Blog · November 10, 2019

6 Best Cardboard Characteristics and Qualities

Cardboard is pretty amazing, when you think about it. The thing is nobody really thinks about it, do they? Yet, we probably see cardboard every day. Millions of tons of cardboard are used every year all over the world. It has many impressive characteristics. Businesses know this and that’s why it is used every day in the business world.

Cardboard is similar to paper, but it is much thicker. It is made of cellulose and wood fiber. The material is durable and sustainable. Cardboard can also be customized to meet specific needs. For more information, let’s take a look at six different cardboard characteristics and qualities:

1. Durable

One of the impressive cardboard characteristics is its durability. Cardboard box packaging is known for its strength and durability, so it does not tear or puncture easily. This is not to say that it cannot be torn or punctured if that is the intention of someone!

If you notice the arched design of the fluting, you can understand why cardboard is as durable as it is. The physics of the fluting also lends a hand to cardboard’s strength. The fluting is lined up in such a way that the interior paper makes columns. This is the secret to why cardboard can support a lot of weight.

2. Insulation

The fluting design of the interior gives corrugated cardboard insulating properties. Again, it comes down to physics and the design. Since the arched flutes enable it to withstand external force, it also allows it to trap air between the 2 layers. This increases the time to transfer heat energy from the outside to the interior of the box. The molecular makeup of corrugated cardboard and its double walls help to make it a good insulator. We’ll take the word of these scientists.

In the business world, it’s all about making money. Cardboard is used by businesses all over the world. It is a very efficient material used in many packaging solutions, yet it is also inexpensive. The fluted design and the condensed wood fibers help to trap air, making it a good insulator. Besides, it is also great for transporting and protecting products.

3. Customizable

Cardboard can be customized in many ways in order to fit the need of the end consumer. For example, while packing boxes are corrugated for obvious reasons, a box of cereal is not. Cardboard can also be easily cut or folded to make various displays. In the same way, they can be cut or folded to make boxes of different shapes and sizes.

You can also print logos on the paper material. You can print messages or warnings and all kinds of other information. It can also be treated so that static electricity is controlled, or it can be made flame retardant. When it comes to shelf space or shipping requirements, cardboard boxes can be easily customized.

4. Sustainable & Recyclable

Due to cardboard being made of wood fibers, you can recycle it (and it is biodegradable) and it is also sustainable. It probably is not recyclable if it has been treated in some way, either with a flame retardant or wax. You may have seen vegetables being delivered in a shiny, wax-like cardboard box that is really smooth to the touch. These cannot be recycled. It is estimated that the average corrugated cardboard box is made with almost 50 percent recycled fiber.

Cardboard is also arguably, the most recycled material. This is great, because the recycled cardboard is then made into new ones. Trees are a renewable resource and since cardboard is made from these raw materials, it is sustainable. There is an organization in Canada and the US called Sustainable Forestry Initiative, or SFI, and it supports forest management. A huge amount of corrugated cardboard boxes is made with the raw materials supplied by this organization.

5. Affordable

Cardboard is also very popular for many reasons, including those mentioned above. Cardboard is made with special paper that is glued together. Paper is not expensive. The glue used is made of cornstarch. These ingredients are not expensive which is why cardboard isn’t either.

6. Flexible

Cardboard boxes can be folded flat when it needs to be shipped. This makes it easy to transport a large number of cardboard boxes. Folding does not compromise the strength of the box. When a box is needed, it can be easily and quickly put together.

Cardboard is strong, but there is also a bit of give. This gives it a padding and protective factor to whatever is in the box. Half of cardboard is just air. This is impressive when you see a large box, yet it is still so light. While the paper it is made from may be flimsy, the finished product remains rigid.

The only negative cardboard characteristic is that if it gets wet, it will become soggy and disintegrate. Off all the cardboard characteristics, this is probably the only downside. Can you think of anything else?