Arguably one of the most reliable packaging solutions available, corrugated boxes offer many benefits to many different industries. Corrugated fiberboard can be specified by the construction (single face, single wall, double wall corrugated box, triple wall board), flute size, burst strength, edge crush strength, Mullen rating, basis weights of components, surface treatments and coatings.
Here’s a handy guide on these differences, unique characteristics and key features to consider for your packaging and shipping operations.
Flute size refers to the number of flutes per linear foot. Common flute sizes are “A” flute (the largest), “B”, “C”, “E” and “F” (microflute).
A-Flute is the largest corrugated flute at 36 flutes/linear foot. It provides excellent compression and cushioning which makes it a good choice for packaging fragile items.
B-Flute is a little bit smaller at 49 flutes/linear foot (1/8th of an inch in thickness), and is typically used for smaller products and die-cut boxes. This option is best for folding into intricate shapes and for printing, so you’ll see this flute at Point-Of-Purchase (P.O.P.) displays.
C-Flute is very versatile making it the most common corrugated flute. It provides a good surface for printing and is a strong option for most shipping situations with more air space. It can be used for glass, furniture, food, etc. C-Flute is 41 flutes/linear foot (3-16ths of an inch thick) and offers enhanced stacking strength.
E-Flute is very thin at 90 flutes/linear foot (3/32nds of an inch thick). It’s very easy to fold and even easier for printing. This flute is used as the primary packaging for many smaller sized boxes such as cosmetics, electronics and retail.
F-Flute is micro thin at 128 flutes/linear foot (only 1/16th of an inch). It was originally designed to decrease landfill waste and is used for specialty packaging like cosmetics, jewelry, and shoes.
R-Flute is a newer type of fluting designed as an alternative to the B-flute. The R-Flute has a smaller and closer fluting as compared to the B-Flute. This proves an improved printing surface and less manufacturing waste making it the eco-friendly choice.
Single wall corrugated boxes are the most common style of corrugated cardboard used for shipping. It’s the stronger choice over the single face board which doesn’t necessarily have the durability that other types of corrugated packaging materials have.
Providing more protection when stacked, double wall corrugated boxes are made out of two facings, two corrugated flutes and an inner liner in between (five layers in total). The most commonly used board material is the BC-flute, which consists of one B-flute and one C-flute.
With three layers of flutes, triple wall corrugated boxes are perfect to use for heavy duty performance. Triple wall materials are classified according to the same system as for double wall boxes; for example BCB.
If you’re still curious (or confused) by the differences between the types of corrugated cardboard, consult with a Hughes packaging consultant and engineers. We have a team of seasoned professionals that have many years’ experience in “consultative” sales. 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 packaging and shipping solutions.
Contact a Hughes Sales Representative at 267-409-6100 today to help you with all your shipping and packaging operation needs.
Get pricing information and strategic guidance from the experienced team at Hughes Enterprises.