Introduction to Folding Cartons

Folding Cartons are paperboard boxes that are folded into various shapes. The cartons are shipped flat to a manufacturer, who then uses machinery to fold the carton into its final shape as a container for a product. The flat boxes are known as blanks, and are drawn on a large sheet of paperboard, which is then cut. Smaller designs have less capacity, but more boxes can be made from a single sheet. Some designs are also designed to mesh with each other as blanks, reducing the amount of wasted paperboard.

Carton Materials

Cartons are made out of a multitude of materials. They can be separated into two distinct categories. Virgin board refers to material derived directly from spruce, prine, birch, and eucalyptus trees, while Recycled board is derived from virgin board. Environmentally, both are about equal; see our Environmental Statement for more information.

Virgin Board

  • SBS (Solid Bleached Sulfate)

    White on both sides with white filler. SBS is generally used for custom cosmetic boxes, custom food boxes, custom medical boxes, custom pharmaceutical packaging boxes, and high-end custom retail boxes.

  • SUS (Solid Unbleached Sulfate)

    White on one side and brown on the other side. SUS possesses greater strength and rigidity than SBS, and can be found in many applications, including custom beverage boxes and custom food boxes.

  • Poly Board

    White on both sides (SBS), and poly (wax) is applied to one side. Poly Board is used for custom food boxes when food touches paper.

  • Ovenable Board

    White on both sides with a coating on one side. It is SBS board that can withstand high temperatures and therefore can be used in the oven. Ovenable Board is generally used for custom food boxes.

  • Blister Board

    White on both sides. Semi-rigid plastic is attached to it to form a package, or blister pack. Blister Board is generally made into a hang tab box with a plastic attachment for small, light products. It is an ideal point of purchase display to be placed on a peg. Blister Board is often used for custom cosmetic boxes, custom medical boxes, and custom retail boxes.

Recycled Board

  • CCNB (Clay Coated News Back)

    White on the front, with gray on the back. CCNB is one of the most popular grades of paper because it combines a good printing surface with an inexpensive, but bending grade substrate. This product is made up of 80% post-consumer recycled paper and 20% recycled paper. Typical applications include custom display boxes for point of purchase, as well as custom beverage boxes, custom cosmetic boxes, custom food boxes, custom retail boxes, custom software boxes, and custom toy boxes.

  • CCKB (Clay Coated Kraft Back)

    White on the front with brown on the back. CCKB is made from 100% recycled paper. It is used for custom display boxes for point of purchase, as well as custom beverage boxes, custom cosmetic boxes, custom food boxes, custom retail boxes, custom software boxes, and custom toy boxes.

  • Bending Chip

    Brown on both sides. Bending Chip is made up of 100% recycled paper. It is generally used for custom paper boxes which require a natural, ecologically-aware appearance, such as custom cosmetic boxes.

Folding cartons come in many shapes and sizes, and contain all kinds of products. The most common products contained in folding cartons include cereal and shoe boxes.

Types of Folding Cartons

Tube Carton

Tube Style Cartons

Tube Cartons have a wide range of uses. Shown here is one of the most basic tube carton designs. The major difference between the tube cartons is the design of their locking mechanisms. They range from a simple lid with a friction tab to the complex three stage 1-2-3 Houghland lock. Some are designed to keep the top accessible, while others are designed to seal up the bottom and make it difficult for the contents to spill.

Tray Carton

Tray Style Cartons

are usually open-topped, wide designs that are designed for carrying wider items short distances. Some trays have lids, but all have flat surfaces. Trays are most commonly found carrying foodstuffs like doughnuts and other pastries, but can carry large amounts of anything small, like cutlery, coasters, or pens.

Box Carton

Box Style Cartons

are the cartons that are not straight "tube" designs mentioned previously. These designs include the display cases found containing candies in grocery stores and pharmacies, 6-packs for containing bottles, and the unique pillow box.

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