Corrugated box testing methods aim to optimize corrugated packaging so that it has the required characteristics to protect the product inside it from various hazards, without incurring in cost overruns due to under or over packaging. 

These are increasingly necessary tests in a world in which good shipments are on the rise thanks to globalization and thriving electronic commerce. It is for this reason that, in recent times, research has been underway on the development of sustainable packaging materials. These materials include corrugated boxes, one of the most widespread packaging methods in the storage and transportation of goods. 

What corrugated box testing methods are there?

Corrugated box testing methods are performed to measure the resistance of this material to compression forces, its stiffness or thickness and other factors. 

Bust test

Also known as the Mullen Test, it consists of applying compression forces on a cardboard sample to test its resistance and bursting point. Performing this test should be considered when the corrugated box is expected to be stacked during the distribution cycle (during both transportation and storage). It requires a compression tester, which applies the compression forces to the bases of the box until failure.

Edge crush test

The Edge Crush Test (ECT) is another protocol used to test the resistance of corrugated packaging to crushing. In this case, however, the resistance of the box is not measured at the base, but rather at its vertical axis. This is a necessary test due to the characteristics inherent to corrugated cardboard, which is composed of thicker or thinner sheets and layers to strengthen its structure.

Box compression test

The box compression test measures the resistance of the corrugated box to compression forces. In this regard, it is similar to the Mullen test, but in this case, the entire box is used as a sample.  As before, it provides highly valuable information that must be taken into account when the corrugated box is expected to be stacked during the distribution cycle. The box compression test formula requires taking into account the results of the Edge Crush Test, the thickness of the corrugated cardboard and the edge of the box. 

Water resistance of the glue

Measures the ability of the glue to withstand moist conditions. Its performance involves submerging the box in water and observing the behaviour of the strips of glue. 

Cobb Sizing Test

The material that corrugated boxes are made of can absorb water when in contact with it, meaning that it can gain considerable weight. The Cobb sizing test is performed by measuring the box’s dry weight, submerging it in water and then measuring its weight again after having absorbed the liquid. 

Paper thickness and grammage

Different cardboard grammages and thicknesses will be suitable for a corrugated box depending on the product that it will be used to transport. This being the case, a fragile product will require a thicker box (measured in millimetres) and with a higher grammage (measured in grams per square meter).

Puncture resistance

This corrugated box testing method measures the resistance to punctures by sharp objects. The ISO 3036:1975 protocol can be followed to measure this. 

Resistance to friction

Friction on the box can result in its paint or labels being damaged, affecting the company’s reputation before the end customer. 

Corrugated box chemical analysis

This test determines the types of materials that were used to manufacture a corrugated box and its exact chemical composition. This test can be essential for the transportation of certain fragile goods; obtained results include the pH level of the cardboard.

At Safe Load Testing Technologies we can help you perform your corrugated box testing, optimizing your corrugated packaging and protecting the product inside it during its entire transportation process. Don’t hesitate to contact us!

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