Packaging companies love boasting about their products, and also discuss the substrates involved in making boxes, polythene, stretch film, and tape. Cardboard boxes are the backbone of the packaging industry. However, it is quite easy to forget that the boxes you use on a regular basis were once a tree. This article divulges the process of turning trees into a corrugated cardboard—cleaning the raw materials and processing them in order to make them into a cardboard that you can use on a daily basis. Read on.

First things first

A cardboard box is made of a flute which is made of a recycled paper which is sandwiched between the two liners. These liners can now commonly be made up of a considerable proportion of the recycled content which is sourced from an old cardboard or the other sources of a second hand paper. But in order to make a top quality box, virgin Kraft is used.

The trees

When making boxes, two different liners are involved. The material is laid on the top and beneath the fluting and creates a corrugated board. Usually, cardboard boxes consist of a test paper inner liner and a Kraft paper outer as Kraft is better than the test paper and has a smoother finish so as it prints on it easily. Kraft is also more resistant to the water penetration which is an additional benefit of using it for the outer face.

Kraft paper is made from softwood trees like Pine, Spruce, and Fir Trees. As the long fibers of the trees are better in tension which is why they are tear and burst resistant. Test paper liners are made from hardwood trees like Oak, Sycamore, Birch, and Chestnut. The short fibers of the trees are cheaper and are more of an abrasive quality.

Pulping

The trees are cut and lumbered then debarked and chipped in a machine. Then the chips undergo mechanical or chemical pulping. The former involves grinding the wood into individual cellulose fibers and forcing the logs into a pulp. The latter involves cooking the wooden chops to eliminate the raw materials into individual cellulose fibers.

Fluting

It is a wavy piece of board which is sandwiched between the liners and makes the box strong and protective. In order to create a fluted effect on the paper, it is subjected to a corrugated roller machine. Now the R Flute is used which is an alternative to B flute board. The best box packaging companies favor the fluting process the most.

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