We tend to group all cardboard-like materials under the same umbrella term and not think about it much. However, if you are a fledgling company in search of packaging options, the differences between these will become important. You will need to take into account the durability, the cost and other factors depending on your product.
There are some well-established tendencies and preferences of certain industries towards specific materials and specific box shapes, the latest of which is the cannabis industry with https://www.boxcoop.com/boxes-by-industry/specialty-cannabis/. However, before you make up your mind, you should familiarize yourself with the advantages and disadvantages of each type.
Chipboard is a material made from reclaimed and recycled paper, so it is, in essence, a type of paperboard, but with a heavier accent on the recycled source material which makes it a bit less durable than regular paperboard. It is, however, lightweight and can be cut and shaped fairly easily. It is also very inexpensive, which makes it very popular. Experts can dictate the strength of the chipboard by managing the density of the material.
It does have some drawback, of course. The first and foremost is that it is relatively weak, so it cannot house heavy materials safely. However, it is ideal for various lightweight materials of great volume like tissues, or cereal and similar foods. Keep in mind that excess moisture causes chipboard to swell and become less strong.
Paperboard is probably the most commonly used cardboard material out there. It is made from the fibrous material from wood or recycled paper. This material is turned into pulp and then bleached to make it suitable for printing. The resulting material is lightweight and extremely durable. Just like chipboard, it is very easily cut and it is even more suitable for folding, which makes it ideal for personalized and custom boxes.
Different kinds of paperboard are suitable for different uses, ranging from cosmetics, medicine, and foodstuffs of the more expensive and more processed Solid Bleached Sulfate paperboard (SBS) to a variety of different products packaged in Coated Unbleached Kraft paperboard (CUK) which is less processed and retains some of the rustic, eco-friendly feel to it. CUK is, however, a bit less durable and can be damaged by excess moisture, which is why it is not used for packaging food.
This kind of cardboard is also known simply as ‘cardboard’. It is instantly recognizable thanks to its structure. It has the two outer paper or paperboard layers which are connected by the corrugated middle layer known as ‘fluting’. This middle layer gives it strength and durability which makes it ideal for packaging large and heavy items. Corrugated boxes are typically made mostly of recycled materials and can be used and reused.
It is often used as the material for boxes people use when moving. It is more resistant to impact and weather conditions. However, there are other uses for corrugated cardboard you may not have considered. Pizza boxes are made of this material, as are many consumer electronics devices.
This kind of packaging is typically reserved for high end electronics, like smartphones or exclusive jewelry and accessories like Rolex watches. This material seems like cardboard, but we are often confused due to its rigidity. In essence, it is a type of paperboard as well, but it is so highly dense that it is rigid and very thick. This luxury feel does come with a price, though, so it is the most expensive cardboard packaging option.
Cardboard boxes are often lauded by eco-friendly groups as the best packaging material since it can be recycled and reused many times and it is made of natural materials which means that they do not pollute as much as a plastic packaging would if not recycled.