Biopack - Corrugated cardboard packaging

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Corrugated Cardboard, Corrugated Cardboard Boxes, Corrugated Cardboard Packaging

Corrugated Cardboard - Emergence

  • 1871 - Corrugated cardboard ( paper ) without front layer was used for the first time by Albert L. Jones
  • 1874 - The term was brevetted in the U.S.A. The method of obtaining the corrugated cardboard was also brevetted, by Oliver Long
  • 1900 - Corrugated cardboard becomes widely used in packaging industry in the U.S.
  • 1930 - Corrugated cardboard reaches Europe through France, England and Germany
  • 1956 - First corrugated cardboard factory in Romania
  • 2006 - Project BIOPACK Romania is initiated

Corrugated Cardboard - Fabrication

Corrugated Cardboard is made out of 1 up to 4 layers of smooth paper and 1, 2 or 3 corrugated layers, composed of inferior or superior packaging paper, which are merged using adhesives. The resulting object is light and stable. The main element is obtained by associating or gluing together a flat layer with a corrugated one. Corrugated cardboards can have 1, 2 or 3 corrugated layers. The thickness of the final product depends on the size of the weaves (or flutes) and on how many layers overlap.

Corrugated Cardboard

Three blanks are used in manufacturing corrugated cardboard:

  • Corrugated sheet (core paper). There are four types of  core paper: Fluting, Kemifluting, Wellenstoff and Schrenz
  • Smooth paper sheet (lid paper). There are four types of Lid paper: Testliner, White Top Testliner, Ecokraft, Kraft
  • Adhesive (stark)

Fluting ( F) = corrugated paper, core paper
Schrenz (S) = low quality core paper and lid, made out of waste paper
Wellenstoff (W) = core paper made out of waste paper
Testliner natur (T) = lid paper made out of waste paper scraps or with high concentration of waste paper; it matches required characteristics; it may be mono or multi layered, in which case the front layer is made out of natural or bleached cellulose.
White top Testliner (A) = bleached lid paper (for the front layer of the cardboard)
Ecokraft (EK) = eco lid paper made out of waste paper, with a reduced sulphate cellulose quantity (Romanian Kraft alternative)
Kraft (K) = lid paper from sulphate cellulose (Kraftliner)

Types of corrugated cardboard

A. CO2 with weaves B and CO2 with weaves C

 Carton ondulat CO2      Carton ondulat CO2    Carton ondulat CO2     Carton ondulat CO2

B. CO3 with weaves E CO3 with weaves B and CO3 with weaves C

 Carton ondulat CO3   

C. CO5 with weaves C+E and CO5 with weaves C+B

 Carton ondulat CO5   

D. CO7 with weaves E+C+C and CO7 with weaves B+C+E

Carton ondulat CO7    

Corrugated Cardboard Classification

Classification of corrugated cardboard takes into account a variety of criteria, out of which the most important are the packaging destination, the type of the corrugated cardboard and the size of the weave ( flute ).

Considering the purpose of the packaging obtained by processing the corrugated cardboard, there are three types of packaging: transport, outlet and display.

Depending on the number of paper layers, there are various types of corrugated cardboard: type II, III, V, VII, also known as CO2, CO3, CO5 and CO7

  • type I - composed of a lid and a core paper, merged by gluing the tips of the weaves and the lid
  • type III - composed of a corrugated layer placed between two smooth layers
  • type V - two corrugated layers and three smooth layers
  • type VII - three corrugated layers and four smooth layers

Type II is used as protecting wrapping paper, support for sheet lining ( ad panels, offset printed display wrappings) and are stocked in rolls, while types III, V and VII are produced as sheets, which can be used as such, as dividers or which are processed for obtaining corrugated cardboard packaging.

Yet another classification criteria is the size of the weaves, which is determined by the height ( h) and width - or pace (p) - of the weave in the core paper

Therefore, we notice various weave sizes:

  • large: type C (h between 3,5 - 3,7 mm)
    type A (h between 4,5 - 4,8 mm)
  • medium: type B (h between 2,3 - 3,2 mm)
  • fine: type E ( h between 1,1 - 1,2 mm)
  • microweaves (or microflutes): type N ( h  on average = 0,46mm)
    type F (h on average = 0,76 mm)

CO2 sheets have B and C type weaves, CO3 sheets have B, C and e type weaves and CO5 have B+C and E+C type weaves.

Corrugated cardboard packaging

Packaging is the finite product which is obtained by processing corrugated cardboard. The vast majority are boxes, in a large number of types and dimensions. It is also possible to manufacture crates as well as display accessories.

A coding specific to the cardboard industry was adopted internationally, more precisely a coding specific to manufacturing corrugated cardboard boxes. The classification was decided by the European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers (FEFCO)* established in 1952 at Brussels and governed by Belgian laws. This classification was made in order to help clients.

Corrugated Cardboard Packaging    Corrugated Cardboard Packaging   Corrugated Cardboard Packaging Conventional Corrugated Packaging                                                                

* Types of FEFCO approved products:
1 1. Rolls and sheets of corrugated cardboard
1 2. Pliable boxes consist of one piece with a glued articulation, stapled or glued with tape, whose both ends act as flaps. These boxes are transported in a plied state, they are ready to use and require the flaps to be closed.
1 3. Telescopic Boxes consist of one or more pieces and come with a lid which is placed on the body of the box.
1 4. Folder Type Boxes are usually made out of a single piece of cardboard. The bottom of the box is bent in order to form the walls and the lid of the box. The boxes may be created without gluing or stapling. Closing mechanisms and handles may be incorporated into the design.
1 5. Slide boxes are made out of sliding ensembles ( sheathes ) which may combine with one another in different directions. This type also includes sliding sheaths.
1 6. Hard boxes are usually made out of two separate pieces and one body which needs stapling or a similar operation before use.
1 7. Pre-glued boxes are one piece boxes and are transported plied. They are ready to be used by simply placing them.
1 9. Interior accessories such as padding, dividers, etc. are either part of the box's design or are considered separate pieces.

These types of boxes and accessories are obtained through horizontal, vertical (Bobst machine) or pivoting punching, slotting in line (Martin, Gandossi, Emba, Piemonte, Jumbo machines).

For a commercially pleasing appearance, they are printed in 1-4 colours, through flexographic and serigraphic processes. Yet another finishing process appeared in the '70s. Coating or sheet lining is the procedure through which an image imprinted on a base ( usually paper ) is fixed on a cardboard with a liquid adhesive. It can be done manually or using various specialized machines, resulting in a 7-colour print.

Characteristics of corrugated cardboard packaging

  • corrugated cardboard has superior quality in packaging, because it is lighter 
  • due to the elasticity of the weaves ( flutes ), it better protects the packaged goods, by absorbing and neutralizing  shocks during transportation, unlike other types of packaging.
  • possibility of promoting the wrapped products due to the smooth surfaces of the boxes, which allow for printing in various colours and with different elements of publicity, vastly superior to wood crates.
  • possibility of plying the box; therefore, the cardboard box occupies 7 times less space than a wood box
  • corrugated cardboard is cheaper to produce, about 3-4 times less expensive than wood boxes
  • corrugated cardboard packaging can be added synthetic stark ,waterproof micro wax or sponge-like cellular structures which offer double protection and better wrapping.
  • 100% of the fiber material is recovered
  • one of the most important characteristics of the corrugated cardboard packaging is the ecological one. The corrugated cardboard packaging is 100% recyclable and its collecting as waste paper is a priority for the protection of the environment. Hence, a series of recovering paper and cardboard waste laws have been passed.

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