Corrugated paper comes in two forms, lined and unlined. The lined type is a rigid layered paper that encloses a fluted layer between one or two smooth “liner” layers. The fluted layer provides added strength. Paper we know as cardboard is actually lined corrugated paper. The unlined type consists of the fluted layer only and is flexible.
Products made with corrugated paper are lightweight, versatile and durable. Lined corrugated paper is used in a variety of applications, most notably for making boxes used to ship and store materials. It may also be used for product displays in stores, children’s toys such as blocks and playhouses, and even for contemporary furniture.
Unlined corrugated paper is usually used for protecting delicate materials during shipping or for decoration. It was invented in the late 1800s for use in shipping hurricane lamps. Decorative unlined corrugated paper comes in many bright colors and is most commonly found bordering the bulletin boards of institutions like schools and hospitals.
Boxes made with this paper come in different strengths and are rated by the amount of weight they can withstand. If you look on the bottom of one of these boxes, you will see its edge crush test rating — the amount of weight a given box can withstand before its edges will buckle. Most lined corrugated boxes are “single wall,” or comprised of only one layer of paper. Added layers result in stronger boxes or other products.
Lined corrugated paper can be printed with bright graphics and colors and is commonly used to make sturdy, temporary product displays for stores. It is also used to make furniture, such as stools for seating, coffee tables, or storage boxes of various types. The clean look of this paper can fit well with a modern, industrial aesthetic.
Products made with this paper are also easily recycled when no longer needed or wanted. In fact, most corrugated paper is made, at least in part, of recycled paper. Most corrugated paper used in North America is manufactured in the United States and Canada.