Cardboard versus Corrugated – there ARE distinct differences

At Midwest Graphics, we pride ourselves in being able to print directly to various substrates.  While corrugated is the most commonly requested substrate, many other options are available and used by our customers. This could include substrates like PVC, Transilwrap, Foam Corr, Tile, Magnetic, Mylar/Acetate and Acrylic among others.

While corrugated is the most popularly-used substrate, there is a tendency for people to confuse corrugated with cardboard.  Many people will use the two terms interchangeably, thinking they are referring to the same thing.  That’s simply not true.

So, what is the difference between corrugated and cardboard?

While it’s common for people to refer to corrugated and cardboard interchangeably as “paper packing material”, any professional in the packing industry will tell you there are distinct differences.

Cardboard typically refers to a thick paper stock or heavy paper-pulp This could apply to the material used to make greeting cards or playing cards, for example. It could also apply to the thin cardboard that is used to manufacture cereal boxes.

The secret to corrugated strength lies in its fluted center.

Corrugated is made up of three layers of paper that includes an inside liner, an outside liner, and fluting with a ruffled shape, which runs in between the two. This substantially increases the durability, alleviating the worry that your products will be damaged during shipping.

Some of the characteristics that makes corrugated so attractive as a packing medium include:

  • Durability
  • Lightweight with a high strength-to-weight ratio
  • Provides for greater product protection
  • Cost-effective
  • Environmentally friendly

Any manufacturer desires to minimize the risk of damage when shipping their product. Corrugated is always the right choice over cardboard when seeking to reduce the possibility of damage during shipping. Corrugated sheets formed into boxes are ideal because they are very strong and durable, and are easily recycled.

At Midwest Graphics, we can print onto corrugated flat substrate up to 1 3/8” thick. Give us a call for your next printing need.

 

 

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