While corrugated and cardboard boxes are commonly thought to be synonymous, they differ significantly in their structural composition. Cardboard typically comprises a single layer of either thick paper or dense paper pulp. In contrast, corrugated boxes are layered to create a lightweight yet robust material, making them highly versatile. Corrugated boxes are well-suited for customized or bulk shipping, offering reliable transportation for goods across countries or globally. Beyond shipping, corrugated fiberboard finds applications in areas such as retail displays and packaging.
This guide will help you understand the various corrugated box types that printers offer in the current market, and how to choose among them.
I. Board strength for packaging
You’ve got your graphics and design ready. But now it’s time to decide on two things; your board strength and board type. What do these words mean and which one do you go with? It’s one of our most asked questions. We get it; it can be a real head-scratcher.
It’s hard to talk about packaging without knowing more about board strength and board type (flutes). So, pull up a chair, and let’s discuss more the most essential part of corrugated material.
1. What does Flute mean
Flutes give strength and structure to boxes, serving as a protector, insulator, and cushioning device. Our system is set up to automatically select the flute options that will function best for your box size and style.
2. How to know which flute size to choose?
E-flute — Lighter
Our most popular flute size is also the smallest flute we offer. (Thickness of 1/16″) E-flute has a relatively flat surface, which makes it ideal for high-quality printing. This super-thin profile reduces outer box dimensions and can help save on storage space. It also provides the greatest crush resistance making it a good choice for glass, delicate instruments, cosmetics, liquor, food, high graphic displays, pet supplies, and point-of-purchase boxes. You will see this type of board used in our Earlock Mailer, One Piece Folder, Tuck Top Mailer, and Full Overlapping Carton.
B-flute — Middle-weight
B-flute is our second most used flute, being a good alternative to E-flute when wanting to support heavier items. With a thickness of 1/8″ and shorter flutes, this type of box still provides a rigid, flat surface for printing but also more rigidity than it’s bulkier cousin C-flute. You’ll often see this type of material in retail store displays. We’ve chosen to offer B-flute in our Earlock Mailer, One Piece Folder, Tuck Top Mailer, Full Overlapping Carton, Regular Slotted Carton and Display Header.
C-flute — Heavier
This guy is most commonly used for shippers with a thickness of 3/16″. It’s the most widely used in the world (about 80% of corrugated containers)! The flutes are taller here, giving C-flute somewhat better cushioning properties than B-flute. You are going to be able to pack heavier products with this board due to its crushing resistance and stacking strength. C-flute is used with our Regular Slotted Carton, Full Overlapping Carton, and Half Slotted Carton.
As you can see, several of our products come in more than one flute. And to make things just a little more complicated, many also come in different board strengths.
Our team will help you to determine the right type of board strength and type for your corrugated cardboard needs. Talk to us today and tell us about your requirements and we’ll take care of the rest.
II. Board types for packaging
Corrugated fiberboard is composed of fluted paper, a dense and undulating paper medium, affixed to a flat layer of linerboard. Both components are crafted from containerboard, and the strength of the corrugated fiberboard is influenced by the quantity of linerboard and fluted layers incorporated into its structure.
1. Single face cardboard
Single face. An optimal choice for interior packaging as it lacks the higher strength of other varieties, single-face boards feature exposed flutes with a corrugated medium glued to a single linerboard sheet.
2. Single wall cardboard
Single wall, also referred to as double face, represents the most prevalent type of board. Single wall boards feature two linerboard sheets with a corrugated medium glued between them.
3. Double wall cardboard
Double wall. A preferred packing material for more delicate goods for its extra protection, double wall boards consist of two layers of corrugated medium between three linerboard sheets.
4. Triple wall cardboard
Triple wall. This board has triple corrugated layering for increased durability and resistance to pressure, impact, and bending. Triple wall boards have four linerboard sheets with a total of three corrugated mediums in between each layer.
Also read: Business Card Design and Printing