Step-in to know the out-of-box information

Corrugated boxes are everywhere. This box packaging is generally used as tertiary or transit packaging and assumes that all products are packed in corrugated boxes.

A myth is percolating in the market – cardboard is a corrugated fiberboard or box.

NOPE, cardboard is like a paper having a GSM of more than 200, but corrugated fiberboard has corrugation paper between the kraft paper.

Corrugated fiberboard or boxes is one of the most versatile packaging options for all conceivable products. It has moved away from traditional box concepts to an integrated packaging system.

The most dynamic adaptation is only in this corrugated fiberboard packaging, such as giant corrugated boxes for furniture, appliances packaging, meat boxes, ice-cream boxes, phone box packaging, fruits, and vegetable packaging, etc.

Early theories

It seems the beginnings of corrugated fiberboard boxes date back to China, approximately three or four thousand years ago. During the second century B.C., the Chinese of the Han Dynasty would use sheets of treated Mulberry tree bark (the name used for many trees in the genus Moras) to cover and conserve foods. This particular is unsurprising, believing the Chinese are credited with the invention of paper during the Han Dynasty, possibly even around the same time (the earliest paper ever found was an inscription of a map found at Fangmatan in the Gansu province).

Early 19th Century

In 1871, Albert Jones discovered an ingenious way to Improve Paper for Packing in the late eighteenth century. He took a piece of paper. Convoluted it into a series of flutings by moistening it and passing it between two hot corrugated rolls. What he ends up – is a fluting paper.

Source: beacham journal

The thing of this invention is to supply compromises for securely packing vials and bottles with a single consistency of the packing material between the surface of the article packed; and it consists of paper, cardboard, or other suitable material, which is corrugated, crimped, or bossed, to present an elastic surface because of such fluted, crimped, or bossed texture, as will be from now on more fully described.

In the drawing, Figure 1 illustrates a section of such packing with one end turned up on the side of a vial to show the material’s end. Fig. 2 is a viewpoint view of a packing box created of corrugated material. Fig. 3 is an end outlook of a bottle-packing cylinder.

It protects the vial and is more effective in preventing breaking than many thicknesses of the same material if smooth like ordinary packing paper.

The discovery he went on to patent later is now called corrugated fiberboard, so-called corrugation or flutings—the packaging used for the packaging of fragile items such as glass.

In 1874, a fellow American named Oliver long discovered that when a flat sheet of paper was glued to one side of the corrugated paper, it kept its shape even when stretched and subjected to pressure. This invention we know today is single face corrugated, and now the real sense of corrugated industry has started.

After 4years, Robert Gair, also known as carton king, decided to add one-liner on the other side of corrugated; thus, a single wall corrugated was born.

In the drawings: Figure 1 represents the blank for the box; Fig. 2, a perspective view of the box set up, but with one of the end flaps loose; Fig. 3, a picture of the inside of one end of the box, the end flap is shown in its locked position. Fig.4 represents a modification of the invention applicable to the covers of boxes, &c.

In 1903, Langston patented double-faced corrugated and the first corrugator to run on today’s same basic principle.

This invention relates to specific improvements in machines for making corrugated paper and, more particularly, a product in? Including one sheet of corrugated paper and a facing sheet glued to the tops of the corrugations on one side thereof. This single-faced corrugated paper may constitute the complete article of manufacture made by my improved machine, or the product may pass on to another machine or another part of the same machine and have a second-facing sheet applied to the opposite surface thereof to make double-faced corrugated paper.

In 1926, Inland pioneered a 100% soft grade kraft liner, which provided more excellent tear and puncture strength. Inland developed a new corrugated contour, labeled as a C flute six years later.

After the development of corrugated fiberboard has taken a new step and full-on presence across the industry.

An in-depth analysis of the product the boxes can be helpful to achieve the secondary packaging:

  1. Weight of the product
  2. The material condition of the product
  3. Size of the product
  4. Design of the product
  5. Protection requirement
  6. Information required on the box
  7. The behavior of the product

 Type of corrugation

  1. The single facer consists of a liner to which a flute is glued. It is primarily used as protected padding for fragile items.
  2. Single wall corrugated – single wall corrugated consist of three elements – an outer liner,  a flute & an inner liner
  3. Double-wall corrugated – a double comprised of five elements – an outer liner, a flute, an intermediate liner, another flute & an inner liner

This type of corrugation can be called a five-ply corrugated board.

What is the paper for liner and flutes?

The paper industry could be classified into two categories: Paper and paperboard

Paper – where GSM lies below 200

PaperBoard – where GSM values above 200

Paperboard products include containerboard used to make corrugated and solid fiber boxes and box boards used to make folded cartons and rigid boxes.

Corrugated boxes are like a truss. A truss has three types:

  • top chord members
  • bracings
  • bottom chord members

Top chord members take compressive stress, and bottom chords take tensile stresses, whereas bracing is in the area of no stress. It is why the top and bottom chord members are heavier than bracing.

In the same way in corrugated fiberboard, the top and bottom liner should be heavier and more robust than the fluting medium.

The paper used for the corrugated boxes is broadly classified into two categories.

  1. Kraftliner
  2. Testliner

Kraft liner (Kraft means Strenght in german) is known for using virgin fiber. It is entirely unbleached and made from wood fiber by the sulfate process. The natural color is brown, which is derived from wood.

Testliner is made using recycled fibers.

Fluting types:

Flute Profile Pitch- mm Height – mm Flutes per meter Take-up factor
K 12.0 – 21.0 6.5 – 10.0 68 – 80 1.6 – 1.8
A 8 – 9.5 4.0 – 4.8 105 – 125 1.48 -1.53
C 6.8 – 8.0 3.2 – 4.8 105 – 125 1.42 -1.5
B 5.5 – 8.5 2.2 – 3.0 153 – 181 1.28 – 1.43
E 3.0 – 3.5 1.0 – 1.8 285 – 334 1.22 – 1.29
F 2.0 – 2.5 0.7 – 1.0 400 -509 1.18 – 1.21
N 1.5 -1.9 0.5 – 0.7 526 – 670 1.13 – 1.18

Application of flutes

The selection of an appropriate profile depends on the use of the packaging. It is well known that the broader flutes are used for the shipper boxes and narrower flutes for the smaller cartons for the unit packaging.

Load classification can be two types:

  1. Load along with the flutes – It is called as ECT (Edge crush test)
  2. Load perpendicular to the flutes – It is called a flat crush test.

Following test required for the transport worthiness of corrugated fiberboard or box

  1. Stacking test or static load test
  2. Vibration Test
  3. Horizontal Impact test
  4. Drop test
  5. Rolling test
  6. Compression test

With the test mentioned above, we can say the package is fully certified with the required parameters. Generally, this test is being followed for the U.N. certification, and all the government authorities followed them.



Vihaan Nagal

संवेष्टन अभियान्ता | Packaging Engineer | Verpackung Ingenieur *Free time blogger *Believe in packaging reform (say naa to orthodox packaging) My life lies between degradable and non-degradable material.

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