What's Cardboard Box?

Cardboard boxes are industrially prefabricated boxes, primarily used for packaging goods and materials. Specialists in industry seldom use the term cardboard because it does not denote a specific material.

The term cardboard may refer to a variety of heavy paper-like materials, including card stock, corrugated fiberboardor paperboard. The meaning of the term may depend on the locale, contents, construction, and personal choice. 

In business and industry, material producers, container manufacturers, packaging engineers, and standards organizations, try to use more specific terminology. There is still not complete and uniform usage. Often the term “cardboard” is avoided because it does not define any particular material.

Broad divisions of paper-based packaging materials are:

  • Paper is thin material mainly used for writing upon, printing upon or for packaging. It is produced by pressing together moist fibers, typically cellulose pulp derived from wood, rags or grasses, and drying them into flexible sheets.
  • Paperboard, sometimes known as cardboard, is generally thicker (usually over 0.25 mm or 10 points) than paper. According to ISO standards, paperboard is a paper with a basis weight (grammage) above 224 g/m², but there are exceptions. Paperboard can be single- or multi-ply.
  • Corrugated fiberboard sometimes known as corrugated board or corrugated cardboard, is a combined paper-based material consisting of a fluted corrugated medium and one or two flat linerboards.

There are also multiple names for containers:

  • shipping container made of corrugated fiberboard is sometimes called a “cardboard box”, a “carton”, or a “case”.
  • A folding carton made of paperboard is sometimes called a “cardboard box’’.
  • A set-up box is made of a non-bending grade of paperboard and is sometimes called a “cardboard box”.
  • Drink boxes made of paperboard laminates, are sometimes called “cardboard boxes” and sometimes “cartons” or “boxes”.
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