BHT Free Corrugated

March 2, 2015

Jimmy asks,

We have customer asking about 200# or 32ect made from corrugated material free of BHT (phenolic antioxidants/preservatives).  Do you know anything about this?

I reached out to Maryann Jashinske at Package Engineering Solutions LLC. She specializes in food packaging safety. Below is her reply.

“As best I can determine, the following article has generated panic amongst food packagers.  BHT is commonly used in cereal box and other food packaging as a preservative for oily products, and is likely found in corrugated.  I can tell you that the plastic manufacturers are suddenly also being asked for BHT-free packaging statements.  BHT is allowed by the FDA, in fact it is an edible food preservative, never mind a food packaging preservative!

BHT is found in wax coatings, soy-based inks (soy contains oil), and possibly adhesives.  Any boxes that use any recycled content could not likely make a “BHT-free” claim, unless you can identify all the additives in the recycled part.

I cannot find any regulatory ban of any sort for BHT in food packaging.”

Corrugated for Extra Insulation of Cold Products

March 2, 2015

Mike asks,

If attempting to use corrugate for more insulating properties in cold environments without a big change in material structure or adding other materials [eg. foam] what has been a past success?

Have you heard of anyone experimenting and having success with multiple flutes (double or triple wall) for the protection of products on the inside such as ice creams and the like. It seems that would an option over heavier flutes.

The situation we have defined and is not wide spread, but there are spots in certain conditions we need some extra protection.

Following is a link to a university study on the insulation properties of packaging, and singlewall corrugated was included. The summary answer to your question is on pages 5 and 16. Using double and triple wall board combinations would probably double and triple the R value of singlewall.

Swelling of Corrugated Boxes

March 2, 2015

Motohiro asks,

The JAPAN PALLET ASSOCIATION (JPA), has told us that the “swelling of the cardboard box” is at the rate of 4% in the length direction, when a cardboard box was piled up.

JPA also said that 4% is based on the information of NWPCA or AICC.

Can you explain in detailed reason of this 4% growth?

I do not have any personal knowledge from my thirty years in the paper and corrugated industry of this exact percent change in the one specific dimension of a corrugated box. Corrugated fiberboard products do expand and contact in all three dimensions with changes in relative humidity and exposure to liquid water. Corrugated sheets and boxes produced in Japan from a variety of different recovered fibres and manufactured with a variety of process are likely to expand and contact at different rates. This is especially true compared to boxes manufactured in this country with new stronger fibres. Research does show that corrugated at 95% relative humidity can increase in moisture content to 25% versus its stable conditions at 7%.

I think a 4% growth simply from increased moisture content is a bit extreme. However, in your question you mention a 4% growth when “piled up”. It would make more sense that this is possibly a combination of the weight of the pile and perhaps extra moisture therefore weakening the structural integrity of the box resulting in the 4% expansion.

I could not find any technical data in the literature that references what you have described. I would add that any laminated high graphics top sheet would change in dimension at a different rate than the corrugated itself.

— Ralph

Hazmat Documentation Life Cycle

January 14, 2015

Gary asks;

I have a question regarding record keeping for running hazmat items.

How long do we have to keep the signed production order (factory ticket) that verifies our compliance to the test requirements?

My question is not about the certifying lab and the copy of the original hazmat test… is about keeping records of a production order that went through our plant and the verification process that we do to be sure it is following the requirements of the certified test.

We have a pretty good handle on our process to run hazmat packaging for our customers. The one question that we are struggling to get a good answer on is how long we have to keep our production copies where we verified the board combination and that the spec was followed and signed off by our operator.

We order board specific to our hazmat test – receive the board in and sign off that the order is ready to be processed based on the testing done and submitted to us by our board supplier. We then send the factory ticket out to production with our signature that the board was correct and production can now process the order. Our operator of the last operation signs off on the factory ticket to indicate that the spec was followed for this hazmat item. We then turn those signed factory tickets back in to the office for filing away.

After a while, we get quite a file full of old factory tickets. I have heard that we need to keep the factory tickets for 1 year, 3 years, etc.

According to our own Hazardous Materials Guide for Corrugated Packaging Manufacturers, on page 26 it states that test reports, and other data, must be maintained as long as the packaging is produced and for at least two years thereafter.

— Ralph


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