What is Corrugated Packaging?

Monday, February 7, 2022

When it comes to packaging, corrugated materials are one of the most prevalent and versatile options available. As a robust and adaptable material, corrugated cardboard is ubiquitous across retail, distribution, and warehousing as a packaging material. This blog post will discuss the various features and benefits that corrugated packaging has to offer.

Cardboard vs. Corrugated: What's the Difference?

Simply put, cardboard is a broad term referring to heavy paper stock that uses thicker pulp to create more rigid pieces. Corrugated cardboard is a sturdy form of carboard that uses three layers to add strength. Corrugated sheets consist of two liners sandwiching an internal fluted layer. This middle layer is usually the same material as the liner, but not always. The fluting of the inner layer helps to strengthen the overall sheet, which is what makes corrugated packaging so much more durable than standard carboard.

Basics of Corrugated Packaging

Here is a more detailed breakdown of the components of corrugated packaging: 

Flute Profiles

There are five main types of fluting used in corrugated packaging, with each referring to the specified thickness and number of flutes per foot. For example, A Flute is the original design and uses 33 flutes per foot. By comparison, F Flute is used for small boxes and has about 125 flutes per foot. The profiles are labeled A, B, C, E, and F.

Board Types

Corrugated packaging offers a variety of options involving fluted mediums and cardboard liners to suit different needs. The most common options include:

  • Single-face – A medium glued to one liner, leaving the flutes exposed on one side

  • Single-wall – Two liners encase one medium

  • Double-wall – Three liners with two mediums between

  • Triple-wall – Four liner sheets with three mediums

Board Grade

While the board type refers to the number of liners and mediums, the board grade indicates the strength of the material used for both components. Corrugated packaging falls into two primary categories: Edge Crush Test (ECT) and Mullen.

  • The ECT value of corrugated cardboard represents its ability to tolerate stacking in storage or transportation applications. 

  • A box’s Mullen value determines how much pressure a board can take before it breaks or gets pierced. 

Each category has multiple rankings to help you find the right option for your needs.

Benefits of Corrugated Packaging

There are plenty of reasons to use corrugated packaging for your business, such as:

  • Eco-friendliness. Although some corrugated varieties use virgin pulp made directly from new wood, most packages are made of recycled materials.

  • Customization. Manufacturers can design boxes to fit your specific needs.

  • Durability. Corrugated packaging is much stronger than standard cardboard and can withstand much more abuse.

  • Cost-effectiveness. Since so much corrugated packaging is recycled, it's often much cheaper than new materials.

Get Your Corrugated Packaging From Stamar Packaging

Stamar offers a vast selection of corrugated packaging and materials to fit any business need. For more information about our packaging solutions and capabilities, please contact us today.