Most boxes are made from corrugated cardboard. This type of cardboard is made from a fluted or waved piece of paper sandwiched between two flat pieces of paper.
There are three main types of corrugated cardboard you’ll come across when it comes to cartons.
Single wall – one layer of fluted board is sandwiched between two sheets of liner board. This would make a single wall cardboard carton.
Double wall – two layers of fluting that are glued to three layers of liner board. This would make a double wall cardboard carton, which is stronger than using single wall alone.
Triple wall – three layers of fluting are laminated with four liner boards. This would make a triple or tri-wall box – the most heavy-weight and durable of all boxes.
Fluting profiles: Fluting is the wavy or fluted piece of paper inside corrugated cardboard that helps to strengthen the boxes. It’s what creates the stripey grain like texture you would see when looking at a piece of cardboard.
It can vary in width and size and is often referred to by letter e.g., “B flute”. Single wall boxes will only have one type of fluting, but double and triple wall boxes may use multiple fluting profiles.
Board grades: The board grade refers to the weight, quality and type of material used to make the cardboard. Depending on the intended use of a box, the board weight will range from 90gsm to 300gsm.
The heavier the weight of the paper, the stronger the box will be. It’s worth noting that the GSM description of the board may relate to the performance of the board, and not the actual weight. In other words, it has the properties of a heavier material.
As well as the weight of the paper, you may also hear the words “kraft” or “test”. These terms relate to if the paper used in manufacturing is virgin material (kraft) or recycled material (test). Some boxes may combine both kraft and test cardboard.
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