Corrugated Box Design: What Makes Them So Strong? - Jamestown Container | Corrugated Packaging Solutions

Corrugated Box Design: What Makes Them So Strong?

Breaking Down the Power of Corrugated Boxes

Have you ever received a package in the mail that was torn up, bent, or otherwise damaged? If so, you might have a lowered perception of that company. If you’re in a business that relies on high-quality packaging solutions, you must understand the details of strong corrugated box design. Understanding these key points can help you ensure that your packaging arrives without damage and fosters positive relationships with your customers.

The Basics of Corrugated Box Design

Fluted Core

If you look at a standard shipping box, you’ll likely notice waves in between two liners. This is known as the “flute,” and it has a huge influence on the strength of a corrugated box. Essentially, the flutes create a series of arches that work together to distribute weight evenly.

You can customize flutes depending on your business needs, giving you more control over the strength of your boxes. Common flute profiles include A, B, C, E, and F, which each having their own recommended uses. Curious to know more about what flute profile might be best for your company? Check out our in-depth guide here.


The liners are what sandwich the flute together, providing extra durability. These liners are typically made from paperboard and are adhered to the fluted core. The combination of the fluted core and liners creates a structure that significantly improves the box’s strength and durability.

Adhesives and Bonding

The strength of a corrugated box also depends on the quality of its adhesives. The right adhesive can provide adequate protection against moisture and temperature, which results in better overall structural integrity. There are many different types of adhesives to choose from, including:

  • Starch-based: Since starch is a natural adhesive derived from plants like corn or potatoes, it’s an eco-friendly option widely used in corrugated box manufacturing. It’s most commonly found in food packaging due to its non-toxic nature.
  • Synthetic resin: These adhesives offer strong bonding and water resistance. This makes them ideal for applications where moisture resistance is essential.
  • Hot melt: Hot melt adhesives are thermoplastic materials that are applied in a molten state and solidify upon cooling. With quick bonding and high initial strength, they are most commonly used in high-speed manufacturing processes.
  • Water-based: These adhesives are environmentally friendly and have low VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions. They provide good adhesion and are great for applications where a water-resistant bond is not critical.

Design Considerations

When it comes to corrugated box design, engineers consider various factors to optimize a corrugated box’s strength. As mentioned above, the flute profile has a huge impact on strength. But other factors, such as box geometry, joint construction, coating options, and score lines also play a part.

  • Box geometry: Size, dimensions, and structural features influence a box’s ability to withstand external forces. When designing a box, engineers will optimize box geometry to ensure the load is evenly distributed across the surface and corners. This reduces the risk of damage during stacking or impact.
  • Joint construction: Joining different parts of the box — such as flaps and seams — is critical to its strength. When designing the box, engineers will carefully choose the type of joint based on the intended use and the level of strength required for the specific application. Common options include glued joints, stitched joints, or a combination of both.
  • Coating options: Depending on what you’re shipping, you may opt for an additional coating to improve the strength of your box. Coatings are a great way to provide additional protection against moisture or abrasion, making them a common choice for food and beverages, medical products, cosmetics, automotive components, and more.
  • Score lines: These are indentations made on the corrugated sheets to facilitate the folding and shaping of the box. Well-designed score lines contribute to the box’s ability to maintain its shape.

Overall, many aspects of the box’s design influence its ability to withstand the shipping process. That’s why it’s crucial to work with an experienced corrugated box manufacturer to ensure you’re getting the best products possible.

Trust Jamestown Container for Optimal Corrugated Box Design

When you need strong corrugated boxes, trust the experts at Jamestown Container. Since 1956, we’ve been designing and manufacturing strong boxes that stand up to the rigors of shipping. We’ve helped countless companies find their perfect packaging solution. We’d be honored to help you, too.

When you work with us, you get access to extensive expertise, sustainable solutions, and manufacturing facilities with industry certifications. With ISO, FSSC, and other accreditations, we’re held to the highest standards in manufacturing excellence. Not to mention, our commitment to sustainability can help you reduce your carbon footprint and attract eco-conscious consumers.

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Want to hear more about what we can do for you? Reach out to our team today.