A Look Inside the Lab...

At the Corrugated Packaging Laboratory, we want to be your partner in evaluating the performance of your packaging materials. We will help you compare alternative designs and material configurations in order to maximize the quality of your products.

We offer a full range of testing capabilities under a controlled environment, and all of our tests can be run following any standards required. Our services include standard tests, such as Edge Crush, Flat Crush, Box Compression, Bending Stiffness, Water Absorption, Bursting Strength, and Friction, among others, as well as the ability to develop custom tests to match your needs. All of our standard tests are conducted based on American and international standards from TAPPI, ASTM and ISO.

Our capabilities include:

  • Evaluation of corrugated fiberboard material properties (sheets and converted packaging)
  • Development of custom test methods
  • Certified tests on corrugated for IKEA
  • Quality evaluation for pallet fasteners

Edge Crush Resistance testing is done on corrugated board which is used extensively in packaging creation and design. Putting your corrugated materials through various testing scenarios, including this Edge Crush Resistance testing, helps us instruct you on how to better design the board itself and your packaging in general. This way, your packaging has the greatest strength possible to resist any edge crush forces. Edge Crush Resistance testing measures the ability of corrugated board to resist crushing when loaded perpendicularly to the flute structure. 

Flat Crush Resistance testing measures the ability of a board to resist crushing when loaded perpendicularly to its flat surface – this evaluates flute rigidity. This way, when your packaging experiences flattening crush forces during the manufacturing or shipping of your product to its end location, your packaging has the greatest strength possible to resist any flattening crush forces. 

Bending Stiffness testing on corrugated board is of major importance for determining the overall, top-to-bottom stacking strength of a finished corrugated box, as well as determining the box’s ability to resist buckling. Bending stiffness is closely related to the thickness of the corrugated board materials making up the box as well as the quality of the inner and outer liner layers of the corrugated board. This test measures the flexural rigidity and cross direction rigidity of corrugated boards using the four-point method.

Water Absorption testing  is a process that measures the quantity of water that is absorbed by corrugated materials in a given time. Water absorptiveness is a function of various characteristics such as sizing, porosity, etc. Corrugated materials will lose their strength, shape, and function when they’ve absorbed too much liquid. This test helps determine at what level the moisture needs to remain below for the corrugated board and other materials in your packaging to maintain their strength and ability to protect your product. 

Bursting Strength testing basically measures the force required to puncture through a corrugated board. This strength comes from various factors, including thickness of the paper liner layers, narrowness of the flutes, and layers of glue holding everything together. Corrugated board in packaging ends up subjected to many damaging forces throughout the manufacturing and shipping processes. Corrugated board that rates higher in a Bursting Strength test means that it offers a higher level of protection to your product as outside forces have to work harder to damage the corrugated board to the point of puncture.

Thickness testing measures the width/thickness of corrugated board and is determined by caliper and used to compare variations between samples. In general, stronger packaging can be created by using thicker corrugated board. Multiple material properties will correlate to thickness of a board. The overall strength of a box, the board’s bending stiffness, and many other properties all relate back to the overall thickness of the corrugated board. The thickness is a product of flute size, number of layers of paper, and paper thickness.

Friction testing also called a coefficient-of-friction (COF) testing, takes any sheet-like substrate (paper, corrugated, plastic film, paperboard, etc…) and determines the angle of inclination at which one sheet affixed to a sled will begin to slide/slip against the surface of another sheet of a similar material. Packages rarely stand alone – which means the packages will be stacked atop and alongside each other. Friction testing determines the rate at which the packaging materials (most often corrugated board making up boxes) will slide against each other – either causing movement and slippage within the unit load or damaging the packaging material or even possibly causing damage to the products themselves.

Basis Weight testing measures the weight of corrugated board (in grammage) to determine the weight per unit area. Fiberboard is commonly referred to by its ‘mass per unit area.’ Corrugated boards’ weight can be a determining factor in strength and stiffness of the board, so finding the weight, or mass per unit area, is one of the first tests conducted when studying new board.

Moisture Content testing measures the moisture content of corrugated board. The amount of moisture in the board has a significant effect in the material’s properties such as printability, shrinkage, dimensional stability, and physical strength. In general, the less moisture there is residing in the board, the stronger the board will be and the longer it will hold its strength and shape.