Corrugated Carton Specs

Cardboard cartons are used in a variety of shipping and storage applications.

Flutes

They are usually made from recycled paper. Corrugated cartons are made from corrugated cardboard. This material is in turn named for its general design, usually two flat pieces of paper with a fluted middle layer, the corrugation, running in between. Certain specifications delineate the different types of corrugated carton.

The flutes of a piece of corrugated cardboard are an important specification that helps to explain the nature of the material. Corrugated fluting types are labeled by letters. Five major labels exist for different types of corrugated cardboard: A, B, C, E, F. A and C flutes are coarser and stronger; type B is fine and types E and F are extra fine. B-type fluting is the most commonly used. It is robust, with high-compression strength. The C flute is also popular, having larger compression strength but less crush resistance. (Reference 1)

Single-Faced Corrugated Board

Single-faced corrugated board is the name for corrugated board that consists of one flat-sided wall with a flute but no wall on the other side. This type of corrugated board comes in standard widths ranging from 56 inches to 36 inches. (Reference 1) This type of corrugated board is not used for boxes, but it may be used for wrapping the materials placed in boxes. (Reference 2)

Single-Wall Board

Single-wall board, also called double-faced board, is another material from which a carton may be manufactured. It is made out of two facings, with a fluted corrugation in the middle. Around 90 percent of all corrugated cartons are made from this type of corrugated cardboard. (Reference 2)

Double-Wall Board

Double-wall board is basically two single-wall boards stuck together. It is made of three flat facings, each separated by a fluting. In total, this type of board has five paper layers. This type of board is often used to make cartons for international shipping. (Reference 2)

Triple-Wall Board

Triple-wall board has four flat faces and three fluted sections, for a total of seven layers of paper. This type of corrugated cardboard carton is rarely used, but when it is used it is for very heavy applications, such as semi-bulk commodity bins. (Reference 2)

Folding Methods

The way in which the box is folded is another important specification for corrugated cartons. There are many ways to fold these boxes. Some of the major categories include slotted boxes, telescope boxes and folder boxes. Slotted boxes are the most standard type. They consist of four sections that fold together, with slots separating the flaps for the top and bottom. Telescope-style boxes have a bottom piece that fits into a top piece. Folder-style boxes have pegs at the end of each side. The sides fold over and fit into holes cut in the boxes bottom. They provide a little extra support. (Reference 2)

About the Author

Justin Mitchell has been a writer since 2009. In 2002, he received a B.A. in theater and writing from the University of Northern Colorado. Mitchell worked as an ESL teacher in Europe and Asia before earning a master's degree in journalism from the City University of New York. He has written for the "New York Daily News" and WNYC.org, among other outlets.