Corrugated Performance In Sub-Zero Temps

Jeff asks,

I have a client who is asking for specific information about corrugated performance at low temperatures (-20 degrees Celsius) for extended periods of time (up to 6 months).  I have not been given specific information about the contents of the boxes, but I suspect it to be clinical trial materials or something similar.  I expect them to be looking for some sort of performance guarantee.  Current board grade is 32 ECT C Flute.  Outside liner would be virgin paper.  The remainder of the box (medium and inside liner) is recycled paper.

Anything you can provide to help me with this?  Or can you direct me to the right place?  Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

There just is not much out there. Here is a Link to the last industry wide study on freezer storage which is over 70 years old, but still relevant. Note the added box strengths in the chart. Also here is a link to the most recent report from the PMMI on the storage of Corrugated Packaging.

As you stated, the contents of the box is critical and also is the introduction of any moist air from repeated open and closing of the storage unit. Use of aqueous or UV coatings will certainly provide extended resistance to moisture on the boxes’ surface. However, what generally happens is the glue line is attacked by changes in atmospheric conditions. This is where we often see failure under these conditions.

Does any of our other followers have any knowledge or experiences they can care to share on this subject? How about adhesives and sub-zero temperatures? How does temperature affect the difference adhesives we use in the corrugated industry?

— Ralph

2 Responses to “Corrugated Performance In Sub-Zero Temps”

  1. Stacey Kreisler (@sskreisler) Says:

    We offer many Freezer grade hotmelts. I would be happy to discuss them please feel free to call me ..Stacey Kreisler 1-800-883-6199 or email @

  2. Gary Rashleigh Says:

    Based on what I have seen, a moisture resistant coating to the inside and some form of moisture resistant additive to the starch will help. Maybe a more aggressive one if available.Vent holes to allow the moisture to escape should there be any temperature variation will help. This will help the carton from breaking down. The glue joint might break down , but if not handled excessively it may be ok.
    Gary Rashleigh
    Bay Corrugated Container
    1655 W Seventh St
    Monroe, Mi. 48161-0667
    National Accounts Manager
    Certified MBE / WBE Company

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