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Is Corrugated the Same Thing as Cardboard?

Nope. Corrugated is not the same thing as cardboard, although it is a very common misnomer. In fact, cardboard is not a valid term at all. There are two types of paper products containers are made from, paperboard (also known as chipboard), and corrugated.

Paperboard is a single layer of thick paper stock or heavy paper pulp. It is used extensively in retail, non-shipping containers. An example would be a cereal box. These paperboard boxes are then packed into a corrugated box for shipment to a store or consumer.


Corrugated board is a combination of three or more layers of paper stock. The inner and outer layers are called liners and the center, fluted layer is called the medium. The fluted medium is the key to the strength and lightweight nature of corrugated. It gives a box cushioning and a structural integrity that is not present in paperboard boxes.


While paperboard boxes have an important place in many retail applications, corrugated boxes are ideal for withstanding the rigors of shipping while protecting your product from damage. If a corrugated box is dropped the flutes compress to absorb the impact and protect the contents. When a paperboard box is dropped the force of the drop is transferred directly to its contents. There is no way for the box material to absorb the impact.


Corrugated board comes in many different combinations of liner strengths and flute sizes. Figuring out which one is best for your application can be difficult. Here at Forest Packaging (www.Forestpkg.com) we have customer service representatives with a wealth of knowledge, ready to help you identify the right corrugated board grade and box design to achieve your packaging goals.


Drop us a line today, we are happy to help you!

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