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Packaging 101: Guide to Corrugated Packaging

Guide to Corrugated Packaging

One of the most important innovations in the history of packaging is corrugated cardboard. It is perhaps the most versatile tool in any business’ arsenal. It is durable, affordable, and can be used in countless ways. It can be utilized as primary, secondary, or tertiary packaging. Whether kept plain, with a logo, or printed in full color, this material is proven to be both highly functional and visually effective.

It’s important to differentiate between corrugated from cardboard. While both materials are used for custom packaging boxes, they are different both in composition and function. Cardboard is heavy-duty paper stock, which is suitable for transporting small lightweight items such as cosmetics, clothing, and other food items.

Corrugated material on the other hand, is built for strength and durability. It can be used for storage, transit, or even as primary packaging. What makes corrugated material strong is its multiple layers. At its most basic, corrugated cardboard is made of two layers: the liner and the fluted material. The liner is a flat piece of heavy-duty paper, and the fluted material is the corrugated or wavy piece that is glued to the liner. This comes in a variety of configurations that we will go into more detail below. With the help of the fluted layer, corrugated cardboard withstands and absorbs impact, much like how a car’s crumple zone works, ensuring that the products inside are protected from damage.

Types of Board Thickness

Corrugated cardboard comes in a variety of configurations, which determine its thickness and strength.

  • Single Face – One sheet of liner glued to one piece of fluted paper. This is typically used to wrap around products for protection during transit.
  • Single Wall – One piece of fluted paper glued in between two sheets of liner. The most popular configuration for corrugated cardboard.
  • Double Wall – Two pieces of fluted paper glued between three sheets of liner. Ideal for heavy products or shipping boxes.
  • Triple Wall – Three pieces of fluted paper glued between four sheets of liner. This is the strongest configuration for corrugated cardboard and is usually used for industrial applications.

The fluted material of corrugated cardboard also comes in various thicknesses. Flute profiles each have their own applications and advantages. At Packola, we offer B-flute and E-flute corrugated cardboard for custom boxes. Both offer excellent printability and shows your design in vivid, full-color detail. The thickness of your custom order is automatically assigned depending on the dimensions you choose. If you have a specific requirement, please contact us.

Flute Profile Flute Thickness Flute Application
A 3/16 Strongest. Best for plain use
B 1/8 Structurally strong with a good print surface
C 5/32 Structurally strong but not ideal for printing
E 1/16 Excellent printability. Flute lines are not visible
F 1/32 Best for full-color printing

Different Corrugated Box Styles

There are a wide variety of box types that use corrugated cardboard as the primary material. Here are some of the more popular ones:

  • Regular Slotted Container (RSC) –The most common type of box. All flaps are the same length. The outer flaps meet in the center, making it easy to seal.
  • Full Overlap Container - These are similar to the RSC but instead of the outer flaps meeting in the center, the flaps completely overlap. This adds security and protection for the package.
  • One Piece Folder – Works just like a regular folder. This is best used with books, photos, and documents that need an extra layer of protection. Design variations usually include locking mechanisms or handles.
  • Full Telescope Design – The box is comprised of two different pieces: a top and a bottom. The top part slides perfectly over the body of the bottom part, enveloping it. This gives extra protection to the sides of the package, making it perfect for fragile items like rolled artwork.

Order Your Corrugated Cardboard Boxes at Packola

At Packola, we offer a variety of custom boxes using corrugated cardboard. All of the material we use for our packaging boxes are sustainably-sourced and recyclable. Whether you need small product boxes for cosmetics or medicinal oils, mailers for subscription boxes, or shipping boxes to store inventory, we’re here to make your vision a reality.

Get Production Started: Choose Your Box Style