A Corrugating Machine Ticks all the Boxes
Posted by Phineas Gray , on Jan, 2015
When we remove a product from its corrugated cardboard packaging, our attention is usually on the product itself, not on the cardboard. And yet, corrugated board is one of the most popular and versatile packaging materials in the world, with millions of tons used every single year.
So how is this amazing material made? It’s made a corrugating machine – more commonly simply referred to as a corrugator.
What is a Corrugating Machine?
A corrugating machine is a high-precision piece of equipment that usually runs at about 500 feet per minute or more. Over time, these machines have become more and more high-tech in an effort to overcome common corrugate board production problems, such as washboarding and warp.
To say that a corrugator is a large machine is an understatement. A typical corrugator is 300 feet long – the same length as a football field. It is made up of a series of smaller machines that combine two different sheets of paper to create composite sheets of corrugated fiberboard.
The two sheets are the liners (flat, facing sheets) and the corrugating medium (fluted, wave-like layers). In the US, the corrugated medium usually has a basis weight of 0.026 pounds per square foot (0.13 kg/m²).
The “flutes” in the corrugating medium are sized in letters – A, B, C, E and F, or microflute. The letters don’t actually refer to relative size, but rather to the order in which they were invented. Flute size is determined by the number of flutes per linear foot, and the most common flute size in corrugated boxes is C.
The combination of corrugated medium, flute size, combining adhesive and linerboards can be varied according to the specific properties of the intended end use. Double and triple-wall corrugated board can also be manufactured for applications requiring high stacking strength and puncture resistance.
Most corrugators are two knife corrugators, which means they can produce two different sheet lengths side-by-side.
In a typical corrugating machine, the paper is softened before use, using high-pressure steam. After the corrugator has heated, glued and pressed the two sheets together, the newly formed corrugated cardboard is cut into wide box blanks that are fed into other machines for printing, cutting and gluing.
RapidBond Offers a wide range of adhesives and resins to meet the varying needs of the corrugating industry. Find out more at rapidbond.net.