Widely used across the globe for product, display and shipping packaging, corrugated cardboard is in high-demand. The material has advanced specifications, high strength and can be manufactured in an almost limitless number of combinations. When you learn more about corrugated packaging, you’ll no longer regard a cardboard box as a basic item.
Types of Corrugated Boxes
Below are some of the most common types of corrugated boxes in manufacture, each with their own specific purposes:
Slotted Corrugated Containers
Each flap of a slotted container has the same length, from the score to the edge. These are the most common type of corrugated box, suitable for shipping small, single items including mugs, books and photo-frames.
Corrugated trays are designed to hold rather than enclose items. These boxes are commonly used for shelf-ready and display packaging, to provide easy handling and speed up the manufacture to shelf process. You’ll notice this packaging in shops and supermarkets, holding products such as tins, drinks and snack foods.
Half-slotted Corrugated Containers
These containers are similar in style and shape to regular slotted containers but they only have a single set of flaps. This means that the opposite side of the box is left open, allowing it to slide easily over an item. This type of packaging is most commonly used for large and heavy objects such as washing machines and refrigerators.
Custom Die Cut Corrugated Boxes
These boxes are designed to match the specifications of the product they contain. They often include specific compartments to hold small electrical components and cosmetics, cut out handles for carrying wine and so on.
Full Overlap Corrugated Boxes
These boxes are designed with outer flaps that overlap the entire width of the box for extra protection during handling and transport. This type of packaging is also ideal for heavy items such as washing machines and refrigerators which require extra support.
Roll-end Truck Top
These simple boxes are unglued and require only folding for assembly. Often much longer than they are wide, truck tops are ideal for the transport of narrow, light items such as coffee, vitamins and jewelry.
Corrugated Box Flute Types
The flutes of a corrugated box are the waves of cardboard used in a corrugated sheet to provide its structure – the arrangement is called corrugation. These flutes provide reinforcement to give the board its strength, shape and rigidity appropriate for stacking and transport. They also insulate to protect products from temperature changes and moisture. The sheets run parallel to the depth of the box and are available in a range of sizes to suit different products.
Here’s a guide to the most commonly used corrugated flute types:
• B flutes have a thickness of 0.125 inches and a structure of up to 50 flutes per foot. They provide the second highest arch size of all flute types, superior stacking strength and resistance to crushing. These flutes are most widely used in corrugated packaging for tinned foods and point of sale displays.
• C flutes have a structure of up to 34 flutes per foot and measure at approximately 0.172 inches. They are very commonly used in corrugated packaging for products such as glass and furniture that require cushioning and stacking protection. This material also provides more sufficient printing properties than A or B flutes.
• E flutes are one sixteenth of an inch thick and have a structure of 94 flutes per foot. As the profile of this board is very thin, it reduces the size of the box for extra storage saving. E flutes provide the best surface properties for printing and the most crush resistance out of all flute choices, making this type of board a popular choice for custom, die-cut boxes.
Sarah Davies is a shelf-ready packaging and point of sale display packaging specialist at Diamondpak, a leading corrugated packaging manufacturer in the UK.