Corrugated cardboard packaging is a preferred solution for the protection and transportation of various products. The characteristics and properties of these packages depend on several factors, including the stresses they undergo during use.
Weather conditions and variations, handling, palletization, storage, transportation, distribution channels, sales promotion (printing), and recycling are factors that can influence the quality and durability of corrugated cardboard packaging.
The geometry of the box, the composition of the papers and corrugated material (recycled or non-recycled), as well as the manufacturing technique and mechanization of the packaging - including shaping, printing, and filling - also determine the performance of the packaging.
Box Compression Test (BCT) is a key measure of the mechanical performance of a cardboard box. It assesses the packaging's ability to withstand vertical compression, which is crucial in determining its stacking ability.
However, several factors can affect these performance measures. Internal or external lateral pressures that cause the sidewalls to bulge can occur during storage, transportation, drops, or other operations. Flat crush of the cardboard due to perpendicular stresses to the walls can crush the corrugated material.
The flat crush resistance largely depends on the type of flute, the quality of the flute paper, and the bonding of two flute papers.
Impacts experienced during handling and mechanized packaging processes can create tears or deformations in the box's edges, leading to weak points and a loss in cardboard performance, including BCT.
The cushioning properties of the packaging depend on the flute type, the combination of properties from multiple flute types, and the bonding of two flute papers.
During transportation, vibrations impose an overload that hammers the edges and walls of the packaging, thereby weakening its mechanical properties.
Commonly used tests to evaluate the performance of corrugated cardboard include:
- Climate testing: Evaluates how climate conditions affect packaging properties.
- Drop test: Measures packaging's resistance to impacts.
- Vibration test: Evaluates resistance to vibrations during transportation.
- BCT (Box Compression Test): Measures the compression strength of the box.
- ECT (Edge Crush Test): Assesses compression strength on the edge.
- Bursting (Mullen): Tests resistance to rupture under pressure.
- Puncture resistance: Measures packaging's ability to resist punctures.
- Flat crush (FCT, Flat Crush Test): Evaluates resistance to flat crushing.