AS - Graphics - How Cardboard Is Made

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AS-Level ­ Graphics ­ Cardboard
"Corrugated cardboard is a stiff, strong, and light-weight material made up of three layers of brown
kraft paper."
Most boxes that you use such as display boxes and also what's used to deliver your products.
Because corrugated cardboard is such a versatile packaging material, millions of tons are used each
year to protect and display products. During 1992, more than 25 million tons of corrugated
cardboard was produced in the United States. In 1884, Swedish chemist, Carl F. Dahl, developed a
process for pulping wood chips into a strong paper that resists tearing, splitting, and bursting. He
named it the kraft process because it produces a strong paper that resists tearing, splitting, and
Raw Materials:
Pine trees provide the primary material used to make the cardboard. After the trees are harvested,
they are stripped of their limbs; only the trunks will be shipped by truck to a pulp mill. At the mill,
the tree trunks are placed into the kraft process, but this is also known as the sulfate process
because it used chemicals to break down the wood chips into fibourous pulp. After pulping and
other processing, the fibers are sent directly to the paper machine where they are formed, pressed,
dried and rolled into a wide roll of kraft paper which will then be sent to corrugating plants to be
made into cardboard.
At the corrugating plant, only a few other raw materials are needed to make a finished box. Corn
starch glue is used to bond the corrugated medium to the liner sheets. Because so much glue is
used, rail cars or large tanker trucks deliver it as a dry powder that will be stored in huge silos at the
corrugating plant until it is needed. Drawn from the silo, the dry corn starch is mixed with water and
other chemicals and pumped into the corrugator to be spread on the corrugated medium as the
layers of liner are added. Other raw materials are used to finish the corrugated cardboard after
production. Waxes made from paraffin or vegetable oils can be applied to make a water- or grease-
resistant container for food products. Brightly colored inks are also applied to create bold graphic
designs for self-supporting displays featuring product name, information, and company name and
logo. Teams of salespeople and designers work together to create the manufacturing and printing
patterns, called dies, which are used to cut and print a specific box design. The dies are created in a
pattern shop and transferred to the rotary die-cutting equipment and printers that finish the box
Made By Richard Francis -

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The Manufacturing Process
1. Pulping the pine chips
First, tree trucnks are stripped of bark and torn into small chips. Next, These chips are placed in a
large high-pressure tank called a batch digester, this is where they are cooked in a solution made of
sodium hydroxide and several other iconic compounds such as sulfates, sulfides and sulfites. These
dissolve the ligin, the glue like substance that holds the individual wood fibres together in the tree
2.…read more

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Using powerful fork-lifts, skilled equipment operators select, move, and load rolls of kraft paper at
one end of the corrugator. Corrugated cardboard manufacture includes two key steps: making kraft
paper and corrugating the
cardboard. Kraft paper
involves pulping wood chips
and then feeding the resulting
paper substance through
massive steam rollers that
remove the water.
Corrugating is also done in a
machine that utilizes heavy
rollers. One roll of cardboard
is corrugated and then glued
between two other layers
(liners) by the same machine.…read more

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The corrugating rolls are covered with I O flutes --horizontal, parallel ridges like the teeth of
massively wide gears. When the hot paper passes between the corrugating rolls, the flutes trap and
bend it, forming the middle part of a sheet of corrugated cardboard. Each corrugating machine has
interchangeable corrugating rolls featuring different flute sizes.
11. The medium travels next to a set of rollers called the single-facer glue station. Here, one layer of
liner is glued to the medium.…read more


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