Corrugates boxes are the most versatile and preferred packaging medium in most industries. Corrugated boxes offer the necessary durability and quality to transport product(s) in a way that it has been packaged. However, choosing the right corrugated box is often a confusing task. Corrugated boxes come in varying thicknesses that include single, double and triple wall. They also vary as per their flute types such as A, B, C, D, E, F etc. The papers used in the making of corrugated boxes are also varied. Each of these details determines the strength and durability of the corrugated cases.
What are flutes?
Every corrugated sheet comprises of two major elements – linerboard and fluting. There are standard flute profiles that are used in the making of corrugated boxes. Corrugated flutes are the S shaped arches or waves that form the board. Flutes run parallel to the thickness of the boxes and offer it the needed durability, rigidity and stacking strength. Flutes also offer insulation that protects a product even from dynamic and volatile temperature changes. Generally, A and B flutes offer the best strength and cushioning effect and D and E may be the smaller flutes but they are ideal for printability and foldability.
Kinds of Flutes
The A flute is the thickest of flutes. It is a single wall board that can be produced and can offer maximum strength and cushioning. The C flute is a very commonly used flute found in shipping type boxes. It is thinner than A but thicker than B flute. The C flute is highly used in the glass, furniture and dairy industry because they do not just offer cushioning effect but are also great for printing. The B flute is also the most commonly used flute. They are used for die-cut boxes and inner packs. The B flutes are 1/8” thick and have the second highest arch size. They are used in the canned goods industry and also for the purpose of displays. The E flute is a very thin single wall flute but this is perfect for printing purposes. The biggest advantage of thin flutes is that they can be folded easily and are ideal for point-for-purchase product packing. E flutes are 1/16” thick, brings down box size and thereby saves on a lot of storage space.
Choice of flute is largely dependent upon the industry and product meant for packaging. There are many other kinds of flutes like the AC, BC and BE flutes. These are double walled flutes for packaging and transportation of heavy duty products. Similarly, there are also the triple walled flutes and singleface flutes used in specific industries. The corrugated boxes industry has come a long way in terms of technology advancement and hence there are a number of specialist variations that are developed.