Understanding Board Grades

Corrugated containers are constructed with two main components: linerboard and medium. Linerboard is the flat facing that adheres to the medium. The medium is the wavy, fluted paper in between the liners (see below – C Flute). The following are four types of combined board. Singleface consists of one medium glued to one flat sheet of linerboard. Singlewall is made of one medium glued between two sheets of linerboard. Doublewall is three sheets of linerboard with two mediums in between and Triplewall is three mediums in between four sheets of linerboard.

Different board strengths are achieved through various linerboard and medium combinations (see common grades below). Additionally, different board thicknesses are obtained by altering the flutes, which are the wavy arches anchored in between the inside and outside liners. The most popular flute profiles are B and C for Singlewall and BC for Doublewall (see pictures below).

Singleface B Flute
Singleface B Flute
C Flute BC Flute
C Flute (click for zoom) BC Flute
Comparison of B,C and BC flute
Comparison of B,C and BC Flutes

There are two main ways to measure the strength of corrugated fiberboard. ECT (Edge Crush Test) measures the force the board can withstand by applying pressure to the board with the flutes vertically aligned. This simulates the board’s stacking strength and performance.  Mullen testing measures the material’s Burst Strength, or ability to withstand forces at pressure points. Some corrugators prefer to grade their boards using ECT while others prefer to use Mullen grades. While there is no direct relationship, general equivalencies and industry standards have been established to cross-reference and relate these two measurement systems. See table below:

Minimum

Minimum

Bursting Test

Edge Crush Test (ECT)

Singlewall 125

23

Singlewall 150

26

Singlewall 175

29

Singlewall 200

32

Singlewall 250

40

Singlewall 275

44

Singlewall 350

55

Doublewall 200

42

Doublewall 275

48

Doublewall 350

51

Doublewall 400

61

Doublewall 500

71

Doublewall 600

82

Triplewall 700

67

Triplewall 900

80

Triplewall 1100

90

Triplewall 1300

112

   

 Singlewall and Doublewall(psi)

 (lbs per inch width)

Triplewall(inch oz. per inch of tear)

 
   

Source =Fiber Box Handbook published by the Fibre Box Association www.fibrebox.org

 

 

 

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