Corrugated Boxes: A Technical Overview
Learn about how corrugated became the obvious choice in protective packaging and what you need to know to select the perfect box.
It's important to understand the history of corrugated and product specifications so you can make an informed decision on what's appropriate for your packaging and shipping needs.
Nov. 7, 2016 - When it comes to protecting products during shipment, the corrugated box is the most common choice for companies around the world. As a company dependent upon safe shipment of products and supplies, it's important to understand the history of corrugated and product specifications so you can make an informed decision on what's appropriate for your packaging and shipping needs.
History of Corrugated
Corrugated was originally made in England as a liner for tall hats in the 1850's. It was not patented to be used as a shipping material until the 1870's and was not developed into corrugated box form until the 1890's. These early corrugated boxes were initially used for packaging glass and pottery containers. Wells Fargo was the first to test these boxes for light express deliveries in New York City. The demand for corrugated board ballooned after World War II, especially after the kraft process was developed in the South that made the pulp stronger and less expensive. By the 1970s, almost every product in the US was shipped in a corrugated fiberboard shipping container.
Corrugated Product Specifications
Corrugated fiberboard can be specified by the construction (single face, single wall, double wall, etc.), flute size, burst strength, edge crush strength, flat crush, basis weights of components (pounds per thousand square feet, pounds per square inch, etc.), paper weights, and surface treatments and coatings. The combination of these elements determine the box's overall strength and crush resistance.
Corrugated can be constructed multiple ways, based on its intended use.
- Single Wall: Standard corrugated comprised of single fluting with two liners.
- Double Wall: Suitable for packaging heavier goods — this adds an additional layer of fluting and liners to single-wall construction.
- Triple Wall: To package extremely large and heavy items (like large machine parts), triple wall boxes add yet another fluting and liner.
The flute sizes refer to the number of flutes per linear foot. The most common flute size in corrugated boxes is “C” flute.
The full article, including information on fluting specifications, box design, box weight, and more is available on Pratt Industries website:
SOURCE: Pratt Industries