10 Different Types of Cardboard and Their Uses

Cardboards are basically made from recycled paper, a flute that is sandwiched between two liners, a test paper inner liner and a Kraft paper outer liner, which sometimes are made up of recycled content themselves. The two paper liners lie on top and beneath the flute, thus creating a corrugated board.

Kraft is used as the outer liner because it has better quality than test and has a smoother finish, which is easy to print on. Besides, it is more waterproof and is therefore ideal as an outer liner. Test paper liners are made from the short fibres of a hardwood tree, which makes it a more abrasive quality; or from recycled paper, which is cheaper. Test paper and Kraft are also used to create fluted paper, therefore resulting in a sturdy board.

The different types of cardboard include the following:

1. Corrugated Fiberboard (aka. Cardboard Box)

Corrugated fiberboard consists three layers; the linerboards, two smooth outer layers, and the medium, a wavy, fluted corrugation layer, which is sandwiched in the middle. This type of cardboard is perfect for project a construction since it’s easy to cut, fold, drill, and bend.

Also, this type of cardboard has high strength (because of the stable arches in the fluted corrugated inner wall) to weight ratio. This board is 100% recyclable and is reliable in its durability. The differences in corrugated cardboard are based on the flute size. A flute is basically an inverted s-shaped arch that makes the medium.

2. Single Face Cardboard

Compared to the rest, this board is the weakest corrugated fiberboard. The medium is glued to one flat sheet of a linerboard. It is cheaper to produce and offers an extra layer of protection to packaged products.

3. Single Wall Double-Face Cardboard (aka. 3-Ply)

This is the most popular type of cardboard box. The medium is between two sheets of linerboard. Walled corrugated boards have a smooth exterior surface that ensure ease of stacking and also provide for efficient storage and shipping. Due to the smooth surface, it is easier to print on their surfaces. A single wall board has five different styles of flutes, namely;

(i). C-Flute: measuring 3-16ths of an inch thick. It is versatile, most common and strong enough to be used for shipping purposes.

(ii). B-Flute: it is an eighth-inch thick; great for folding and is used for smaller products and boxes.

(iii). E-Flute: best for printing and folding, and is used for small boxes. Its size is 3/32nds of an inch.

(iv). F-Flute: a sixteenth-inch thick, best for packaging and as shoe boxes.

(v). R-Flute: the new alternative to the B-Flute. It has been improved to make the printing surfaces better and produces less manufacturing waste.

4. Double Wall with AB Flute/5-Ply

This is commonly used for large industrial containers as it is more resistant to breaking when stacked. It is strong, perhaps because it is made up of three sheets of linerboard and two mediums in between.

5. Triple Wall

Triple wall cardboard is sometimes used as a substitute for wooden crates. It is the strongest double wall corrugated cardboard, made of four sheets of linerboard with three mediums in between.

6. Paperboard/Carton Board

Paperboard boxes are widely used in packaging facilities because of their low price and sturdy material. Manufactured in single- or multi-ply, they range in thickness from 0.01-0.02 inches. Paperboards are often used for folding cartons, carded packaging, and also in set-up boxes. Carton boards are thin and have a smooth coating, which allows gluing of printed paper or foil for packaging purposes. The board is water resistant.

7. Mat Board

Mat board is a multi-ply, coated fiberboard featuring one smooth side. These types of cardboard are often used for picture frame matting and is suitable for cardboard circuits.

8. Graphic Cardboard

Graphic cardboards are made from pressing sheets of Kraft papers together to achieve the desired thickness. The board is sturdy and flat. It is used for hardback covers, puzzle pieces, and as a ringer binder.

9. Non-Packaging Cardboard

Non-packaging cardboards are made up chromo carton board, cupboard and drawing board. These cardboards are not ideal packaging materials. A drawing board is a white, smooth and thin paperboard packaged in single sheets for drawing purposes. Cups and paper plates are made from the cupboard. Chromo carton boards, on the other hand, are made from thin, white coated boards on both sides and is mostly used in the retail sector. For instance, there is a chromo board in new men’s packaged shirts, under the collar.

10. Various Card Stocks

Card stocks are made up of small size cardboards that have higher durability than regular paper. They range from business cards, aperture cards, postcards, playing cards, catalogue covers and postcards.

Cardboards support and protect products during shipping. Durable cardboard provides fresh air inside the boxes while keeping warm air out. Besides, cardboards are inexpensive, lightweight shipping materials. Since they are biodegradable, they are highly eco-friendly.

Ronald Ryan

I'm a self-proclaimed science geek and all-around nerd. Useless fun trivia seems to be my forte. If you ever need to hear a good dad joke, I'm your guy!

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