Detecting Metal in Corrugated

This issue comes up on the blog about four times a year especially from members who serve the food industry and have customers that are installing even more sensitive metal detectors. It appears impossible to completely eliminate the presence of iron from paper based packaging. Containerboards and solid fibre paperboard and their resulting converted products are always in contact with steel. While we are not exactly shipping nuts and bolts inside our boxes and cartons, there is always the chance that flakes, splinters, shavings and rust will find its way into our products.

The industry has been unable to reach a consensus statement on the presence of metal in our paper products. There is no standard. There is just too much variation between mills and with the increasing use of non-corrugated waste fibres in our recovered fibre stream, we have increased the opportunity for an even greater frequency of metal contamination. If you need to purchase a metal detector that matches your customers’, contact me and we can discuss the design needs for your process.

I will continue to keep you posted. You can contact me directly with your questions at or through the Ask Ralph a Question page on this blog. If you know of suppliers of these detection devices, would you let me know so that I may share the knowledge with others.

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