As something we often take for granted in modern times, cardboard has revolutionized our ability to do businesses on a national and global scale. From the times of Cleopatra all the way to George Washington, businesses and trade once relied on wooden crates to store and transport their goods. These crates were burdensome; they were expensive to create, difficult to scale up or down, and heavy to transport.
Then cardboard came along – bringing with it a packaging revolution. As a lightweight and flexible paper alternative, cardboard boxes gave businesses and homes a faster and easier way to package items on demand, without sacrificing on product safety.
In this article, The Packaging Company explains the process of how corrugated cardboard is manufactured and why it is an incredibly useful resource for securing, storing, and shipping products to homes and businesses.
What is Cardboard?
Before we can learn anything about corrugated cardboard and its advantages, we first have to first understand what is meant by ‘cardboard’.
Although it is a familiar concept to all of us, cardboard is actually a generic term that refers to many different forms of paper products. From paperboard used in cereal boxes to matboard used in mounting artwork, cardboard products are typically made of wood that is heavily pulped before being sent to a paper mill for beating and drying. Variations, such as using different types of wood, may be added during this manufacturing process to achieve different functions and appearances in the final cardboard product. No matter how we define and manufacture cardboard, we cannot deny how useful it is. In fact, over 95% of goods in North America are packed and transported in corrugated cardboard boxes. Cardboard has long been acknowledged as the ideal packaging solution due to its lighter weight, ease of access, and disposability.
What is Corrugation?
Corrugation simply means the process of adding wrinkles, folds, or groves to an item. Whereas standard cardboard is typically just a single layer of processed kraft paper, corrugated cardboard uses several layers that are purposely pieced together. During corrugation, the inner layers are crimpled or folded to create a pattern of small triangles which is then sandwiched between a top and bottom layer of standard cardboard.
The Geometric Advantage of Corrugation
When looking at corrugated cardboard, you might notice a line of small triangles in between the top and bottom layer of cardboard. This is not a coincidence, corrugated products get much of their strength not just from the added layers of card, but from the shape they form.
From constructing colossal bridges to the roofs on our homes, triangles are known as the strongest shape in geometry. They have the ability to bear large amounts of weight thanks to their small, fixed angles. These angles allow them to evenly distribute weight across the structure better than other shapes which have more sides and different angles.
Making the Most of Corrugated Cardboard
Despite its small size, corrugated cardboard is still able to utilize the strength of triangle shapes to full effect. Rather than having to buy significantly heavier boxes made from items such as wood or even metal, corrugated cardboard boxes are easy to assemble and add very little weight to a boxed product – saving consumers and sellers from hefty shipping fees.
For businesses, corrugated cardboard boxes and packaging present a cost-efficient and recyclable choice to packing up products for sale. Thanks to the strength of corrugation, sellers can safely package everything from books to heavier items such as small furniture without putting the product at risk of damage during transit. For consumers, cardboard is a familiar piece of packaging that ensures their delivery arrives safely in one piece. More importantly, consumers benefit from corrugated cardboard being easy to open and disposed of efficiently through recycling.
Buy Corrugated Cardboard Boxes from The Packaging Company
Are you looking for a sustainable packaging solution that is lightweight and inexpensive? Consider choosing The Packaging Company for all your packaging needs. We use quality paper to craft and manufacture our corrugated cardboard boxes, meaning you can purchase your packaging supplies with confidence. Upgrade your packaging today by browsing our collection of corrugated cardboard boxes for sizing options, or take a look at our custom catalogue to design your very own range of packaging products.