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Corrugated Box Basics

corrugated boxes

In the corrugated box industry a lot of term are thrown around that don’t probably make a lot of sense to the average user.  Linerboard, medium, RSCs, FOLs, single face, triple wall- what does it all mean?



Corrugated boxes have two main components- linerboard and medium.  Linerboard is the flat paper that is inside and outside the box and medium is the wavy, fluted material in between.  The linerboard adheres to the medium and is the flat facing of the box and provides good crush protection for your product.



Regular Slotted Containers (or RSCs for short) are the most common type of box and are the most versatile. These boxes are made from one piece for easy folding.  A joint is created at the point where a side and an end panel come together.  RSC boxes have flaps that are the same length. The outer flaps are half of the box width. This is to ensure the meeting of the flaps at the center when the corrugated box is folded. This style of box is very efficient and produce very little waste.

Full Overlap Slotted Containers (FOLs) have flaps that are all the same length, so that when crossed, the outer flap comes within an inch of complete overlap.  These boxes are more resistant than others to rough handling and the overlapping flaps provide additional cushioning.  If an FOL box is used and stacked on its side, the extra thickness gives added stacking strength.

One Piece Folders (OPFs) are made from one piece of board that is cut to provide a flat bottom with flaps forming the sides and ends.  This style of box is great for mailing books and thick documents.



Single-Face consists of one medium glued to one flat sheet liner board.  Single Wall has the medium in between two sheets of linerboard. This style of corrugated box is also referred to as a double face box.  A Double Wall box style has three sheets of linerboard with two mediums in between.  The heaviest type, Triple Wall four sheets of linerboard with three mediums in between.


None of this is rocket science and is actually pretty easy to figure out once you know the general terminology.


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