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Packaging Box Glossary & Terms

Adhesive: Material used to form a bond between two solid fiberboard together.

A-Flute: Corrugated flute which is thickest, with 33 flutes per linear foot in a ¼” in thickness.

Artwork: The logo/design that was given to or created by the packaging designers to be printed onto the packaging boxes. 

Automotive: This term is given to the industry of car & spare parts manufacturing.

Banding: A banding machine will secure numerous items (e.g. packaging boxes) in order to allow them to be handled easily. It can also referred to as strapping.

Bending: Ability of paper board to be folded along scorelines without rupture of the surface board to the point of seriously weakening the structure.

B-Flute: Corrugated flute with lower arch heights and more flutes, a total of 47 flutes per linear foot including a thickness of 1/8th”.

Bins, Storage: Used for industrial & warehouse storage. Can be plastic, recycled plastic or corrugated cardboard.

Blank or Box Blank: A flat sheet of corrugated board that is cut, scored, and slotted, but not yet glued together.

Bleached Pulp: Pulp which has been whitened by an oxidising treatment, either with a hydrogen peroxide solution or reducing agent sulphur dioxide.

Box Manufacturer's Certificate (BMC): Box Maker's Certificate is normally printed in round or rectangular design on corrugated box flap to certify the box conforms to all applicable standards. This stamp identifies the material and certifies the results of the Mullen Bursting Test or the Edge Crush Test. 

Board: A heavy thick sheet of paper with possibilities of cardboard, fibreboard and containerboard.

Board Grade: A grade given to corrugated board based on 3 elements; firstly, the weight and type of outer liner, secondly the type of flute and thirdly the weight and type of inner liner.

Boxboard: Types of paperboard used to manufacture cartons.

Bulk: Unpackaged goods in a shipping container. Also, a large box used to contain a volume of product.

Bundle: Shipping unit of two or more boxes grouped together, usually with plastic banding.

Burst, Damage: The term given to packaging containers which split or “burst” due to too much pressure (e.g. if stacked to high, the boxes lower in the stack may burst).

Bursting Strength: Strength of material in pounds per square inch, as measured by the Mullen tester.

Cardboard: Thin, stiff pasteboard used in the creation of playing cards, signs, etc. Term is often misused to refer to Boxboard (folding cartons) and Containerboard (corrugated boxes).

Carton: Folding box made from Boxboard, used for consumer quantities of product. 

Case: Corrugated or solid fiberboard box as used by the packaging industry.

Compression StrengthCorrugated box's resistance to uniformly applied external forces. Top-to-bottom compression strength is related to the load a container may encounter when stacked. 

Containerboard: Paperboard components (linerboard, corrugating material and chipboard) used to manufacture corrugated and solid fiberboard. Raw materials used to make containerboard may be virgin cellulose fiber, recycled fiber or a combination of both.

Corrugated Board, Corrugated Fiberboard: Corrugated board is comprised of one or more layer of wavy corrugated medium (fluting) and one or more layer of flat corrugated linerboard.

Corrugator: Machine that unwinds two or more continuous sheets of containerboard from rolls, presses flutes into the sheet(s) of corrugating medium, applies adhesive to the tips of the flutes and affixes the sheet(s) of linerboard to form corrugated board. Continuous sheet of board may be slit to desired widths, cut off to desired lengths and scored in one direction.

Die-Cut: Cut made with special steel rule dies. The act of making a part or container which is cut and scored to shape by such tools. Also, a box that is stamped out from a steel rule die, as opposed to being produced on a flexo folder gluer. Die-cut boxes provide greater design options and tighter size tolerances.

Dimensions: For regular slotted containers (RSC), box dimensions are expressed as length x width x height, always using inside dimensions.

Double Wall: Corrugated board construction where two layers of medium are glued between three layers of flat linerboard facing.

Edge Crush Test (ECT): The Edge Crush Test is a standard industry measure of the stacking strength, the amount of force in pounds per inch needed to cause compressive failure of an on-edge specimen of corrugated board. This measured force is a primary factor in predicting the compression strength of the completed box. When using certain specifications in the carrier classifications, minimum edge crush values must be certified.

Fiberboard: General term describing combined paperboard (corrugated or solid) used to manufacture containers.

Flaps: Extension of the side wall panels that, when sealed, close the remaining openings of a box. Usually defined by one scoreline and three edges.

Flexo Folder Gluer: Machine, usually capable or running at high speed that prints, folds, cuts, and glues sheets of corrugated board, converting them into shipping boxes.

Flute: The wavy layer of corrugated medium that is glued between the flat inner and outer sheets of linerboard to create corrugated board. Fluting generally runs parallel to the height of a shipping box. Flute sizes come in A, B, C, D, E, and F.

Joint: The opposite edges of the blank glued, stapled, wire stitched, or taped together to form a box.

Kraft: German word meaning "strength", designating pulp, paper, or paperboard produced from wood fibers.

LinerCreased fiberboard sheet inserted as a sleeve in a container and covering all side walls. Used to provide extra stacking strength or cushioning.

Linerboard: Flat sheets of paper that comprise the outer surfaces of a sheet of corrugated board.

Medium: Paperboard used to make the fluted layer of corrugated board.

Mullen (or Burst) Test: The Mullen Test is a standard industry measure of the bursting strength of corrugated board to withstand external or internal forces, and to contain the contents during handling. This test certifies that the box can withstand the stated pressure (lbs. per sq. in.) as applied by a Mullen Tester.

Overlap: Design feature wherein the top and/or bottom flaps of a box do not butt, but extend one over the other. The amount of overlap is measured from flap edge to flap edge.

Pad: Corrugated or solid fiberboard sheet, or sheet of other authorized material, used for extra protection or for separating tiers when packed for shipment.

Palletizing: Securing and loading containers on pallets for shipment as a single unit load, typically for handling by mechanical equipment.

Paperboard: One of the two major product categories of the paper industry, Container-board and Boxboard. Includes the broad classification of materials made of cellulose fibers, primarily wood pulp and recycled paper stock, on board machines. (The other major product group of the paper industry is paper, including printing and writing papers, packaging papers, newsprint and tissue.)

Partition: Set of corrugated, solid fiberboard or chipboard pieces that interlock when assembled to form a number of cells into which articles may be placed for shipment.

Ply: Any of the several layers of liner-board or solid fiberboard.

Puncture Resistance: Puncture resistance of combined board indicates the ability of the finished container to withstand external and internal point pressure forces and to protect the product during rough handling. This method is used on heavy double wall and triple wall as an alternative to burst.

Regular Slotted Container (RSC): Box style created from a single sheet of corrugated board. The sheet is scored and slotted to permit folding. Flaps extending from the side and end panels form the top and bottom of the box. The two outer flaps are one-half the container's width in order to meet at the center of the box when folded. Flute direction may be perpendicular to the length of the sheet (usually for top-opening RSCs) or parallel to the length of the sheet (usually for end-opening RSCs).

Score or Scoreline: Impression or crease in corrugated or solid fiberboard, made to position and facilitate folds.

Scored and Slotted Sheet: Sheet of corrugated fiberboard with one or more scorelines, slots or slits. May be further defined as a box blank, a box part, a tray or wrap, a partition piece, or an inner packing piece.

Set-Up Boxes: Boxes that have been squared, with one set of end flaps sealed, ready to be filled with product. An article that is packed for shipment in a fully assembled or erected form.

Sheet: Rectangle of combined board, untrimmed or trimmed, and sometimes scored across the corrugations when that operation is done on the corrugator. Also, a rectangle of any of the component layers of container-board, or of paper or a web of paperboard as it is being unwound from the roll.

Slit: Cut made in a fiberboard sheet without removing the material.

Slit Score: Cut made in a fiberboard sheet through only a portion of the thickness in a box blank to allow its flaps and sides to be folded into a shipping box.

Slip Sheet: Flat sheet of material used as base upon which goods and materials may be assembled, stored and transported.

Stacking Strength: Maximum compression load a container can bear over a given length of time, under given environmental/distribution conditions, without failing.

Tensile Strength: Indicates the container-board's resistance to breaking when it is pulled into or through equipment during the converting and printing processes.

Web: Continuous sheet of paperboard/paper.

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