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What Is the Difference Between Cartonboard/Fibreboard and Corrugated Cardboard Packaging?

Both corrugated cardboard and cartonboard/fibreboard are commonly used products in the packaging industry and whilst they essentially derive from the same source – wood pulp made into paper – the two materials have a number of distinct properties, making them suited for varying purposes. The most noticeable difference of all between the two, however, is strength.

Corrugated Cardboard

Corrugated cardboard is made from layers of paper which can be kraft or test paper. It is typically composed of three layers of paper, this includes an outer layer usually made from kraft paper, with an inner layer of fluting (a layer of paper ruffled into waves) which is sandwiched between the outer layer and a further inner layer typically made from test paper. It is the corrugated waves or fluting which provides this type of cardboard with its exceptional strength and robustness. It is popular in the packaging industry, being lightweight whilst offering superior strength to weight ratio and outstanding product protection.

Corrugated cardboard has a diverse range of uses due to its versatility – it is available in a number of different grades offering varying strengths to suit different business and domestic needs. Within the packaging industry, it is usually described as single, double or triple walled and refers to the quantity of the board’s internal fluting.

Uses of Corrugated Cardboard

Corrugated cardboard boxes may be used for transit, postage, removal services, storage, bottle boxes as well as a range of other different uses. Corrugated cardboard is always the option of choice due to its versatility. It can provide high-quality aesthetics and be used to make retail-ready boxes which are innovative in construction and print.


Cartonboard is also made from layers of paper to form one rigid wall, it does not, however, have corrugation and therefore lacks strength. It is typically used for gift cards, cereal boxes, cake boxes, delicatessen products, perfume packaging and other types of luxury packages. Some cardboard packaging is waxed for storing liquid products such as fruit juices, soups and other more liquid food items.

What Is The Best Choice?

The choice between the two products will invariably depend on the intended usage. Both corrugated cardboard and carton cardboard are highly recyclable and can easily support a range of print-outs in a variety of colours and designs to suit varying branding requirements. Both products offer a highly cost-effective and environmentally friendly solution for their respective uses.

How We Can Help

Selecting the correct type of packaging to ship products in is important not only in terms of protection but also when considering ways to enhance your brand. Nuttall Packaging is an independently owned manufacturing company based in Manchester, supplying high quality bespoke corrugated cardboard packaging in a cost-effective and environmentally responsible manner. We work with our clients to ensure their specific requirements are met. For more information on our products or to talk to one of the team regarding your packaging needs, get in touch today.


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