Frequently Asked Questions

GLOSSARY

A glossary of terms related to the corrugated/packaging industry.

  • Adhesive – Substance capable of adhering one surface to another. For example, the substance used to adhere linerboard to the tips of flutes of corrugated medium, or to hold overlapping flaps together to form the joint or to close a box.
  • Inking system used in flexographic presses – Inking system used in flexographic presses
  • Bar Code – An identification symbol. Alpha or alpha-numeric information is encoded in a sequence of high-contrast, rectangular bras and blank spaces. The relative widths of these bars and spaces and their sequence differentiate the individual characters that make up the encoded information. Bar codes are “read” by electronic scanners.
  • Basis Weight (of containerboard) – Weight of linerboard or corrugating medium expressed in terms of pounds per 1,000 square feet
  • Bleed – To run, dilute, or migrate colors into unwanted areas connected to areas that are printed. To print an area beyond the cut edge or score so that the design is cut off or folded under.
  • Box Blank – Flat sheet of corrugated or solid fiberboard that has been cut, slotted and score so when it is folded along the score lines and joined, it will be in the form of a box.
  • Boxboard – The types of paperboard used to manufacture folding cartons (not used in corrugated boxes).
  • Box Manufacturer’s Certificate (BMC) – A statement printed within a circular or rectangular border on a corrugated box guaranteeing that all applicable construction requirements of the carrier classifications have been observed and identifying the box manufacturer.
  • Box Style – – Distinctive configuration of a box design, without regard to size, such as an “RSC” or “Die Cut”.
  • Burst Strength/Mullen – Force required to rupture linerboard of combined board, using hydraulic pressure measured by a Mullen tester, relates indirectly to the box’s ability to withstand external or internal forces, and to contain the contents during rough handling.
  • Caliper – SThickness of a material usually expressed in thousandths of an inch (mils).
  • Cardboard – A thin, stiff pasteboard, sometimes used for playing cards or signs. Misuse has extended the laymen’s definition to include boxboard (used to make folding cartons) and containerboard, a totally different material used to make corrugated board.
  • Compression Strength – A corrugated box’s resistance to uniform applied external forces.
  • Containerboard – The paperboard components (linerboard, corrugating material) used to manufacture corrugated and solid fiberboard. The raw materials used to make containerboard may be virgin cellulose fiber, recycled fiber or a combination of both.
  • Corrugated Board – The Structure formed on a corrugator by gluing one or more sheets of fluted containerboard (medium) to one or more sheets of flat containerboard (linerboard). There are four common types:
    • Singleface – combination of one fluted corrugating medium glued to one flat sheet of linerboard.
    • Singlewall – two sheets of linerboard, one glued to each side of a fluted medium.
    • Doublewall – combination of one fluted corrugating medium glued to one flat sheet of linerboard.
    • Triplewall – four flat sheets of linerboard, with three corrugated mediums.
  • Corrugated Medium – a sheet of corrugating material pressed into the wave shape known as flutes.
  • Die-cut – The act of cutting raw material (such as containerboard) to a desired shape (such as a box blank) by using a die.
  • Dimensions –– the three measurements of a box, given in the sequence of length, width and depth. Inside dimensions are used to assure proper fit around a product. Outside dimensions are used in the carrier classifications and in determining pallet patterns.
    • Length – The larger of the two dimensions of the open face of a box as it is set up to receive product (after closing the joint).
    • Width – The smaller of the two dimensions of the open face.
    • Depth – The distance measured perpendicular to the length and width.
  • Edge Crush Test (ECT) – the amount of force needed to cause compressive failure of corrugated board. A primary factor in predicting the compression strength of a completed box.
  • Flaps – Extensions of the side wall panels that close a box. Flaps are usually defined by one scoreline and three edges. When folded and sealed with tape, adhesive or wire stitches, flaps close the remaining openings of a box.
  • Edge Crush Test (ECT) – the amount of force needed to cause compressive failure of corrugated board. A primary factor in predicting the compression strength of a completed box.
  • Flaps – Extensions of the side wall panels that close a box. Flaps are usually defined by one scoreline and three edges. When folded and sealed with tape, adhesive or wire stitches, flaps close the remaining openings of a box.
  • Flexo Folder Gluer (FFG) – a machine that , in one operation, prints, scores, slots and folds a box blank, and then glues the side seam (manufacturer’s joint) to complete the manufacture of a box (typically an RSC style).
  • Flexography or Flexo –a type of rotary letterpress printing using flexible plates and fast-drying, water-based inks.
  • Flute –one of the wave shapes pressed into corrugated medium. A, B, C, E, and F are common flutes types along with a variety of much larger flutes and mini-flutes.
  • Glue – - a synonym for adhesive, usually a cold-set or hot-melt application used to seal box flaps and box joints.
  • Joint (Manufacturer’s Joint) – the part of the box where the ends of the scored and slotted blank are fastened together by taping, stitching or gluing.
  • Linerboard – Paperboard used for the flat outer facings of combined corrugated fiberboard.
  • Linerboard (White Top or Mottled) – an uncoated linerboard of two or more layers that has a white surface of either bleached fibers or cleaned recycled white fibers., often used for graphic cartons and POP displays.
  • Litho or Lithography –a printing process using a plate that has been chemically treated so that the image to be printed is receptive to ink, while blank areas repel ink. Used primarily for fine reproduction, including labels for boxes. Two common ways of printing on corrugated packaging are either litho labels or litho lamination.
  • Pad (Slip Sheet) – A corrugated or solid fiberboard sheet or other authorized material used for extra protection or for separating tiers or layers of articles when packed or palletized for shipment.
  • Partitions – A set of corrugated, solid fiberboard or chipboard pieces that interlock when assembled to form a number of cells into which articles may be placed for shipment.
  • Preprint –a web (roll) of linerboard that has been printed and re-wound prior to the manufacture of combined board. Use requires special equipment on a Corrugator to assure precise slit, score and cut-off operations.
  • Printer-Slotter – a machine that prints corrugated sheets, and then scores and slots to complete the manufacture of box blanks.
  • Recycled Content – – corrugated may contain up to 100 percent recycled fibers. Fiber may be recycled from pre-consumer sources (box plant scrap and trimmings) and/or post-consumer sources (corrugated boxes that have been used and recovered for recycling).
  • Regular slotted container (RSC) – the most commonly recognized box style, manufactured from a single sheet of corrugated board to form a box which has four sides with top and bottom flaps.
  • Score or Score Line – a well-defined impression or crease in corrugated or solid fiberboard made to position and facilitate folds.
  • Sheet – A rectangle of corrugated board without any slots or glues joints, untrimmed or trimmed, which may or may not have scoring.
  • Stacking Strength – The maximum compression load a container can bear over a given length of time, under given environmental/distribution conditions, without failing.
  • TAPPI – AA technical organization that develops and distributes knowledge on the pulp and paper industry.
  • Water Resistant – A board, to be water resistant, shall be sized (treated with water-repellant materials) or so calendared so as to have a degree of resistance to damage or deterioration by water in liquid form.
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