The essential ingredient to manufacturing corrugated board is the flute. This internal layer comes in many different sizes, also known as flute profiles. To help you choose the best size for your corrugated boxes, here’s a summary of the most common flute types and their uses.
What is a flute?
Fluting is what makes corrugated board special – and different to cardboard. It’s the wavy layer that is sandwiched between flat cardboard to provide strength, weight capacity and rigidity to your box.
Check out our glossary for more common packaging terms you should know.
Common flute profiles
Where flutes describe the wavy board in general, flute profiles refer to the different sizes available to you. There are many different flute profiles to choose from. Here are some of the most common:
This flute is the baby of the family at just 1.5mm thick. It is commonly used for custom die cut boxes in eCommerce, POS displays and pizza boxes. One of the top benefits to this flute profile is the excellent print quality – you can really show off your brand in great style. This makes it a strong alternative to traditional paperboard cartons for fragile items such as cosmetics, ceramic or glass products.
At 2mm thick, the D flute is a best of both worlds option – tough like B flute but light and space-saving like E. It’s great for retail packaging, food and shelf-ready packaging, die cut inserts and POS displays. We also love using D flute for online retail boxes because of its great print quality. The crisp, sharp folds ensure your printing shows minimal flute lines for a truly impressive box.
Originally developed to package canned goods, B flute is a solid all-rounder. At 3mm thick it’s easy to manufacture in both regular and die cut cartons. You’ll often find this flute used for POS displays and inner packing components like pads and partitions. A top reason it’s used for POS displays is the nice smooth finish this flute achieves with printed designs.
When it comes to shipping, C flute is the hero. It’s the standard option for most RSC boxes and is a feature of supply chains around the world. At 4mm thick, this flute is great for stacking, strength and crush resistance. It’s often used to package glass products, dairy products and furniture – but the options are truly endless.
Confused by RSC and HSC? Read our blog on the different types of corrugated boxes.
The BC flute is an example of a double wall box where different flute profiles are used to provide extra strength. At 7mm thick, this is the tough all-rounder – combining the strength and flexibility of both B and C flute types. It’s an excellent choice for shipping when you need more protection or for stacking heavy items. You can still work with flexographic printing on this box to ensure your brand stands out or that important messaging, like fragile items, gets across.
Read our top tips for strong cardboard boxes on the blog.
Choosing the best flute types
If there’s one thing we want you to know, it’s that choosing flute types is simpler than it sounds. It comes down to the purpose of your corrugated board. For example, if a lightweight option is important to you – then you’re looking at the E and D flute types. But, if you need more strength for shipping – it’s better to opt for C flute. If you’re struggling to decide, our team are happy to help – simply get in touch for expert advice.
We’re experts in corrugated cardboard
With over two decades of manufacturing experience, Echo Cartons are a trusted partner for corrugated boxes. We work with a wide range of small and medium businesses around Australia. Based in Melbourne, choosing our team also means supporting local manufacturing. Head to our online store to browse stock-size boxes or request a quote for custom design.