Architects over thousands of years have known that an arch with a proper curve is the strongest (and best) way to span any given space. The arch continues to feature prominently in bridge designs as its semicircular structure distributes compression through its entire form, diverting weight onto its two abutments. Similarly, when corrugated boxes were first manufactured, they actually used these same principles to the paper medium. Only their S-shaped arches, referred to as corrugated box fluting, are adhered to the outer sheets (linerboard) which are resistant to bending and pressure from all directions.
Corrugated Box Fluting
Corrugated box fluting essentially refers to the reinforcement that make up the board that run parallel to the depth of the container to give it its rigidity and crushing strength. As well as providing stacking strength, flutes also provide insulation that protects products from sudden temperature changes.
Sizes of Corrugated Box Fluting
Corrugated box fluting comes in different sizes and varieties to be used for different applications. But generally, the larger the flute (A & B profiles) the greater the strength and cushioning. And the smaller the flute (D & E profiles) the better the printability and foldability.
- A-Flute – This is the original fluting for corrugated boxes. With about 36 flutes per foot, it can be used for a double wall application or thick corrugated pad.
- B-Flute – Primarily used for canned goods packaging, the B flute provides the second highest arch size at about 49 flutes per foot. Because of its good stacking strength and crushing resistance, some common uses are for food packaging, retail packaging, POP (point of purchase) displays, die cut inserts, and customized print packaging.
- C-Flute – This is the most commonly used corrugated box flute. As an all-purpose flute, the C flute has about 41 flutes per foot and provides good cushioning, stacking and printing properties. Some common packaging uses include shipping cartons, master shippers and corrugated box displays.
- E-Flute – The E flute is the second most commonly used corrugated box. E flutes are an environmentally friendly substitute for green packaging compared to printed folding cartons. At about 90 flutes per foot, it is also used to print high quality direct print graphics compared to its counterparts. Common uses include retail packaging, printed corrugated box packaging, POP packaging, and those looking for eco-friendly packaging.
- F-Flute – This small, tighter flute is also an environmentally friendly replacement to folding cartons. At about 128 flutes per foot, the F flute will offer a very high-value look and provide packaging with solid structural integrity. Common uses include custom printed boxes, printed corrugated boxes, retail packaging and POP displays.
Designing Solutions for all Your Packaging and Shipping Needs
If you’re interesting in learning more about the types of corrugated box fluting choices will work best for your packing and shipping operations, consult with the Hughes packaging consultant and engineers. We are systems oriented, seeking to offer the client more than just low prices but in essence, a better overall method of doing things. We go beyond selling products; we provide corrugated packaging supplies and shipping solutions.
Hughes Enterprises offers a variety of corrugated box sizes, materials, and supplies, including custom corrugated boxes, designed and fabricated to your specifications.
Contact a Hughes Sales Representative at 267-409-6100 today.