Posted on February 24, 2009 by Dennis Salazar

B Flute vs C Flute – Sustainably Equal … Almost

Corrugated board, b, c, e, and f flute

The photo above is an extreme close up of B, C, E, and F flute corrugated board. The top two samples – B and C flute – are by far the most common for corrugated shipping containers, whether stock size boxes or custom made.

Functional Differences between B Flute and C Flute Corrugated

As you can see, C flutes are taller, giving C flute corrugated boxes somewhat better cushioning properties than B flute.

And because the flutes are shorter, B flute boxes offer a superior printing surface and more rigidity.

For most general purpose secondary packaging applications, B and C flute are functionally equivalent.

Sustainable Packaging Differences between B Flute and C Flute

B and C flute are constructed using equal amounts of linerboard. In this respect, there is no sustainable packaging advantage one way or the other.

However, because B flute is not as thick as C flute, B flute boxes consume less vertical space when being shipped to and stored by the user – about one third less space, as a matter of fact! This means –

  • Less fuel needed to ship to B flute corrugated boxes from the manufacturer to the user
  • Less space consumed/energy needed by the user to store the boxes

Both of these points can have considerable environmental impact, since corrugated boxes are bulky and take up a good deal of space in a distributor or end user’s warehouse. Isn’t it amazing that something as small as a flute could have an impact on something as big as energy efficiency?