides the second highest arch size at about 44-50 flutes per 30cm. It has a good stacking strength and crushing resistance. Common packaging uses: food packaging, retail packaging, die cut inserts, and customized print packaging.
C-Flute : The C flute is an all-purpose flute that has about 36-42 flutes per 30cm. It is the most common flute amongst the rest and it provides good cushioning, stacking and printing properties. Common packaging uses: shipping cartons, master shippers and corrugated box displays.
E-Flute : E flutes are an environmentally friendly substitute for green packaging which has about 86-94 flutes per 30cm. Common packaging uses: retail packaging, printed corrugated box packaging, eco-friendly packaging.
F-Flute : F-Flute is also an environmentally friendly replacement to folding cartons. At about 124-132 flutes per 30cm, the F flute offers a very aesthetically pleasing and value-for-money look. It provides a solid structural packaging. Common packaging uses: custom printed and corrugated boxes, retail packaging.
Corrugated comes in different walls of construction:
Single face: One corrugated medium glued to one flat sheet of linerboard.
Single Wall: One corrugated medium glued between two sheets of linerboard aka Double Face.
Double Wall: Three sheets of linerboard with two corrugated mediums in between.
Triple Wall: Four sheets of linerboard with three corrugated mediums in between.
Carton Box Types
Packaging design includes shipping hazards such as vibration, shock, compression, and moisture. In addition to the particular needs of the consumers, packaging engineers have to consider the carton box types as well.
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