Chipboard boxes are a popular type of inexpensive and environmentally
friendly packaging for consumer products as well as items being shipped.
Chipboard, or paperboard, is made from pieces of recycled paper,
sawdust, wood pulp or chips that have been compressed using pressure and
heat and bonded with a resin or adhesive material.
Chipboard boxes come in two basic colors: brown or white, but many companies add color, logos, text and brands to box surfaces that will be sold in stores. Shipping chipboard boxes are usually covered in a waterproof finish to provide the product with protection from outdoor elements. Besides the shipping and mailing industry, chipboard boxes are used in the food processing, paper, consumer product and tool industries. They are mostly custom-made to hold different products like nuts and bolts, small machinery parts, soap, cereal, envelopes, computer paper, check refills and many other products found on retail shelves. Very thin chipboard is mostly used as an inner protective layer for shipping, while the thicker boards form the outer box component. They may be of single piece construction with flaps that close with tape, or they can consist of two different pieces: a five-sided box and removable lid. These are most often used to hold large quantities of blank computer paper.
The manufacturing process for fabricating chipboard from used paper and wood waste to a box ready for the shelves or shipping takes multiple steps. The raw materials that compose chipboard include used paper shreds, sawdust and wood chips that are leftover from the fabrication process of other wood products. The materials are put through a chipper
to become fine, uniform granules. They are then dried until the moisture disappears from the raw wood product. Adhesive materials are then added into the mix. The pressing process is next. The wood material is subjected to high temperatures and, under high amounts of pressure, pressed firmly between two flat rams until the desired thickness has been achieved. The heat melts the adhesive particles, which then creates a bond between the materials. After cooling, several post-processing treatments are necessary before the chipboard can be formed into a box. The surface is sanded until smooth and sometimes coated with a waterproof finish. Then, the large sheets are cut down into different sizes. Chipboard used as packaging for retail products require lamination of a decorative layer of brightly colored paper material. They are then ready for shipping. After they have been shipped, the chipboard material is folded and assembled into a box form.