Water Activated Tape | Safety | Corrugated Cartons

What's The Difference: Cardboard Vs. Corrugated Cartons

Better Packages

By: Better Packages on June 14th, 2016

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It's common for people to use the word "cardboard" when referring to any type of paper packaging materials. However, for the professional packaging industries, the effective material used, are corrugated cartons. So what's the difference between the two? Although the two materials look similar, corrugated cartons are more durable than cardboard boxes, alleviating the worry that your products will be damaged during shipping. Read further to learn more about the differences between cardboard vs. corrugated cartons to enhance your packaging efforts. 


What's The Difference In Terminology? 


When selecting the right packaging materials to ship your products in, it’s important to know what type of packaging you’re actually getting. If not, you may not be embodying your brand as well as you may have believed.

Cardboard typically refers to a thick paper stock or heavy paper-pulp. You can see this type of material used for cereal boxes or greeting cards. Although corrugated cartons are made with some cardboard, it’s important to know that these materials are not the same.

Corrugated is made up of three layers of paper that includes an inside liner, an outside liner, and fluting with a ruffled shape, which runs in between the two. This type of material enhances the packaging process for the following reasons: 

  • Durable
  • Lightweight with a high strength-to-weight ratio
  • Product protection
  • Cost-effective
  • Environmentally friendly 

In conclusion, while the differences may seem insignificant at first, it should be easy to see that cardboard is better left for items such as cards and cereal boxes. Corrugated, on the other hand, is the packaging material of choice for shipping boxes. When formed into boxes, corrugated sheets are ideal for shipping because they are very strong and durable, and are easily recycled.

Enhancing The Packaging Process

For companies that send out several packages daily, it's vital to have the right shipping materials to ensure products are secure and make it to the destination in impeccable condition. To enhance security and improve your brand, the corrugated cartons can be sealed with water activated tape (WAT).

Made primarily out of Kraft paper tape, WAT creates a permanent bond to the corrugated carton and unlike plastic tape, it cannot be torn off without leaving signs of tampering.  Water activated paper tape is often reinforced with multiple layers of polyethylene strands available in various widths and thicknesses.

Once the packaging tape adhesive is activated with water, the adhesive penetrates the carton material and the tape forms a permanent bond with the carton. WAT holds several benefits that other carton sealing solutions cannot provide.

The tape is strong enough for heavy cartons, versatile enough to seal different sized cartons, can withstand extreme environments and has the ability to print your logo directly on the paper packaging tape from the shipping tape dispenser. With the ability to choose from a manual tape dispenser or an electric tape dispenser, you'll have the carton sealing methods that best suits your business. 

Download the free ebook below to improve your packaging methods and for tape dispensing packaging solutions. 

A Guide For Tape Dispensing Performance Solutions

About Better Packages

Founded in 1917, Better Packages is a leading manufacturer of tabletop water-activated tape (WAT) dispensers used in carton sealing. Better Packages’ product line includes auto-dispensing electric machines that are used in high volume fulfillment centers, as well as manual dispensers. In the U.S., Better Packages sells through multiple channels that include industrial and packaging distributors and catalog wholesalers, as well as direct to end-user customers. Its distribution network consists of over 160 authorized distributors including Tier 1 shipping and packaging. Better Packages also has another 50 international distributors that service over 70 countries. Better Packages is a wholly owned subsidiary of Intertape Polymer Group (IPG), an acknowledged leader in the packaging industry. IPG sells a full line of Central® water-activated tape, as well as many other premier packaging products.