Cardboard is the popular name for corrugated fibreboard or paperboard. This consists of a fluted corrugated sheet enclosed between two liner boards. The material itself is made from wood fibre and pulp together with recycled paper and card. Cardboard is a surprisingly lightweight substance that is easy to cut, form and fold. Its thickness is no more than 0.01 inches and its basic weight is less than 224g per square metre. It is an invention from the 19th century when it was developed to package and transport glass and pottery.
The most common cardboard box style is the regular slotted carton (RSC), also called regular slotted container. This is the type of box used for grocery and drink packaging that has outer flaps at its top and bottom that meet in the centre of the box. The bottom flaps are usually slotted or fixed to remain in place. The inside of the box may have removable corrugated paper dividers for packaging glass bottles.
A variation of this style is a half slotted container that does not have any top flaps. This has a wide variety of uses. It is often used as a storage container on shelving. With a specially designed lid, it can be a stylish way of packaging fashion products such as hats and shoes. If this box is turned upside down, it can be used as a cover for other goods stored on a pallet in a warehouse.
The fully overlapping carton provides an extra degree of protection for goods during shipping. The outer flaps overlap each other to within an inch or half an inch of the edge of the box and provide extra cushioning to its top and bottom. This is important when the boxes are stacked on top of each other in storage.
Online shopping has been a bonanza for panel folded cardboard packaging. This is made of one sheet that is creased, scored and folded into five sections that make up wrapping in the shape of a box. The ends are usually sealed with tape. This is a convenient means of shipping goods ranging from books to clothing. Two sets of panel wrapping give extra protection to the goods in transit.
Packaging made from cardboard can be used for the safe shipping of any type of goods. The shape of the box can be adapted to the fragility and weight of the goods and combined with interior packaging.
Helen Stevens writes regularly on the paper and packaging industry on behalf of www.romileyboard.co.uk.