The packaging material is one of the essential components of product packaging. It is responsible for the overall strength of the packaging. Furthermore, the look and feel of the packaging also depend on the choice of packaging material you use. You might have heard of the term “cardboard” being thrown a lot. You might think it is that double-walled sheet of thick packaging material that contains a wavy structure in the middle. Cardboard and corrugated are not the same packaging materials.  This blog will tell you about:
  • The primary difference between the two packaging materials
  • The impact of corrugated packaging on the industry
  • Types of paper liners for corrugated packaging
  • Fluting grades for corrugated packaging
So without further ado, let’s dive right into the wonderfully wavy world of corrugated packaging materials.

The Difference Between Corrugated And Cardboard Packaging Materials

To understand the difference between the two materials, let’s start from the absolute basics. The cardboard material is very thick paper stock (read: paper). It is made using heavy paper pulp. It is usually employed when you want to make boxes for small products; think Kellog’s cereal boxes. This material can also be used as structural support in other kinds of packaging to help them retain their shape during shipping and retail handling. Corrugated boxes are not made using cardboard packaging materials. Corrugated packaging material uses three layers of paper liners; an inside liner, an outside liner, and a fluted layer sandwiched between the two. One of the most common uses of corrugated packaging materials is shipping boxes. For example, think about the amazon boxes. In essence, the critical difference between the two packaging materials can be summarized in the following points:
  • The raw materials used for making the materials
  • The weight of the packaging material
  • The durability of the packaging materials
  • The use of the packaging materials
Now that you know about cardboard and corrugated packaging material let’s see how it has impacted the industry.

The Impact Of Corrugated Packaging On The Industry

The corrugated packaging material has left a remarkable impact on the industry. It has become the go-to solution for shipping products cost-effectively over long distances. The corrugated board packaging market is anticipated to develop at a CAGR of 3.43 percent from 2021 through 2026. Corrugated packaging is versatile and offers incredible benefits. The following are the various reasons why the corrugated packaging material is the preferred option of countless brands:
  • Protection
  • Durability
  • Environmentally-Friendly
  • Customizable
Let’s see how these options help industry leaders opt for corrugated packaging material.


Corrugated is one of the best packaging choices for those who want to keep their things safe during transportation. It can endure the jerks and bumps associated with being transferred and sent and give a lot of support to the products.


Corrugated boxes are long-lasting due to their protective qualities. The boxes themselves can handle a lot of impact without harming the contents. They also act as a barrier to the environmental elements of objects.


Sustainability is becoming more important, and packaging, in particular, is becoming more critical. The liners are made out of recycled fibres to some extent. They’re also easily recyclable, making them a more environmentally responsible option for packing.


Corrugated boxes are the ideal choice for individuals searching for bespoke packaging solutions. The shapes and thicknesses may be readily altered. That allows the packaging material to exhibit increased printability. Furthermore, you can even use various add-ons and finishing coats to enhance the visual appeal of the packaging with ease. The e-commerce industry emerged as a significant player in recent years. Prominent e-commerce companies like Amazon have been using corrugated board boxes for the principal packaging. Following the Covid-19 outbreak, two fundamental market drivers are food packaging and growing e-commerce cargo demands. Demand for grocery packaging, healthcare products, and e-commerce shipments has grown sharply on e-commerce sites.

Types Of Paper Liners For Corrugated Packaging

Now that you know the importance of corrugated packaging for the industry let’s see the different types of liners that help make the corrugated packaging material. The following are some different liners that help comprise corrugated packaging:
  • Kraft Liners
  • Test Liners
  • Flute Paper

Kraft Liners

Liners is a high-quality, hemp-based printing paper made from softwood trees. Kraft paper has 70-80 percent “virgin” chemical pulp fiber, making it exceptionally durable. Paper is the most environmentally friendly of all the papers available. However, it is one of the costliest options.
  • The shade of the natural brown color varies from mil to mil.
  • White Top Kraft is the go-to option for custom prints.
  • As the name suggests, Fully Bleached White offers an entirely white surface. It is bleached. Furthermore, this grade isn’t as eco-friendly as unbleached Kraft.

Test Liners

Test paper is a cost-effective option compared to Kraft. The paper liner has a more significant proportion of recycled fiber than Kraft’s 70-80% “virgin” fiber, resulting in a less durable paper shell. The higher amount of recycled fibres makes the paper more difficult to print on. Consequently, test paper is frequently used as a corrugated box’s inner liner.
  • Grade 2 is partly recycle
  • Grade 3 is fully recycle
  • White Top is coated with a white recycle liner
  • The oyster liner has spots or smears of color.

Flute Paper

There are two common types of flute paper:
  • Semi Chem
  • Waste Based

Semi Chem

These are made with virgin fibers, which means that recycled fibers are not used. Furthermore, the fibers are processed with a ‘sulfite semi-chemical process.’

Waste Based

As the name suggests, this fluting is made using 100 % recycled fibers.

Fluting Grades For Corrugated Packaging

The fluting grades of the corrugated packaging material help define the performance of the packaging. The flutes are responsible for giving the packaging materials their cushioning, strength, and stability. There are five grades of fluting:
  • A-Flute (1/4″)
  • B-Flute (1/8″)
  • C-Flute (3/16″)
  • E-Flute (1/16″)
  • F-Flute (1/32″)

A-Flute – 1/4″

This grade has one of the most excellent degrees of protection and cushioning. It’s well suited to protect heavier or oddly shaped items.

B-Flute – 1/8″

B-Flute is quite robust and typically utilizes in-store counters and canned food items. It has excellent all-around performance for all sorts of packaging. And it’s also frequently used as padding, divisions, and other supplemental packing material.

C-Flute – 3/16″

This grade is in the middle of the pack, which shows its properties. It has average crush resistance, stacking strength, and printing capability.

E-Flute – 1/16″

E-Flute is fluted paper that isn’t commonly used in shipping. Because it is one of the thinnest flute grades, it is occasionally used as a substitute for paperboard folding boxes. E-Flute provides outstanding compression strength, crush resistance, and a smooth surface for high-quality printing applications. As a result, it’s perfect for cosmetics and electronics.

F-Flute – 1/32″

In terms of protection, F-Flute is identical to E-Flute, but it has a smoother surface for higher-quality printing. As a result, it is extensively utilized in the United States to make clamshell packaging for the fast-food industry. Double-wall corrugated board is used by brands who demand more from their packaging material. That implies they can combine different flutes to make their packaging material more practical. The following are some of the most prevalent corrugated fluting combinations:
  • AC Flute
  • BC Flute
  • EB Flute


Corrugated packaging is one of the best possibilities for creating custom packing boxes that can help enhance your brand. With this material, you can have a lot of creative leeway in making the packaging exactly how you want it, which can be entertaining. By having a thorough understanding of corrugated packaging, businesses can generate brand credibility and a fantastic customer experience. For all of your bespoke corrugated packaging needs, contact Plus Printers. We will assist you in developing packaging solutions that will benefit your company.  

Welcome to the
Plus Printers

Your go-to destination for custom packaging tips, newest packaging trends, and inspiration. Follow Me


0 Comments Write a comment

Leave a comment

Product has been added to your cart

Have questions? We have answers

Fill out the form and your dedicated packaging consultant will get in touch!