Different types of flutes in corrugated boxes provide different levels of protection and support. When making the decision to use a certain type of flute, it’s essential that you understand the meaning of each and what they offer. This article has all you need to know about the types of flutes used in corrugated boxes and their meanings.
Corrugated Box Construction
In order to understand what the different types of flutes in corrugated boxes are, you first need to have a basic understanding of the corrugated box construction. Corrugated boxes are made using corrugated containerboard. A corrugated board is made up of three layers:
- The linerboard is the innermost layer and is what provides structural support to the box. It’s usually made out of containerboard, which is a type of corrugated paperboard material.
- The medium, or fluting, is the layer in between the linerboard and outer facings. It’s normally made out of corrugated paper and gives the box its strength and rigidity.
- The outer facings are the outermost layer of the box and are what give it its finished look. They’re usually made out of paperboard as well.
The corrugated medium can be different types and sizes, depending on the fluting thickness or height and number of flutes per foot of the board. The main types of flutes in corrugated box are discussed but first, what are flutes?
What is Flute in Corrugated Box?
The flutes in corrugated boxes are the wavy corrugated paperboards that make up the medium (or middle layer) of the box. They’re what give the box its strength and rigidity. There are different types of flutes, which offer different levels of protection and support.
Businesses that use corrugated boxes for packaging or other needs must, therefore, understand the different types of flutes and what they offer. Below, we take a look at the five most common corrugated box flute types:
1. A Flute Corrugated Board
The A flute is the thickest of all corrugated box flute types. It’s made up of corrugated paper that’s been pressed together to form a wavy pattern and glued to the linerboard. This results in a flute that’s about 1/4″ thick and 36 flutes per foot
The A flute produces a stiff type of corrugated board. It’s, therefore, most commonly used in a variety of applications, including packaging for heavy products, such as electronics, appliances, and machinery.
The A-flute is also used in packing items that needs to withstand a lot of rough handling, such as corrugated shipping boxes.
2. B Flute Corrugated Board
The B flute is thinner and less stiff than the A flute. This corrugated box flute is usually about 1/8″ thick with 49 flutes for each linear foot. This mean a lot in terms of box strong and ability to hold weight, with the fluting having excellent properties for both.
The B flute is used in applications that don’t require as much protection or support as the A flute. So it’s commonly employed in packaging for relatively lighter products, but especially used to ship products that require sturdy boxes.
Other common uses for the A flute include, but are not limited to, retail packaging, point-of-purchase displays, and POP (point-of-purchase) packaging.
In terms of strength, boxes with a B flute provide exceptional crush resistance. Having these types of flutes in corrugated boxes also makes the board resistant to puncturing.
3. C Flute Corrugated Board
The C flute is a thinner type of corrugated box flute. It’s made up of corrugated paper that’s 11/64″ thick with 41 flutes per linear foot. This flute height in corrugated boxes produces boxes with medium densities and other properties such as strength.
The C flute is used in applications that require a good level of protection but don’t need the same level of support as the A and B flutes.
Having these types of flutes in corrugated boxes, a good compression and crush resistance. Boxes with this type of fluting are therefore, good for packaging products that are delicate or fragile, such as glassware and electronics.
4. E Flute Corrugated Board
E flutes are 1/16″ thick with 90 flutes per each foot. They make a thinner type of corrugated paperboard that offers and number of advantages. First, they offer excellent printability for high-quality printing. Second, they reduce the space that box material takes up.
This type of corrugated box flute thickness is suitable for applications that need good printability and stacking strength, such as cereal boxes and shoe boxes. So it’s often used in a wide range of packaging and shipping needs.
The E flute corrugated box is also used in packaging that needs to be lightweight, such as packaging pizza and consumer products such as cosmetics. It offers good compression strength in a box that is not overly thick or heavy.
5. F Flute Corrugated Board
The F flute is the thinnest type of flute. It’s made up of corrugated paper that’s 1/32″ thick and containing 128 flutes for every linear foot. As you can see, these corrugated box flute types aim to achieve the best of both worlds by providing both strength and versatility.
Using these types of flutes in corrugated boxes provides several benefits: in addition to being very lightweight, it also offers good printability. The F flute corrugated board will also show good characteristics in terms of strength, despite being lightweight.
Applications for corrugated boxes with this type of fluting include fast food containers, packaging for baked goods, and retail packaging. These types of boxes may also be used to ship shoes and other items such as beauty products.
Using different types of flutes in corrugated boxes provides varying levels of protection, box durability and properties such as versatility. A business must, therefore, select the type of flute that best meets its needs. That also means selecting a box that will be printable, for example, based on the fluting profile, especially if also considering advancing your company’s brand. The information in this article will help you do all these, based on your business and other needs.