Paperboard is one of those items that you pass many times in the grocery store, and in other places during the day, and don’t really take much notice of.
While you might not pay much attention to it, paperboard plays an essential part in the transport and protection of different food items and products, and it has many other uses too.
What is paperboard? Paperboard is essentially a thicker version of normal paper, and it offers good protection to various goods, while still being lightweight in nature. It is easy to work with and is durable despite being lightweight.
So, to find out more about this essential item, read on for all the information you could need, and more!
What Is Paperboard?
Paperboard, as the name suggests, is somewhere between paper and board. It is thicker than normal paper, usually measuring 0.12-inches thick, which means it is more durable and stronger than regular paper.
Being thicker than paper, but still easy to cut and form, makes it really useful for many different things. It is a favorite for manufacturers who are looking for lightweight protection for goods, which is still durable.
It offers good protection to items and food goods, without adding too much weight to the packaging. With the paperboard being easy to cut and form, it helps with production and preparation, and not much effort has to be put in place to create packaging for certain items.
Paperboard is also a good option as it can be made from renewable and recyclable materials, so it can be quite sustainable too.
Paperboard can be printed on and dyed easily as well, so it can be a great marketing tool, and it can be decorated easily for personal use too.
So, paperboard is durable, lightweight, printable, sustainable, and easy to come by, making it an essential product for so many different needs!
How Paperboard Is Made
One of the other benefits of paperboard is that the production process is fairly simple too. It starts out much the same way as normal paper, where recycled paper or virgin fiber is ground down into a pulp.
Once this is done, the pulp is then formed into a large sheet and the water is filtered out as much as possible. The sheet created from this is passed through a dryer, which helps steam out even more moisture.
After this, the sheet is placed between steel rollers, where the thickness is determined, and it is then processed into paperboard which can be used.
In some cases, coatings or printing can be applied after this step, depending on what the paperboard is going to be used for.
What Are The Different Types Of Paperboard?
As simple as paperboard can be, there are various types of paperboard that can be used for various purposes.
Each type of paperboard has its own unique properties which make them more suitable for different uses, so knowing the different types can help you better understand the best paperboard type to use.
Solid Bleached Sulfate Paperboard
Solid Bleached Sulfate Paperboard (SBS), is possibly the most common type of paperboard used. It is made with at least 80% virgin wood pulp which goes through a process of bleaching and chemical processing.
Near the end of processing, it is often coated with kaolin clay which allows for easy printing and allows it to be used for wet food packaging.
When processed, SBS is white in color on both sides, and this makes it ideal for printing and marketing too. For this reason, it is often used as packaging for perfumes, cosmetics, candy, and more, where it needs to be visually appealing.
Coated Unbleached Kraft Paperboard
Coated Unbleached Kraft Paperboard (CUK) is also made with at least 80% virgin natural wood pulp, much like SBS. However, the difference between the two is that, unlike SBS, CUK is not bleached during the process, so it maintains its natural brown color.
While it holds its natural brown color, it is still printable and it is still able to be dyed, so it can be used in a variety of ways.
In some cases, it can be coated with a metalized polyester film which can give it accents of gold, silver, and other metallic colors.
Unbleached Kraft Paperboard is often used to package and protect frozen goods, medical goods, and as signage and displays.
Coated Recycled Paperboard
Coated Recycled Board Paperboard (CRB), is made using 100% recycled materials, which makes it a great option if you are looking for a sustainable choice.
Once it has gone through the manufacturing process, it is often coated with a thin layer of kaolin clay, which allows it to be printed on. This is a popular paperboard used for laundry detergent, tissue boxes, soap, and cereal boxes.
The recycled nature of this paperboard, along with it still being printable, makes it a good environmentally conscious choice, without too many downsides.
Non-Bending Chipboard is made from old corrugated board and recycled newsprint and is used as the rigid setup layer for boxes. The chipboard structure gives the paperboard good stability and strength, and it prevents the paperboard from bending or folding during shipping.
Often, once the paperboard has been assembled, it is wrapped with a paper wrap which can be printed on or finished in a variety of ways.
This is a popular paperboard used for small luxury items, electronics, confections, and jewelry.
What Is Paperboard Used For?
Paperboard can be used for so many different things, from packaging to crafts and in between.
For packaging, here is what paperboard is most commonly used for:
- Frozen foods
- Wet foods
- Dairy products
- Bakery goods
- Medical products
- Dry bakery products
- Dry foods
- Paper products
- Cake mixes
When it comes to crafts, paperboard can be used in many ways too:
- Board structures
- Structure for building crafts
It really is up to your imagination how you can use paperboard in craft, but its rigid structure, as well as its ease to cut and form, makes it a great option for many different uses.
The Benefits Of Using Paperboard
Paperboard is one of the most popular choices for packaging, shipping, and more, and while it is a simple product, there are so many benefits to using it and so many reasons why it is so popular.
To help you understand why it is the go-to choice for many packaging and shipping purposes, here are some of the best benefits of using paperboard:
One of the main benefits of paperboard is that it is wonderfully cost-effective. It is an affordable material that is easy to come by, and it falls into a good price range compared to other packaging materials.
It can withstand much the same strain and pressure as many other packaging options, some of which are much more expensive than paperboard. The affordability of it means that it can be used widely across various sectors, and it is often much more affordable when bought in bulk too.
You aren’t giving up strength or durability when paying the lower price either, which makes it a top choice for many.
Level Of Protection
For something made in a similar way to paper, paperboard offers a great level of protection for various goods. Whether single-wall or double-wall, paperboard boxes, and packaging will keep contents protected and safe, even though they might appear thin.
The protection offered by paperboard is due to the outer layers of the board, which offer rigidity and cushioning for the contents inside.
You are also able to choose the level of protection, as you could opt for a single-wall box that is good for non-delicate items or double-walled paperboard which offers structure and cushioning for more fragile items, including food.
There are paperboard options that are made with recycled materials, which makes them sustainable and environmentally friendly. This means that you would be doing your bit to cut down on waste and to still offer good protection to items.
For the paperboard options which are not made with recycled materials, you could still reuse these boxes or sheets for various purposes. Whether this is using them as packaging for other items or sending them in for recycling further on.
There are some great resources online which give you good tips on how to reuse and repurpose paperboard.
No Limit To Packaging
Paperboard can be transformed into packaging for big or small items, and everything in-between. It is fully customized to suit your needs and the items you are transporting, and even the crafts you are making with it.
With the various types of paperboard available, you will definitely be able to find the right one for your needs, and you should be able to find the correct sizing that you need too.
You can also find boxes ready-made or plain sheets of paperboard too, depending on what it is that you are looking for.
Printing And Customization
Most types of paperboard are printable and are able to be dyed, so they are very customizable. You can use them for marketing purposes, or to print for crafts at home.
They can also be coated with a specific finish too, sometimes even having gold or silver films coated on.
Being able to print and dye directly on the paperboard is a huge advantage for shipping or design, as you can cut down the cost and effort of finding an external layer to add to the paperboard to print onto.
Possibly one of the best benefits of using paperboard, especially when it comes to packaging and shipping, is that it is a lightweight material that still offers protection and structure. You do not have to worry about a heavy material that will cost more for shipping, and you do not have to worry about damage to a product when using paperboard.
Various types of paperboard will have different weights, but mostly they are lightweight and easy to handle. This makes them great to store as well, as they can also be folded up or packed away easily without taking up too much weight.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Paperboard?
We’ve taken a look at the advantages of using paperboard, and there are many, but it is only fair to look at the disadvantages too, just to cover any doubt you might have. Just like with other packaging materials, there are some disadvantages to be aware of.
Not Suitable For Heavyweight Items
As rigid and durable as paperboard can be, it is not suitable for heavyweight items. Heavier items might break through the box or it might not be supported enough by the paperboard either.
Changes Shape Under Pressure
Pressure on the paperboard can change its shape. This could be through crushing, denting, or damage from items that are too heavy.
Even though paperboard is strong, there is still a chance that it can be damaged if it is not handled properly.
As it is made similar to paper, and with most of the same materials, it is not weatherproof like plastic is. Rain, snow, and other harsh weather conditions can damage the paperboard, which in turn puts the items it holds at risk too.
Best Paperboard For Crafts
If you are looking for a reliable paperboard to use for crafts, here are some of the best options to choose from:
Chipboard Premium Kraft Paperboard
This is a thick medium-weight chipboard paperboard that has a thickness of 30pt, making it durable and long-lasting, without chipping or breaking.
It is a strong paperboard that offers good structure and rigidity.
The multi-purpose chipboard is ideal for crafts, whether you are making displays, boxes, frames, albums, and more. It is eco-friendly and made from 100% recycled materials.
Each pack comes with 25 sheets of chipboard paperboard, which is enough to see through many different crafts at home!
Heavy Weight Kraft Cardboard
The 50pt heavy-weight paperboard chipboard is a good option for general use and crafts at home, for frame backing, scrapbooking, photos, prints, notepads, and more.
Being heavy-weight, it offers additional protection for shipping, stacking, and storing, while still being lightweight and easy to mold and form.
Made from recycled paper, it is an eco-friendly option and offers a sustainable solution to packaging and crafts at home.
It is also a printable paper, but you will need a special printer to print onto the heavyweight paperboard.
What Is Paperboard?
Paperboard is similar to paper, but it is made thicker and more durable, which is why it is a popular material used for packaging, shipping, and crafts.
Some types of paperboard are made with recycled materials, which means it is a sustainable option compared to other possible materials.
There are also types of paperboard that can be printed on directly, and this makes it a multi-use tool for both packaging and marketing.
There are many different ways to use paperboard, and its lightweight structure and rigid protection make it a favorite among many!
Is paperboard thicker than cardboard?
Whether paperboard is thicker than cardboard depends on the type of paperboard you are looking at. Paperboard can be either single or multi-ply, and generally, multi-ply paperboard is thicker than cardboard.
Can you print on paperboard with a normal printer?
You should be able to print on paperboard with a normal printer if it is a single-ply paperboard. However, you will have to check your printer manual to make sure this is okay.