Brush up on your packaging terms and definitions! Contact a Packaging Specialist for more details about what to consider for your packaging and shipping needs.

A Flute: Approximately 1/4″ thick. Greater thickness provides better stacking strength than B or C Flutes.

B Flute: Approximately 1/8″ thick. Provides a better printing surface than A or C Flutes. Folds better for Die Cut boxes.

Bar Code: Otherwise known as the Universal Product Code (UPC).

Board Test: Method used to measure the strength of combined board. Important in determining the box’s ability to protect and contain its contents during rough shipments. See Edge Crush Test and Mullen Test.

Box Maker’s Certificate: Also known as a Manufacturer’s Stamp. Usually placed on the bottom of the box. Includes the box supplier’s name, along with the specifications of the linerboard.

Bundle: Small group of boxes (usually 20-25) tied together for ease in handling.

C Flute: Approximately 3/16″ thick. Most common Flute. Combines characteristics of A and B Flutes. Used for normal shipping.

CB Flute: Approximately 1/4″ thick. A combination of C and B Flutes, also known as a Double Wall (D/W). Used for extra cushioning and heavy objects.

Coatings: Chemicals applied to corrugated board to enhance certain properties. Coatings should be evaluated according to specific uses such as cold-set and hot-melt gluability, printability, and recycling.

Color Coating: Applies a solid color to the corrugated board. The color-coated surface is also printable.

Depth: The distance that is perpendicular to the open face of a box. Sometimes referred to as the height of a box.

Die Cut: Uses a steel-rule cutting die to stamp out irregular shapes. Used when straight lines and right angle cuts do not produce the desired shape for the box. Die cuts can be used to achieve angles, curves, slits, perforations, and cut-outs.

Dimensions: Measurements that define the size of the inside of a box. Exterior measurements of a box are usually not provided. See Length, Width, and Depth.

Direct Print Graphics: The most common form of graphics on corrugated. Ink is transferred via print plates to the box during the manufacturing process. Flexography is the most common method. Can be done from 1 to 4 colors.

E Flute: Approximately 1/16″ thick. Used primarily for small boxes. Also substitutes for folding cartons in some applications. Provides better printing surface than A, B, or C Flutes.

Edge Crush Test (ECT): Measures the ability of the combined board to resist top-to-bottom crushing. Can be substituted for Mullen Test in certain applications. Results in a designation of “32ECT”, “44ECT”, etc.

Flutes: Wave shapes pressed into the corrugated medium. They form the columns and arches that give corrugated board its strength. Common Flutes are A, B, C, CB, and E.

Graphics: Applying images and text to a box by one of several methods.

Label Graphics: Printed using the litho offset method and then laminated to a sheet of corrugated. More complex than Direct Print graphics. Usually higher quality and includes 4-color graphics. Popular for retail applications. Can be applied to the flat board before the manufacturing process begins.

Length: The larger of the two Dimensions of the open face of a box. Length is always the first of the three Dimensions listed when giving the size of a box.

Manufacturer’s Joint: Method used to close the box on either 1 or 2 corners. Tape, glue, and stitch are examples.

Manufacturer’s Stamp and ID: Standard print that includes the Box Makers Certificate and a form of customer identification. Usually provided at no additional charge.

Moisture Resistant Coating: Reduces penetration of moisture and the resulting effects of weakening the box and affecting the contents.

Mullen Test: The force, measured in pounds per square inch, required to burst or rupture the combined board. Results in a designation of 200#, 275#, etc. For example, a 200# designation means the board burst under 200 pounds per square inch of hydraulic pressure from the Mullen Test machine.

Non-Abrasion Coating: Diminishes the natural tendency of the paper fibers to scratch or scuff the contents of the box.

Non-Skid Coating: Prevents boxes from sliding while they are stacked and in transit from one place to another.

Oil and Grease Resistant Coatings: Enhances the boxes ability to resist penetration of oil or grease, either from the outside or from within the box.

Preprint Graphics: A roll of linerboard is printed before it is combined into a sheet of corrugated. Requires very large quantities to be cost effective.

Skin-Pack Adhesion Coating: Helps the plastic film used for skin packaging to adhere to the linerboard of a box.

Stretch Wrap: Adds a thin plastic protection to the outside of a finished Unit, to protect against dust and/or load shifting during transit.

Unit: A group of Bundles or individual boxes bound together with steel or plastic banding material for handling with a forklift.

Width: The smaller of the two Dimensions of the open face of a box.