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Finding the Perfect Cardboard for Your Box

One of the most important factors in the cost and durability of your box is the material used in its construction. Many of us know the horrors that can come from using the wrong building materials in the construction industry but we rarely hear of the stories that come from using the wrong type of material in the packaging industry.

Several of our customers have found out the hard way that the lower price of a lesser-strength cardboard ended up costing them more in the long run due to the damage to their products while shipping. Simply spending a little more on the material would have saved them thousands on returned products and tarnished reputation.

Alternately, some customers may go a bit overboard with their packaging and pay extra for materials that are better suited for more heavy-duty shipping or product use. By informing our customers of this we often save them quite a bit of money on their orders.

These stories are few and far between here at Instabox – we counsel our customers to ensure they have a firm understanding of the different types and qualities of cardboard or paperboard.

So to help you make a more informed decision on the type of material your box can utilize here’s a bit of a rundown on the different materials that can be used along with their strengths and weaknesses.

Flutes
When speaking to a representative here at Instabox you might hear them refer to the “flute” of the cardboard. This is the corrugation within a piece of cardboard to make it stronger. If you look closely at a piece of single wall cardboard you’ll see that it’s not just one piece of paper – it’s actually three!

The strength of the cardboard is dependant on how thick these flutes are. The main classifications of fluting is “E flute”, “B Flute” and “C Flute”. With C flute being the stronger of the three and E flute being used mainly for display purposes or light shipping.

So what does that mean to you? Well, when deciding on the material your box is to use think about it’s main purpose – will it be a shipping container? Then C flute is most likely the perfect choice. Creating a store display or have a smaller product that won’t be shipped? If so, E flute is perfectly suited to this.

Wall Construction
The main reason a cardboard box will fail is that it’s packed with materials too heavy for it to hold without breaking or ripping. One of the first reasons we think of when this happens is that the wall construction wasn’t properly considered when deciding on the box.

For heavy or bulky objects – Instabox will recommend a double wall cardboard. While single wall is one sheet of corrugation (fluting) sandwiched between two sheets of paper. Double wall cardboard has two sets of corrugation in its construction – just like a club sandwich.

This construction will allow it to withstand almost twice the weight of a single wall cardboard while also resisting punctures more effectively. When shipping important products, heavy items or items you need to get there in one piece – then double wall cardboard is your surest bet.

So what does this all mean when deciding on your box’s packaging? Basically it’ll help you understand better why we make your boxes the way we do – why some are more costly than others and why some look different than your standard cardboard.

Above all else – especially in these uncertain economic times – you’ll be able to decide on your box’s material with an eye of both price and quality.

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