History and production of corrugated cardboard: we reveal the secrets of this material

  Corrugated cardboard boxes have become the most popular packaging both in business and industry, and in everyday life. Such boxes will be found in every home, as they are perfect for ergonomic storage, storage or transportation of various things. Corrugated cardboard packaging has minimal weight, low cost and can be made in various sizes. At the same time, not everyone knows that corrugated cardboard is a relatively young material, developed a little more than a century ago.History of creation and production of corrugated cardboard  First, it should be noted that the first cellulose fiber paper was obtained from the wood of the mulberry tree by ancient Chinese craftsmen as early as 105 AD. e. Over the years, the production technology gradually improved, and the material itself began to spread around the world. By 751, the material appeared on the territory of modern Uzbekistan, and half a century later - in Damascus and Baghdad. In Europe, papermaking began in 1150 thanks to the introduction of technology by Muslims.Paper in a more modern form was obtained in 1719 by the Frenchman M. Reaumur from classical wood pulp with the addition of adhesives. The technology update was prompted by personal observation of bees making their paper nests out of wood and internal secretions. At the same time, the first full-fledged machine of a continuous cycle of paper production was developed by the French in 1799. After that, active refinement and modernization of machines began in different countries of the world.The era of corrugated cardboard  The date of appearance of corrugated cardboard as a material is considered to be 1856, when the first patent was issued. English engineers E. Healy and E. Allen are considered inventors. The resulting material was used as a ribbon for hats. In order to trace the following stages of development in detail, it is worth considering them in chronological order:1. The year 1871 is a significant period, as A. Jones received the first patent for the production of corrugated paper, which was supplied to the market in rolls. It served as packaging and wrapping material.2. In the winter of 1874, the research engineer O. Long received a patent for a more modern material - two-layer corrugated cardboard. The canvas consisted of one wavy and even layers, and the raw material was straw. This made it possible to increase the damping qualities, to ensure strength in the vertical direction and flexibility in the horizontal direction. These features made it possible to use the canvas for packaging fragile products made of ceramics and glass.3. In 1875, independently of each other, R. Thompson and G. Norris introduced to the world a qualitatively new product - three-layer corrugated cardboard. Three years later, they started developing a joint project. After that, they were joined by the American inventor R. Geir, who was the creator of the first embossing press.4. In the United States, a patent for a corrugated cardboard canvas with three layers was issued in 1889. At the same time, the first full-fledged box with classic carved valves appeared only in 1895. This made it possible to create and patent the first complete machine for packing bottles, light bulbs and other glass products in corrugated paper.These were the first steps in the emergence and development of corrugated cardboard as a packaging material.Development of production technologies  Since the new packaging material received a fairly wide demand among consumers, the question arose about increasing production capacity. For this, a huge number of machines and equipment were created, which accelerated production and increased the quality of the product:1. In 1888, the English designer C. Langston, who emigrated to the USA, created the first guillotine-type sheet-cutting machine in Philadelphia. A little later, he designed and built a roll winding plant.2. A new breakthrough in the production of corrugated cardboard took place in 1895, when D. Ferrez created a qualitatively new apparatus with gas heating, which is capable of continuous production of packaging material. In 1900, the technology underwent modernization, as a result, steam heaters were obtained. The device made it possible to produce 3 meters of finished material in 1 minute.3. In 1901, J. Swift presented to the world equipment for the production of three-layer corrugated cardboard. The inventor also owns a patent for a rotary machine that cuts finished products.After that, a huge number of companies producing corrugated cardboard and containers based on it began to appear on the territory of the USA and Europe. Within each company, personal developments were carried out and new technologies for increasing production efficiency were introduced. The active demand for this type of packaging material made it possible to create healthy competition and stimulate the further development of the industry.The modern stage of development of corrugated cardboard production  Today, every country in the world has enterprises engaged in the production of corrugated cardboard. Modern equipment allows you to receive products at a speed of up to 300 meters per minute, which indicates its high productivity. In addition, a huge range of canvases with 2, 3, 5 or 7 layers is coming to the market. Each option differs in technical characteristics, which provides a wide scope of application.The process of making corrugated packaging material involves the following steps:● primary wood pulp or recycled paper acts as a raw material;● the starting material is covered with special substances, which increases strength and provides water-repellent properties;● then the sheet material enters the corrugating machine, where under the influence of temperature, the heated rolls form waves, which makes it possible to obtain shock-absorbing fluting;● at the next stage, the sheets are sent to a special device, where the wavy layer is glued with straight liners;● at the end, the canvas is dried and cut into elements of the required sizes;● the received blanks are gouged - the fold lines of the future box are pressed, the valves are cut out;● if necessary, a multi-colored image, printing of logos or inscriptions is applied to the surface of the canvas.  A huge number of corrugated cardboard products are supplied to the market, among which four-valve boxes are the most popular. In addition, there is a huge range of models that differ in design, shape, size and the presence of additional elements (handles, windows, seals, etc.). Also, modern manufacturers of corrugated boxes offer customers to order packaging with individual parameters, which allows you to create optimal packaging for a specific type of product.Modern field of application of corrugated cardboard  At the moment, boxes and crates made of corrugated cardboard are considered the most popular type of packaging materials. This is primarily due to high technical characteristics and an affordable price. The production volumes of the material are growing annually. According to statistics, prices on the market have increased by 1.3% since 2007, which shows impressive trends. By 2025, the global corrugated board market is projected to exceed $250 billion.All this is due to the wide scope of application of containers made of corrugated cardboard. Such boxes and trays are used for storage and transportation of the following product groups:● medicines and medical equipment;● food products with different expiration dates;● fragile goods: porcelain, crystal, glass;● cosmetic and perfumery products;● plumbing equipment and related materials;● electronics and household appliances;● furniture, construction and finishing materials.  Almost everything can be packed in a corrugated cardboard box, except for liquids without individual packaging. At the same time, the fabric is able to provide excellent protection of the cargo from dust, moisture and mechanical damage along the entire transportation path. This allows you to minimize the percentage of fighting and spoilage of products in the logistics chain.
  Corrugated cardboard is an environmentally friendly material that does not emit toxins or potentially dangerous substances. In addition, it is inert and does not enter into chemical reactions. All this guarantees complete safety for people and transported products. In addition, the boxes can be returned as secondary raw materials, thereby reducing deforestation and providing the opportunity to return part of the spent funds.