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Cardboard is a thick paper stock used for creating attractive packaging and its internal components.

Cardboard: The Basics

Cardboard is made of an extra thick paper stock called paperboard. Wood fibers are processed in heavy machinery and turned into a slurry called pulp. From there, two products are typically created: paper and paperboard.

Paper is thin and flexible. It’s the standard material used in books and magazines, printing paper and writing pads, wrapping paper and more.

Paperboard is a thicker and stiffer material. It’s used in creating attractive boxes and their packaging, internal packaging components and more.

Cardboard: How to Choose

If you find yourself calling a packing or shipping box a cardboard box, you’re not alone. Cardboard is now so common that most people use that word when talking about any kind of box. But when it comes to boxes and their construction, the difference between corrugate and cardboard is a simple but important one.

Corrugate material uses a layering technique that reinforces boxes and makes them stronger for transporting and storing items. Corrugate boxes are used to protect large goods like televisions, ship multiple products in one box, or even deliver a hot and delicious pizza (meat lovers, FTW!). If it needs to be protected from possible damage, corrugate is the way to go.

Cardboard is a thick paper stock (also called paperboard) used for creating attractive packaging and its inside dividers or lining. Typically it’s used for food packaging like cereal boxes, small electronics like cameras, and even entertainment products like playing cards and board games. Basically, if it sits on a shelf and needs to look great, it’s packaged in cardboard.

Cardboard: Words Worth Knowing

Chipboard is a thicker form of paperboard. It’s used in board mailers and as chipboard sheets inserted into envelopes to protect contracts and documents.

Die-Cut is the design or shape cut out from paperboard using a die. It’s then folded to create displays, boxes and interior packaging.

Headspace is the area inside a box between the top of a product and the sealed box top. Void Fill should be used to stop the product from moving around.

Kraft paper is made from wood fibers turned into pulp. It’s used as paper, liners for corrugated boxes, wrapping paper, void fill and more.

Liners are sheets of paperboard. They can also be glued to sheets of fluting and create corrugated box board of varying strengths and thicknesses.

Medium is yet another word for cardboard. It’s a generic term referring to a material used in a project.

Multi-Depth Boxes have several score lines on box walls to create a perfect fit for a shipped item. This helps prevent damage and avoid use of excess void fills.

Paperboard is used in creating corrugated and cardboard boxes.

Score is a machine-made depression that makes the folding and shaping of cardboard easier.

Telescoping Boxes are a two-piece box in which one part (usually the top) fits over the other. This is often used in mailing tubes and smaller boxes meant for products worth displaying.

Usable Cube is the space inside of a built box that can be used for shipping and packing.