As a warehouse manager, VP of operations, buyer, purchaser, or procurement official, you understand the critical importance of using strong packaging materials when shipping product to customers.
If the product arrives in good condition, everyone is happy and nobody thinks about the packaging. Choosing the right box is often the first step in protecting your product. But, if the product arrives damaged, however, every part of the shipping process is closely inspected to find a reason for the failure.
Protection Starts with Corrugated Flutes
Sometimes a failure to protect the box contents is due to using the wrong packaging supplies. Although boxes can be used to ship everything, using a poorly reinforced box can lead to disastrous shipping results.
It is crucial for the buyer to carefully choose packaging so that the entire process will flow smoothly. Surprisingly enough, there are certain elements of engineering that go into the design of boxes and packaging elements. One of the simplest, but most effective, forms of protection is corrugated flutes.
How They Work
Instead of just using a cardboard separator that does not provide ample protection or support, packaging designers have found that the best way to increase fiberboard strength is by adding wavelike arches, or flutes, between the two linerboards.
If pressure is applied to the side of the board, space between the flutes serves as a protective cushion for the container’s contents. Once these flutes are properly anchored to the linerboard with a strong adhesive, they resist pressure and bending from all directions, and increase the likelihood of a safe product delivery.
Not only do they form rigid columns which can support a great deal of weight, corrugated flutes can also act as an insulating agent to protect the contents from extreme temperature variations.
Corrugated Flute Sizing
The flutes themselves come in a variety of sizes, which serve a number of useful functions such as increased shipping strength, reduced storage space, and improved printability. Corrugated flute sizes include:
- A Flutes:
- This flute profile has about 33 flutes per foot and is 3/16” in thickness. Its larger size generally provides greater strength and cushioning.
- B Flutes:
- With about 47 flutes per foot and 1/8” of thickness, this size flute is perfect for protecting canned goods.
- C Flutes:
- At about 38 flutes per foot and 5/32” in thickness, this is generally considered the most adaptable, all-purpose flute.
- E Flutes:
- This size has about 90 flutes per foot and is 1/16” in thickness, giving it a greater crush resistance and a relatively flat surface which can be used for high-quality printing applications.
- F Flutes:
- This flute has about 125 flutes per foot and is 1/32” in thickness. It was developed for small folding carton type boxes, and is perfect for retail packaging.
The printout below is meant for you to keep on hand for easy referencing -- making ordering shipping supplies easier than ever before.
Don’t forget: Flutes can also be customized to ensure optimum safety of your product during transit. For more information about custom flutes, give us a call! A packaging expert is always happy to chat.