Corrugated fibreboard (or cardboard) is a versatile material that is widely used in packaging across the world. Comprised of paper-based sheets with shallow grooves that are enclosed in linerboards, the material is durable, easily customized and cost-effective.
Corrugated paper was first used to wrap bottles and fabricate the lining of top hats during the 1800s. As the material grew in popularity due to its strong and durable benefits, the first ever corrugated paper machine was built in 1874. This allowed the material to be produced more quickly and in larger quantities than ever before. Following this invention, the material was soon adapted to make corrugated cardboard, providing for even stronger properties and expanding its uses.
The flat-pack box was one of the first items to be constructed of the new board material before it became a popular choice for packaging glass, pottery and fruit for transportation during the 1900s. Since then, the demand for corrugated cardboard has boomed and it is now most often used in point of sale, transit and postal packaging.
Today, the material is manufactured using advanced computers and engineering systems. The most basic process relies on corrugating machines with hot plates and high-pressure steam to fit the layers of the board together. With advances in printing, there is almost no limit to the designs and coatings that can be added to the board during its production.
Corrugated fibreboard is a very adaptable material with a range of benefits:
As corrugated cardboard is comprised of many layers, it is structurally stable and provides good protection when used for packaging. The grooves grant a cushioning effect that is vital for the transportation of fragile or expensive goods. The thickness of the cardboard can also be modified to provide further strength and reliability to package heavier contents.
Corrugated cardboard made into custom shipping boxes are highly resistant to tear damage meaning it remains safely intact despite handling throughout the supply process.
This is especially beneficial for packaging food as it helps the products to remain fresh during shipping.
As corrugated cardboard can be designed to any shape and printed in any colour, it is easily modified to suit the requirements of marketers and retailers. These modifications might also involve coatings, adhesives, extra cushioning, divisions and treatments. The cardboard can even be produced with a flame resistant or static control covering.
As the raw materials in corrugated packaging are cheaply and easily sourced and the packaging is easily made, it is one of the least expensive options for packaging on the market. It is also lightweight and easy to manage, helping to lower handling and shipping costs.
Last but not least, corrugated packaging has eco-friendly advantages. The material is both easily recycled and easily produced with the use of recycled materials, making it a very sustainable packaging solution and cutting costs. In turn, there is less demand for production using raw materials, reducing the stress on our resources and helping to improve the future of our planet.
What’s more, as the corrugated material is so durable, this packaging can easily be flat-packed and stored away to be used again.