To carry fruits and vegetables, to ship your electronic devices, dispatch your clothing orders or transport products for industrial uses – you will find that corrugated boxes are used for myriad purposes to carry various products. They are considered to be one of the versatile packaging materials used today. Made of Kraft paper that can be combination of linerboards and fluted papers, corrugated boxes are used for supporting the products packed.
The main aim of these boxes is to ensure that the products packed inside them reach the consumer safely. The corrugated boxes must withstand many internal and external factors before reaching the destined place. The handling of the boxes while packing and stacking of the boxes while transporting and storing play an important role in testing the strength of the boxes. The functional quality of the boxes is determined by various factors including the strength, cost, durability and environmental-friendliness of the corrugated boxes. etc.
What is GSM?
The strength of the boxes is determined by various factors. Usually, the thickness of a material plays an important role in determining its strength. The higher the density or bulkiness of a material, the greater is its strength. However, corrugated boxes are made of paper and it is not possible to measure the density of paper. Hence, the thickness of the paper is measured in terms of weight of the material per unit area. This is known as GSM- gram per square meter or grammage.
The GSM of a paper gives a fair notion of the strength or thickness of the paper. It is of common belief that any materials of higher GSM, tend be stronger. However, as the paper is made of pulp fibre, the formation of fibers play an important role in determining its strength. Hence, it can be conveniently said that higher GSM may not necessarily indicate stronger paper.
Corrugated boxes and how the weight it carries is impacted by GSM
Corrugated boxes are made of pulp fibre. The paper used in manufacturing corrugated boxes can be divided into two categories – linerboards and corrugated papers. The Kraft paper is subjected to corrugated rollers to convert them into corrugated or fluted papers. The corrugated papers give the boxes the much needed cushioning effect and increase the strength of the box. The linerboards sandwich the corrugated papers giving extra strength to the boxes. Depending upon the requirements, the number of corrugated papers and linerboards used in manufacture of the boxes vary.
The GSM of corrugated boxes has greater importance. As it is already established, papers with greater GSM may not necessarily mean stronger boxes. Further, the GSM of papers also determines the weight of the box. Higher the GSM of the paper, greater is the weight of the box. One of the most important requirement of shipping boxes is they should be light in weight. This is necessary not only to make carrying the boxes easier, but also to reduce the shipping charges that depend upon the weight of the package (including the box). Hence, GSM will indirectly affect the weight a corrugated box carries.