The Flutes And Walls Of Cardboard Boxes

Published: 29th November 2011
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Nearly all boxes for shipping are cardboard boxes because they are robust and they come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. They are also made in different grades so it can contain every kind of package from light to heavy items.

In fact, over a thousand years ago, ancient architects have known that an arch with the proper curve is the strongest way to span a given space, which led to the inventors of cardboard boxes to have used that same principle on paper.

Cardboard boxes or corrugated boxes has two main parts: the linerboard and the medium. The linerboard is the flat portion of the box which you can see that adheres to the medium, while the medium (or flutes) is the wavy paper in between the linerboards.

The combination of the parts mentioned above create the corrugation that can support a great deal of weight as the space between the flutes acts as a cushion, resistor, and insulation to protect the box's contents from external pressure and bending.

You can see this structure when you look at the edge of the flap of the box.

The Flutes

Flutes come in many sizes and are determined by the distance from the bottom to the top of a single flute or the number of flutes per foot. Or course, the larger the flute profile is the greater strength and cushioning it can deliver.

Flutes come in several standard shapes or flute profiles (A, B, C, E, F, etc.): A-flute was the first to be developed; B-flute was the next and is much smaller than A-flute; C-flute followed and is between A and B in size.

In addition to these profiles, new flute profiles—both larger and smaller than those listed here—are being created for more specialized boards. But generally, larger flute profiles deliver greater vertical compression strength and cushioning, while smaller profiles provide better resistance to process and printing crush.

Different flute profiles can be combined in one piece of combined board. For instance, in a triple wall board, one layer of medium might be A-flute while the other two layers might be C-flute. Mixing flute profiles in this way allows designers to manipulate the compression strength, cushioning strength and total thickness of the combined board*.

The Walls

When discussing box strength the first aspect to look at is wall density. Wall density is most commonly described as single, double, and triple wall. The more walls there are the stronger a box becomes.

Single Face: One medium is glued to one flat sheet of linerboard; Single Wall: The medium is between two sheets of linerboard. Also known as Double Face; Double Wall: Threesheets of linerboard with two mediums in between; Triple Wall: Four sheets of linerboard with three mediums in between.

As you can see, the flutes and the walls structures the cardboard boxes why they are sturdy. And when you need to purchase cardboard boxes for shipping, you will learn that the Internet has a plethora of companies offering the item and in different sizes and colors. When you only need a piece or two, you can head straight to a nearby Kinko's, Staples, or Office Depot. But if you are buying wholesale boxes for shipping, you can directly contact wholesalers. Again, you can look it up online which one is nearest to you.


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The writer, A. Hunter, is an online associate for a Chicago-based packaging company offering wholesale cardboard boxes for shipping. She's currently reading the Game of Thrones by George RR Martin and selling wholesale cardboard boxes for shipping over Ebay.

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* http://www.fibrebox.org/Info/WhatIsCorrugated.aspx

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