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Glossary

Adhesive

Substance capable of adhering one surface to another. To adhere linerboard to the tips of flutes of corrugated medium, or to hold overlapping flaps together to form the joint or to close a box.

Banded Unit

A package or palletized load that has strapping or bands (usually plastic) around it.

Bar Code

An identification symbol. Alpha or alpha-numeric information is encoded in a sequence of high-contrast, rectangular bars, and blank spaces. The relative widths of these bars and spaces and their sequence differentiate the individual characters that make up the encoded information. Bar codes are “read” by electronic scanners.

Basis Weight (of Containerboard)

Weight of linerboard or corrugating medium expressed in terms of pounds per 1,000 square feet (msf).

Blank or Box Blank

A flat sheet of corrugated or solid fiberboard that has been cut, slotted, and scored so that, when folded along the score lines and joined, it will take the form of a box.

Box Manufacturer

An establishment that has equipment to score, slot, print and join corrugated or solid fiberboard sheets into boxes, and that regularly uses that equipment in the production of fiberboard boxes in commercial quantities.

Box Manufacturer's Certificate (BMC)

A statement printed within a circular or rectangular border on a corrugated or solid fiberboard box guaranteeing that all applicable construction requirements of the carrier classifications have been observed and identifying the box manufacturer.

Box Style

Distinctive configuration of a box design, without regard to size or print. A name or number identifies styles in common use.

Built-up

Multiple layers of corrugated board glued together to form a pad of desired thickness, normally used for interior packing.

Bulk

A large box used to contain a volume of product; e.g., “bulk box.” Also, goods or cargo not in packages, boxes, bags, or other containers; or goods unpackaged (loose) within a shipping container.

Caliper

Thickness of a material usually expressed in thousandths of an inch (mils) or sometimes referred to as “points.”

Cardboard

A thin, stiff pasteboard, sometimes used for playing cards or signs. Misuse has extended the laymen’s definition to include boxboard (used to make folding cartons) and containerboard, a different material used to make corrugated board.

Chipboard

A paperboard generally made from recycled paper stock. Uses include backing sheets for padded writing paper, partitions within boxes and the center ply or plies of solid fiberboard.

Cold-set Adhesive

Adhesive that sets below 86°F, or commonly at room temperature.

Compression Strength

A corrugated box’s resistance to uniform applied external forces from top to bottom.

Corrugated Board or Corrugated Fiberboard

The structure formed on a corrugator by gluing one or more sheets of fluted containerboard (medium) to one or more sheets of flat containerboard (linerboard).

Corrugated Medium

A sheet of corrugating material pressed into the wave shape known as flutes.

Die Cut

The act of cutting raw material (such as containerboard) to a desired shape (such as a box blank) by using a steel die. Also used to describe the resulting piece or box blank.

Dimensions

The three measurements of a box, given in the sequence of length, width, and depth. Inside dimensions are used to assure proper fit around a product.

Edge Crush Test (ECT)

The amount of force needed to cause compressive failure of an on-edge specimen of corrugated board. A primary factor in predicting the compression strength of a completed box.

Fiberboard

A general term describing combined paperboard (corrugated or solid) used to manufacture containers.

Flaps

Extensions of the sidewall panels that close a box. Flaps are usually defined by one score line and three edges. When folded and sealed with tape, adhesive or wire stitches, flaps close the remaining openings of a box. Regular slotted containers have eight flaps.

Flexo Folder Gluer (FFG)

A machine that, in one operation, prints, scores, slots, and folds a box blank, and then glues the side seam (manufacturer’s joint) to complete the manufacture of a knocked down flat (KDF) box. The KDF boxes are collected at the end of the FFG and bundled to stack on a pallet for shipment to the customer.

Flexography or Flexo

A type of rotary letterpress printing using flexible plates and fast-drying, water-based inks.

Flute or Corrugation

One of the wave shapes pressed into corrugated medium. A, B, C, E and F are common flute types, along with a variety of much larger flutes and mini-flutes.

Flute (or Corrugation) Direction

The normal direction of flutes is parallel to the depth of the box, so that they are vertical when the box is stacked for shipment. In end-opening and wrap-around box styles, the flute direction may be parallel to the length and width, resulting in a “horizontal corrugation box.”

Four-color Process

Full-color images are created by four halftone plates, using the four subtractive primary colors: cyan, yellow, magenta, and black.

Inner Packing

Materials or parts used to support, position, or cushion an item within a shipping container, to support the corners or top of the container, or to fill voids.

Joint (Manufacturer’s Joint)

The part of the box where the ends of the scored and slotted blank are fastened together by taping, stitching, or gluing.

Kraft

Word of German origin meaning strength; designates pulp, paper or paperboard produced from wood fibers by the sulfate process. Often used to describe a brown paper surface.

Label

A separate slip or sheet of paper affixed to a surface for identification or description.

Full Label

A printed sheet of paper laminated to and covering the entire surface of the box blank. Usually used to add fine-screen, four-color illustrations that cannot be achieved with direct printing on the porous paperboard surface.

Spot Label

A printed sheet covering a portion of the surface of the box blank. May cover a portion of one panel, a full panel, or several panels of the box.

Liner

A creased sheet inserted as a sleeve in a container and covering all side walls. Used to provide extra stacking strength or cushioning. Also used as short hand for “linerboard”.

Linerboard, White Top or Mottled

An uncoated linerboard of two or more layers that has a white surface of either bleached fibers or cleaned recycled white fibers. The layers below the top layer are generally unbleached or recycled fibers.

Master Pack

A shipping container used to overwrap or contain several individual containers.

Mullen

Burst strength of the combined facings of the corrugated box.

Offset Printing

A printing technique in which the inked image is transferred from the plate to a clean cylinder, which in turn transfers the image to the sheet of paper or paperboard. The term is usually combined with the printing method, as in offset lithography; the printing process used to print lithographic laminated labels.

Overlap

A design feature wherein the top and/or bottom flaps of a box do not come together, instead they extend one over the other. The amount of overlap is measured from flap edge to flap edge.

Pad

A corrugated or solid fiberboard sheet, or sheet of other authorized material, used for extra protection or for separating tiers or layers of articles when packed for shipment. (See also: Slip Sheet)

Palletizing

Securing and loading containers on pallets for shipment as a single unit load, typically for handling by mechanical equipment.

Panel

A “face” or “side” of a box

Paperboard

One of the two major product categories of the paper industry. Includes the broad classification of materials made of cellulose fibers, primarily wood pulp and recycled paper stock. The major types are containerboard and boxboard.

Partitions

A set of slotted corrugated, solid fiberboard or chipboard pieces that interlock when assembled to form a number of cells into which articles may be placed for shipment.

Preprint

A web (roll) of linerboard that has been printed and re-wound prior to the manufacture of combined board. Use requires special equipment on a corrugator to assure precise slit, score, and cut-off operations.

Recyclable

Packaging materials that may be processed through a number of treatments or changes in order to be reused.

Recycled content

Corrugated, paperboard and paper may contain up to 100% recycled fibers. Fiber may be recycled from pre-consumer sources (box plant scrap and trimmings) and/or post-consumer sources (corrugated boxes that have been used and recovered for recycling).

Score or Score-line:

A well-defined impression or crease in corrugated or solid fiberboard made to position and facilitate folds.

Scored and Slotted Sheet

A sheet of corrugated fiberboard with one or more score-lines, slots or slits. A scored and slotted sheet may be further defined by the pattern of score-lines and slots or slits, as a box blank (for a box style made from a single sheet of corrugated fiberboard), a box piece or part, a tray or wrap, a partition piece, an inner packing piece or some other designation

Test

Used alone, the word refers to the bursting strength of linerboard or combined board, where that is the applicable measure of strength.

Test Procedures

Detailed descriptions of the methodology agreed upon by recognized organizations.

Shipping Container

A container that is sufficiently strong to be used in commerce for packing, storing and transporting commodities.

Slip Sheet

A flat sheet of material used as a base upon which goods and materials may be assembled, stored, and transported.

Stacking Strength

The maximum compressive load a container can bear over a given length of time, under given environmental / distribution conditions, without failing.

Slit

A cut made in a fiberboard sheet without removal of material. Slit-Score: A cut made in a fiberboard sheet extending through only a portion of the thickness.

Slot

A wide cut, or pair of closely spaced parallel cuts, including removal of a narrow strip of material, made in a fiberboard sheet, usually to form flaps and permit folding without bulges in the corners.

Staples or Stitches

Metal fasteners used to seal the joint of a box or close the flaps. Staples are preformed, and the tines are closed as they pierce the box. Stitches are machine-formed using wire drawn from a spool.

Tube

A sheet of combined board, scored and folded to a multi-sided form with open ends. It may be an element of a box style or a unit of interior packing that adds protection and compression strength.

Unitized Load

A load of a number of articles or containers, bound together by means of tension strapping, plastic shrink or stretch films.

Virgin Fiber

Fiber that is derived directly from wood.

Wax Curtain-Coated

Combined corrugated board that has been surface coated on one or both sides with a hot-melt wax blend.

Wax Impregnated

Combined board having one or more components infused with a paraffin-type wax.

Web

A continuous sheet of paperboard or paper.

Wrap-around Blank

A scored and slotted sheet of corrugated fiberboard that is formed into a box by folding it around its contents. The user secures both the flap and joint closures.