Corrugated Shelf Life, Storage and Usage Temps, Toxicity?

Chris asks:

Do you have any resources for the following information regarding corrugated containers?

As the answers would appear to be specific to the material composition, these would be for plain C-Flute kraft containers.

  • Shelf Life
  • Service Temp Range
  • Storage Temp
  • Toxicity

These questions are asked quite often on Ask-Ralph. This may not be a complete answer to your question, but it is a start to the dialogue.

Corrugated under compression (loaded and stacked) ages/deteriorates at a different rate than KD boxes on a pallet. Environment, fill load, stacked load, potential crush during converting all contribute to the deterioration rate of a loaded box.

Ideally, whether loaded or stored as knock downs, corrugated should be stored at 72 degrees and 50% RH.  That’s a perfect world and few of us live in a perfect world. Any fluctuations in these conditions can reduce the fibre to fibre bonding and strength of the adhesive bond. Temperature does effect stored corrugated, but it’s the combination of temperature and humidity that has the greatest effect. High temps (90 plus degrees F) and low humidity and you’re likely to start to see score cracking and brittle paper issues. High temps and high humidity and you’re likely to start seeing bond breakdown and an increase of the compressive creep rate leading to increased chances of failure under load.

At extreme low temps and you may start to experience recharacterizations of adhesive that can lead to failures at joints and even at the liner to medium bonds. Same holds true here with humidity though it may not be as severe as with high temps.

General rule of thumb, if it is comfortable to work in, it’s probably good for corrugated. We don’t like to be hot and sweaty or numb from cold… neither does corrugated.

As far as toxicity, corrugated is considered an indirect food additive by the FDA and is detailed in 49 CFR.  Therefore, no toxicity for plain kraft. If there are inks or coatings involved, then you have to look that them on an individual basis.

Now there’s a start to the discussion. What input do our readers have?

— Ralph

One Response to “Corrugated Shelf Life, Storage and Usage Temps, Toxicity?”

  1. tstaal Says:

    In 2010 a group of corrugated industry professionals, packaging machinery manufacturers, and product users worked together to create a series of ANSI Technical Reports that provided information regarding tolerances needed for corrugated to run effectively on automated equipment. In that series of reports was one titles Storage and Handling of Corrugated Packaging Materials. The document is ANSI Technical Report B155-TR2.3-2011.

    FibreBox Association Members may be able to get copies of these reports from their website, otherwise they can be purchased from ANSI.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: