ECT: Edge Crush Test
The strength of cardboard packaging is a major concern for manufacturers and consumers. To assess this strength, various tests have been developed, with the Edge Crush Test (ECT) being one of the most widely used. The ECT is designed to measure the resistance of a vertically oriented cardboard sample to vertical compression. This test is particularly useful as it evaluates the rigidity of the cardboard, which is directly related to the compression strength of stacked boxes.
The Edge Crush Test is typically conducted using a specific machine that applies a compressive force on the edge of the cardboard sample. The edge refers to the cut edge of the sample, which reveals the layered construction of the cardboard.
The cardboard is positioned vertically, and a force is gradually applied until the sample deforms or fractures. The maximum force that the sample can withstand before deformation or fracture is recorded as the ECT value.
The sample used for ECT is typically rectangular in shape, although other shapes may be used. Rectangular specimens are most common as they best simulate the real-world conditions that cardboard faces when used for packaging or shipping.
ECT serves as an indicator of cardboard quality and its ability to withstand stacking, crushing, and other forms of physical stress during transportation and storage.
The obtained ECT value can help manufacturers determine whether a particular type of cardboard is suitable for a specific use. For example, cardboard with a higher ECT value would be more appropriate for packaging heavy products or for parcels that need to be stacked during transport.
The ISO 3037 is the reference standard for ECT measurement.
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