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The Complete Guide to Corrugated Flutes

corrugated flutes

A cardboard box appears to be among the simplest objects available at first glance. Cardboard Boxes are more complicated than you might realize. It is because they are available in a wide variety of structural and design options.  

Have you heard about cardboard flutes in packaging? No, no, it is not an instrument of music. It is one of the structural dimensions of Cardboard Box Packaging.  

Corrugated flutes are the layers or thickness of Corrugated Packaging material arranged between the liner's layers in wave-like dimensions. You might not be able to see these flutes at first, but they play a crucial part in cardboard packaging, making It is among the best shipping options. 

Sounds interesting, right? Let's discuss it in detail then! 

The Main Objective of Cardboard Flute in Packaging 

Cardboard flute in packaging adds additional layers of insulation and protection to corrugated packaging. Additionally, they aid in the packaging's ability to withstand crushing and punctures. The corrugated flutes help packaging boxes so they can support heavier items without folding or breaking. 

There are various wall thicknesses, or flute sizes, for corrugated material. Every flute size serves a useful purpose, from improved printability, reduced storage space requirements, and shipping strength.  

The details and descriptions of each corrugated flute size are provided below. 

The 5 Types of Corrugated Cardboard

These are the five different Cardboard Flute types: 

  • A-Corrugated Flutes 

  • B-Corrugated Flutes 

  • C-Corrugated Flutes 

  • E-Corrugated Flutes 

  • F-Corrugated Flutes 

The thickness of these flutes varies from 5 millimeters to 0.8 millimeters. Furthermore, although the flutes may be named in order of size, they are named according to when they were created, with flute A being the first and flute F being the last. 

A Flutes  

The thickest flute is called A flute corrugated, with a thickness of about 5 millimeters or 14 inches. This indicates that a single linear foot of packaging contains about 36 flutes.  

Because of its extra-thick fluting, an A flute is perfect for delicate items that require additional protection. Additionally, this flute works well for bulkier items that need sturdy packaging. 

B Flutes 

Due to their crush and puncture resistance and good printing surface, B-flute corrugated roller is a common choice for marketing. A further advantage of the B-Flute is its thinner wall thickness; it requires less storage space. The second-highest arch, B-Flute, is used to hold small items like canned goods (food) and retail.

C Flutes  

C-Flute is the most popular option for robust and adaptable cardboard and is frequently used when packaging furniture and glass products because it is great for stacking. The percentage of C-flute in corrugated cardboard is thought to be over 80%. 

BC Flutes 

This B and C flute combination, also known as Twin Cushion, is frequently used in Australia because it is perfect for industrial applications and shipping heavy items. The strength of the cardboard is increased by combining the B-flute and C-flute, resulting in an increase in thickness to 9mm.  

As a result, the items inside are better protected, and the cardboard can safely support heavy weights without cracking. 

E Flutes  

Due to its flattest surface among the five flutes, the E-Flute cardboard is best for printing. E-Flute is frequently used for Cosmetics and Luxury Skincare Packaging due to its thin design, making it ideal for small boxes that need to be folded (like takeaway food containers). This one is an eco-friendly flute.  

To meet extremely specific packaging requirements, joining two flutes together is a choice that is becoming more and more popular. This might entail creating robust and printable cardboard with a polished finish, which could increase the number of readily available flutes in the future. 

F Flute  

The F flute is the thinnest corrugated flute, with a thickness of about 0.8 millimeters or 1/32 inch. Accordingly, a linear foot of cardboard in packaging contains approximately 128 flutes. The F flute is perfect for stiff packaging requirements for some consumer goods.

Differentiation Between B-Flute and E-Flute

The number of flutes per square meter is the main distinction between the B-flute and the E-flute. This number will regulate the strength and printability of the box. Although E-flutes typically have thinner sizes and additional flutes for each square meter. This reduces their strength while increasing their storage capacity. These flutes are simple to fold and can quickly deform. Additionally, their size makes them the easiest to print on because they can roll on printing machines easily. 

B-flute corrugated packaging is better suited for transporting larger and heavier goods or products. These cartons have the largest arch size but only a few flutes each square meter, increasing their available space stability. The flute's thickness limits the space restriction in the cartons; B-flutes are twice as thick as E corrugated flutes. B-flutes also don't work as well for printing. For them, strength and capacity are the only factors that matter. 

The Take-Up factor in Flutes 

Take up is the amount of pressure a corrugated packaging box can tolerate when other identical boxes are loaded on top of it. The corrugated box's construction material directly influences the number of flutes and cardboard flute sizes. It is well known that boxes made with B-flute have a greater holding ratio than boxes prepared with E-flute.

Other Factors to Consider while Choosing Corrugated Packaging

Board Type 

While flutes and liners play a part in constructing corrugated packaging materials, the precise proportions vary. There are four different board types to consider, each with a different set of liners and flutes:  

Single-Face: Fluting is layered once, followed by lining. These two make up the board's two layers. As a result of the absence of a second liner, it is, therefore, less durable than other board types. This kind of cardboard flute in packaging works best for inner box elements that give contents additional padding. 

Single-Wall: The most popular type of board is a single-wall board with two liners on either side of one layer of fluting. Because it offers sufficient insulation and content protection, this board is frequently used in shipping cartons. 

You can get a better understanding of box type and flutes by the following cardboard flute chart:

Double-Wall: Five layers make up a double-wall board, with three layers of liner encasing two layers of fluting. This double-wall functions as two boxes combined into one. This indicates that it is incredibly robust and suitable for use with large industrial equipment. B/C, F/E, E/C, and E/B cardboard flute types fall in this category.  

Triple-Wall: A triple-wall board has three layers of fluting and four layers of the liner, for a total of seven layers. This board is like three boxes in one, much like a double wall. Triple wall packaging is used frequently for shipping crates and chemical containers because it is the most durable board type. 

Box Style 

Consider the following various box designs for your products and brand:  

Mailer Box: A mailer box is made effective, protective, and fashionable thanks to clever features like dust flaps that successfully seal and shield the package's contents. Mailer Boxes are frequently used by subscription services and e-commerce sites for their goods or products.  

One-Piece Folder Box: A one-piece folder box is made to be concise, elegant, and simple to put together. A fragment of corrugated cardboard makes up this box, which can be put together rapidly and simply to ship items like artwork or books.  

Shipping Box: A single wall box pattern with B flute cardboard gives a Shipping Box a timeless, traditional, and protective appearance. You can ship just about anything in this box 

The Best Printing Options for Flutes  

Corrugated packaging doesn't have to be the boring and plain brown cardboard you find all around. Direct printing is possible on the corrugated flute. This is the ideal chance for branding, allowing you to showcase your brand and goods elegantly. Flexographic, lithographic, and digital printing are three different printing methods on corrugated flute material. 

Lithographic printing is best for large-scale printing jobs. The most popular method is flexographic printing because it is quick, simple, and economical. The lack of specialized plates makes digital printing perfect for jobs printing on a small scale. The following video might help you select the right size, type, and printing of corrugated flute for your Product's Packaging.  

Winding Up Discussion 

You can now choose packaging confidently with a better understanding of cardboard flute in packaging. However, feel free to contact the professionals at Half Price Packaging if you have any additional queries about packaging. 

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