Updated: Jul 12
Fluted cardboard is a type of corrugated cardboard that is known for its durability, strength, and versatility. This type of cardboard is made up of a corrugated sheet sandwiched between two flat sheets of paperboard and is commonly used in the packaging industry to make boxes, cartons, and other containers.
Different types of fluted board
Fluted cardboard is rated for light, medium, and heavy-duty applications. Double-walled and thicker varieties are used for heavier jobs.
Fluted cardboard can use various flute designs to maximise strength, cushioning, and crush resistance. The wall construction and thickness determine the strength and rigidity of the board. Here are the most common flute designs:
Fluted Cardboard grades
N flute – 0.5mm thickness. Suitable for litho printing
F flute – 0.8mm thickness. Ideal for product packaging.
E flute – 1mm to 1.5mm. Lightweight and fine. Great for printing.
B flue – 3mm thick. Suitable for general use and transit packaging
C flute – 3.5-4.0mm. Suitable for light stacking.
BC flute – 6-7mm thick. Suitable for heavy shipping.
EB flute – combines E and B flutes for strength and printability.
Fluted boards use either Kraft or Test liners for the exterior; Kraft liners are made from softwood trees and offer the highest strength as a virgin material, while Test liners are made from recycled paper (less strong, but cheaper).
The flute is made from recycled materials. These can be fully recycled materials, i.e., WBF (waste-based fluting medium), or semi-recycled materials, i.e., SC (semi-chemical process).
Typical flute weights are as follows:
90 gsm WBF
105 gsm WBF
112 gsm SC and WBF
150 gsm SC and WBF
175 gsm SC
Difference between paperboard and cardboard
Paperboard is one layer, while cardboard has three board layers, with two liners sandwiching a structural flute. Cardboard is significantly stronger, but paperboard is better for the boxes that contain parts inside a package.
What is open flute cardboard?
Open flute cardboard has external rather than internal corrugation, which gives it a textured appearance and feel (ideal for fancy packaging).
Can you print on cardboard?
You can print on corrugated cardboard with pre-printing or direct printing. Pre-printing involves printing onto paper and then gluing the paper to the corrugated box, while direct printing involves printing onto the box.
Direct printing is the preferred approach for a high-quality finish.
How to print on cardboard
You need a flexography or digital printer and suitable inks for the project. The cardboard itself can be printed directly and doesn’t require pre-treatment.
In digital printing, the printer deposits toner directly onto the media substrate, assembling the image for print from numbers and formulas (code). Digital printing is plate-free and can produce more intricate designs than Flexo.
Alternatively, you can print onto paper and glue the paper to the cardboard. Inkjet and LaserJet printers are more than suited to this job.
How Corrugated Board is made and Which Material is used?
In simple words, corrugated board is made from a corrugated inner medium called “flutes” sandwiched between two sheets of papers called “inners”. These layers of inners and flutes are structured to make a sturdier box with better strength than that of each definite layer.
A corrugated box made with two layers of inners and a single layer of flutes is called “Single Wall Corrugated Box” while Double Wall and Triple Wall boards are available as well.
Most cardboard looks the same from the outside, but look closer, and some cardboards have faint lines intruding through them in a wavy pattern. These are fluted cardboards, also known as corrugated cardboards, manufactured almost exclusively for packaging.
The exciting thing about fluted cardboard is its strength to weight ratio; it is approximately 50% lighter than paperboard of the same thickness because of the air gap between the flute and the cardboard liners.
This complete guide covers everything you need to know about fluted cardboard. Stick with us as we deep-dive into this exciting material.
What is fluted cardboard?
Fluted cardboard is reinforced cardboard comprising two sheets of cardboard sandwiching a cardboard flute which fills the gap between the sheets.
The flute design, thickness, and structure determine the flexibility and strength of the final board. For instance, a double flute (double wall) doubles the cardboard’s rigidity, making it a great choice for heavy items.
Benefits of corrugated cardboard
Corrugated cardboard is relatively inexpensive, reusable, recyclable, and provides consistent, predictable performance in transit. Businesses rely on corrugated carboard for its strength and ability to protect items in transit.
Here are the key benefits:
Contains recycled content and is itself recyclable
Reusable for other packaging requirements
Reusable in other projects, including gardening and art
Lightweight and plastic-free
Holds some resale value when baled
Offers unbeatable protection for items in transit
Secondary uses for fluted cardboard include artwork and gardening, with the material compostable and safe to use as a weed barrier.
One company that specializes in producing high-quality fluted cardboard packaging is MyPerfectPack. Based on their experience and expertise in the field, they have developed innovative solutions for their clients that meet their specific needs and requirements. One of the primary benefits of fluted cardboard is its strength and durability. This makes it an ideal choice for packaging fragile and valuable items, as it can withstand the wear and tear of transportation and handling. Fluted cardboard is also lightweight, which means it doesn't add significant weight to the package, helping to keep shipping costs low.
MyPerfectPack's fluted cardboard is made from high-quality materials and is available in a range of sizes and strengths. Their team of experts can help clients choose the right type of fluted cardboard for their specific needs, taking into account factors such as the weight of the item being shipped, the distance it will travel, and the method of transportation.
Definition of Boxes :
Basic Weight: The weight of a paper in pounds per 1000 square feet.
Bundle: A shipping unit of two or more articles wrapped and fastened together by suitable means.
Bursting Strength: The Strength of material in pounds per square inch, as measured by the cady or mullen tester.
Certificate, Box Makers: A statement printed on a corrugated fiberboard box or a solid fiberboard box testifying that all applicable construction requirements have been observed.
Corrugated Fiberboard (single wall): Also known as Double Face. The Structure formed by one corrugated inner member glued between two flat facings.
Corrugated Fiberboard (Double wall): The structure formed by three flat facings and two intermediate corrugated members.
Corrugated Material or Corrugating Medium: Paper board used in forming the fluted portion of the corrugated board.
Die Cut: A cut made with special steel rule dies. The act of making a part of container which is cut and scored to shape by tools. Also used to denote a board which has been die-cut.
ECT: Edge Crush Test (resistance measure).
Facings: (Sometimes erroneously called liners) A form of linerboard used as the flat members of corrugated fiberboard.
Fiberboard: As used in our industry, a general term applied to fabricated paperboard utilized in container manufacture.
Flaps: The closing members of a fiberboard box.
Flute or Corrugation: One of the wave shapes in the inner portion of combined corrugated fiberboard.
Flute Sizes: A, B, C, E, K
Flute (or corrugation) Direction: The normal Direction is parallel to the box.
Joint: The joint of the box is the part where the ends of the scored and slotted blank are joined together by taping, stitching, or gluing.
Knocked Down (KD): A term denoting that an article is partially or entirely taken apart, not setup.
Kraft: A word meaning strength applied to pulp, paper, or paperboard produced from wood fibers by the sulfate process. Has less than 20% recycled paper.
Liner: A creased fiberboard sheet inserted in a container and covering all side walls.
Linerboard: Paperboard used for the flat facings in corrugated fiberboard; also as the outer plies of solid fiberboard.
OCC: Old corrugated containers- to be recycled.
Pad: A Corrugated or solid fiberboard sheet or other authorized material used for extra protection or for separating tiers or layers of articles when packed for shipment.
Panel: A “face” or “side” of a box.
Partition: A set of corrugated or solid fiberboard pieces slotted so they interlock when assembled to form a number of cells into which articles may be placed for shipment.
Ply: Any of several layers of linerboard or medium.
Score: An impression or crease in corrugated or solid fiberboard to locate and facilitate folding.
Slit: A cut made in a fiberboard sheet without removal of material.
Slit-Score: A cut made in a fiberboard sheet extending through only apportion of the thickness.
Slot: A cut made in a fiberboard sheet, usually to form flaps and thus permit folding.
Test: When not otherwise modified, refers to the bursting strength of linerboard and combined board except for those grades for which puncture test is substituted for bursting strength.
Test, Bursting Strength (Mullen): Measurement of the resistance of a material to bursting expressed in pounds per square inch. The test is made on a Mullen tester.
Rule 41, specified in the chart below, is a U.S. Government Rule for interstate shipping of bursting strength (Mullen) corrugated boxes.
Trapping: Overprinting. It is the ability to print a wet ink film over previously printed ink.
Viscosity: The resistance of liquid such as ink to sheer force or flow.
Warp: Non-flat board that exceeds 1/4 inch per 21 inch segment.
WRA: Water Resistant Adhesive mixed with starch to reduce moisture.
In addition to its strength and durability, fluted cardboard is also a sustainable choice for packaging. It is made from renewable materials, such as paper and cardboard, and is fully recyclable, making it an eco-friendly option for businesses looking to reduce their environmental footprint. At MyPerfectPack, sustainability is a core value, and they are committed to reducing waste and minimizing their impact on the environment. They use eco-friendly production methods and materials, and work closely with their clients to develop packaging solutions that are both effective and sustainable.
In conclusion, fluted cardboard is an excellent choice for businesses looking for strong, durable, and sustainable packaging solutions. MyPerfectPack is a leading provider of high-quality fluted cardboard packaging, and their team of experts can help businesses choose the right packaging solution for their specific needs. With a focus on sustainability and innovation, MyPerfectPack is the perfect partner for businesses looking to improve their packaging operations.