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paperboard packaging

What is Paperboard Packaging?

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With the rise in sustainability awareness, businesses have shifted their focus to using eco-friendly options in every aspect. This has also created a massive difference in the packaging niche, where the trend of using paperboard packaging has become quite popular. 

This biodegradable packaging solution is considered to be one of the most sustainable and environment-friendly options available on the market today. However, regarding paperboard packaging, people still have some doubts left in their minds, like what it is and how it is differentiated from other types of packaging, especially cardboard.

Paperboard can be defined as a paper-based material that is thicker than paper but thinner than cardboard. Made up of compressed layers of paper, this material is versatile enough to be cut into any shape and size and rigid enough to withstand the weight of the packaged products. Moreover, paperboard comes in various thicknesses and may be coated or uncoated depending on its intended use.

Process of Paperboard to Folding Carton

After its manufacturing, paperboard is widely used in sustainable packaging. From typical cereal boxes to luxury gifts or even CBD packaging, you can see these materials contributing to the growth of the packaging industry. The paperboard undergoes cutting, folding, and lamination before being delivered flat, ready for construction, and packaged. To add artwork to it, manufacturers of these folding cartons prepare dielines. These dielines are printed onto large paperboard sheets, then cut and folded to form the finished packaging. 

Grades of Paperboard

Depending upon the application, the paperboard grades or types are categorized as follows:

  • Folding Boxboard (FBB) 

Folding boxboard is a grade of paperboard designed explicitly for folding cartons and packaging applications. It typically consists of multiple plies of bleached chemical pulp, providing stiffness, smoothness, and excellent printing properties. FBB is often coated on one or both sides to enhance printability and surface finish.

  • Solid Bleached Sulfate (SBS)

Solid Bleached Sufate (SBS) is a highly tear resistant material that is made with a composition of 20% recycled material and 80% freshly harvested wood chips, which are chemically processed and bleached. It is known for its high brightness, smooth surface, and superior strength, and its optimal surface is excellent for; design elements, high-quality printing, finishes, and coatings. SBS is commonly used for high-end packaging, such as cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and luxury consumer goods.

  • Solid Unbleached Sulfate (SUS)

The solid, unbleached board is made from unbleached chemical pulp, offering natural colour and strength. These materials are different in color than SBS because they do not go through the bleaching process. Accessible in brown and is coated to create a smooth surface for printing. The printing output is HQ and appears to be more classy and elegant. It is suitable for packaging applications with a desired natural or recycled look, such as food packaging, beverage carriers, and industrial packaging.

  • White-Lined Chipboard (WLC)

White-lined chipboard is a composite grade of paperboard made from layers of recycled paperboard and a white clay coating. It is economical, lightweight, and used for applications such as backing boards, pads, and partitions.

  • Coated Recycled Board (CRB)

Coated recycled board is made from a mixture of recycled paperboard and chemical pulp, coated with a layer of clay or other coating material. It offers a balance of cost-effectiveness, printability, and environmental sustainability, making it suitable for various packaging and graphic applications.

  • Containerboard

Containerboard is a grade of paperboard specifically designed for manufacturing corrugated boxes and packaging materials. It comes in various strengths and thicknesses, including linerboard (used for the outer layers of corrugated board) and medium (used for the fluted layer).

READ ALSO: What is Discreet Packaging

Difference between Paperboard and Cardboard

Thickness and Sturdiness

  • Cardboard is thicker and sturdier and is often used for heavy-duty packaging like shipping boxes.
  • Paperboard is thinner and less rigid and is used for consumer packaging like cereal boxes.

Composition

  • Cardboard can have multiple layers, including a corrugated middle layer for extra strength.
  • Paperboard is usually made of compressed paper fibers, sometimes with coatings for added protection.

Applications

  • Cardboard is for heavy-duty packaging, while paperboard is for consumer goods and retail products.

Printing and Finishing

  • Both hold effective printing, but cardboard may require specialized processes due to its thickness.
  • Paperboard is often coated for better printability and aesthetics.

Advantages of Paperboard

paperboard packaging 800
  • Being sustainable and recyclable has also made it cost-efficient as compared to other material options.
  • Offering excellent printing surfaces, paperboards also have an aesthetic and visual appeal that can convey a premium and eco-friendly image of the brand.
  • Paperboard is made up of biodegradable resources, making it a sustainable and environment-friendly choice in the packaging industry.
  • Due to its thickness, this material is best suited for multiple applications such as packaging, printing, and graphics. Its flexible nature allows it to be easily modified and shaped into any desired shape.
  • Its surface is smooth enough to offer exceptional printing quality and finish.
  • Despite being lightweight, paperboard can bear heavy loads because of its rigidity and strength. This is also good for providing the durability that is required for both primary and secondary packaging. 

Wrapping Up!

The paperboard packaging industry is one of the most rapidly growing industries in the world. Because of its versatility and its being made from renewable resources, it is becoming a popular choice for many businesses. Paperboard has become the preferred choice for modern packaging solutions with its ability to provide a clean and premium look, strength, and durability. 

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