Learn the Basics of Corrugated Fiberboard Box 

Cardboard boxes and corrugated fiberboard carton used in packaging are commonly misunderstood. The first one is actually a heavy-duty chipboard box, used for packing lightweight products like board games and cereals. The latter is used widely in applications that need lightweight but strong material. It includes retail packaging, product displays, shipping cartons, and more.

Corrugated fiberboard composition

It has two key components –

  1. The linerboard – It is the flat surface you see on the outside that sticks to the medium.
  2. The medium – It is the wavy and fluted [arched shape] paper incorporated between the liners, which contribute to the robustness.

Both the components are designed from containerboard. The strength of the board differs depending on the combination of linerboard and medium.

  • Single face – 1 linerboard sheet + 1 corrugated medium [flutes are exposed]
  • Single wall – 2 linerboard sheets + 1 corrugated medium
  • Double-wall – 3 linerboard sheets + 2 mediums
  • Triple wall – 4 linerboard sheets + 3 mediums

Flute profiles

Flute size determines the wall thickness of corrugated box manufacturing and its stacking strength.

The 5 common flute profiles are –

  • A [33 flutes] – Thickest flute roughly 5mm thick, great for extra cushioning and stacking strength.
  • B [47 flutes] – 3.2mm thick, designed for self-supporting products like canned goods [don’t need a box for support].
  • C [39 flutes] – 4mm in density and an all-purpose flute used today for carton shipping.
  • E [90 flutes] – 1.6mm, offers superior image clarity for prints.
  • F [125 flutes] – 0.8mm, fine for small retail packing.

Box styles

Slotted boxes

Generally designed form one piece of corrugated board. Boxes can be shipped as well as stored flat. The common types are –

  • Regular slotted container
  • Half slotted container
  • Center special full overlap slotted container
  • Overlap slotted container
  • Full overlap slotted container
  • Center special slotted container

Telescope boxes

A top & bottom piece that fits over one another is the telescope style.

  • Full telescope design style container
  • Full telescope half slotted container

Rigid boxes

It includes two same end panels, where the body folds to form a two side panel with unbroken top and bottom.

Self-erecting boxes

It features a telescope style top or regular slotted container.


It consists of a single or more sheet of the combined board having an unbroken bottom surface, which can fold around the products. The popular styles are –

  • One-piece folder
  • Five-panel folder
  • Trays

Interior forms

  • Pads
  • Tubes
  • Partitions
  • Inner-box die-cut pieces

With this basic know-how, you are ready to choose appropriate packaging for your product!

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