With the introduction of new standards and regulations in the packaging field, corrugated cardboard has become the most popular material in the production of packaging. As opposed to foam and plastic-based materials, it is 100% recyclable and biodegradable.
The facings, made of two sheets of paper stuck together with natural glues deriving from corn or potato starch, enclose the fluted paper that gives cardboard stability and resistance.
As the height of the flute can vary from 1.5 to 5 mm, there are different combinations that bring the final thickness of the board from 1.5 to 15 mm. Besides the thickness, the quality of the paper used and its weight is essential to its sturdiness. As a finished product, corrugated cardboard is a sturdy and versatile packaging solution, ideal for grouping, transporting and protecting a very wide range of products.

Types of corrugated cardboard:

Single board: single high, low or microflute. 

Triple board: with combined high/low flutes or microflutes. 

Triple wall board: three sheets of fluted paper for specific high resistance uses. 

Types of facings used:

Board treated against moisture. 

Vegetal fiber board: used for food packaging.


Abbreviations for facings:

K = kraftliner, paper with high mechanical characteristics produced with chemical conifer pulp and up to 20% pulp obtained from broadleaved trees;

L = liner, paper with good mechanical characteristics produced with one or more layers of fibrous material;

T = test, paper with moderate mechanical characteristics, similar to the liner facing described above;

KB/LB/TB = white facings;

BP = coated board; 

C = chamois, produced exclusively from recycled or poor resistance pulp; 

Abbreviations for flutes:

S = semi-chemical high quality paper containing at least 65% fiber obtained from broadleaved trees;

M = paper of average quality, good characteristics produced with recycled or semi-chemical pulp;

F = fluting, paper with discrete characteristics produced using exclusively recycled pulp.


These codes have been set by FEFCO (European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers) to be used as a simple, internationally understood coding system, as not tied to the knowledge of languages; they thereby allow the identification of the various types of packaging cardboard without being forced to give long and complicated descriptions.

The main packaging groups are identified by the first two figures marked on the packaging.

02 – Cases with flaps or tabs joining or overlapping (either completely or partially), made mainly from a single sheet of cardboard.

03 – Telescope cases consisting of at least two pieces, a bottom piece and a lid, which fit into each other to form or close the lid, they are joined at the bottom.

04 – Foldable boxes generally made from a single sheet of cardboard; both sides and lid are joined at the bottom.

05 – Sliding boxes consisting of at least two sleeves that fit into each other.

06 – Rigid boxes generally consisting of a central part to which the top and bottom must be joined by a consecutive operation.

07 – Automatically closing cases, generally made from a single sheet of cardboard; they are delivered flat and can be easily assembled by the user.

List of GIFCO/FEFCO codes: 

0200-0209 | 0210-0226 | 0227-0304 | 0306-0321 | 0322-0403 | 0404-0416  

0420-0429 | 0430-0441 | 0442-0453 | 0454-0472 | 0473-0511 | 0512-0616  

0620-0715 | 0716-0770 | 0771-0774 

GIFCO regulation about tolerances

GIFCO issued a tolerance regulation about cardboard sheets and boxes trade. Such regulation can be consulted clicking here, at appendex I: and


The technical information contained in this area comes from the monograph: “Il cartone ondulato: una scelta di economia aziendale ed ambientale” (“Corrugated cardboard: a company and environmental economy choice”) by G.I.F.C.O. (Gruppo Italiano Fabbricanti di Cartone Ondulato, Italian Group of Corrugated Board Manufacturers) and Assocarta (the association of all paper, cardboard and paper pulp producers).