Archive for the ‘Testing and Specifications’ Category

What the #1W?!

December 1, 2017

Steve asks,

I have a customer asking me to interpret and explain this call out “ 200E #1W”.

The 200E part is easy. It’s the #1W is a bit more ambiguous…I don’t believe it is industry standard expression. Could it be a designation for coated SBS?

Oh yes. A long history here.

# 1 could be Kemi, Coated SBS, or Coated label stock

#2 does not exist anymore or a lightly coated white top or uncoated SBS

#3 is what we refer to today as uncoated white top.

— Ralph


Hot Melt Glue Separation

December 1, 2017

Mike asks,

I have a customer that runs case make up units using a solid set hot melt. As of late we have an issue with the appearance of the seal on the bottom of the carton. When we are using light weight single ply liners the customer is not seeing fibre pull when breaking the bottom flaps apart to check for a bond. They are now considering this test to be a fail. Even though we can do a shake test and it passes. When pulling the cartons apart by hand the strength feels the same if you have fibre pull or not. When we are not seeing fibre pull what you see is the hot melt glue lines on each flap that is stuck to the paper so it looks like the glue came apart in the middle.

Anyway, is there is a tool that we can measure the bond strength on the bottom of a carton?

If glue is remaining on both flaps and is not separating from the paperboard, then the bond between the paperboard and the glue would appear to be good. If we take a lesson from the corrugator, too much glue can be as bad as too little glue. Too much and you risk shear within the glue itself. I’m not positive if the same ‘holds’ true (pun intended) in hot melt. I know too much hot melt can cause a variety of problems, but I’m not sure if shear within the glue is one of them. I’ve reached out to some of my industry contacts and I’m awaiting their input. I’ll update this post as when received.

I’m not sure if here is an official measuring device. However, I would think that if the box was to hold, say 25 pounds, you could get 25 pounds of weights at the local sporting goods store, place them in the bottom of the box and then somehow suspend the box so the full weight was on the bottom flaps. Perhaps do a few jerk tests where you would quickly lift the box with the weights in it. This would simulate the additional forces of acceleration. If it supports the weight, perhaps your customer would accept this as proof that the bond is sufficient to hold the prescribed weight. Be careful when you are testing.

Okay readers, has anyone else seen this type of separation with hot melt? Do you have any experience or suggestions to pass along?

— Ralph

Letters of Compliance regarding chemical migration

November 20, 2017

Jeff asks,

We have received three requests from customers in the last month, asking for letters of compliance regarding chemical migration testing of corrugated packaging. They are saying this is a requirement for their SQF 2000 audits.

Is there a statement we can make to our food manufacturer customers that would generally satisfy their requirements?

The world has not agreed yet on what the general statement or regulations will look like. The Global Harmonization Standard or GHS is still in committee as they work to iron out the specs.  We do not have issues with mineral oil migration in the USA. Ask your sheet supplier for the letters that you can provide to your customers. They know the process and materials going into the manufacture of the sheets and should have a reasonable understanding their product as it corresponds to your customers’ requests.  Also, placing the responsibility of compliance on your supplier may be beneficial to you in the long run. I’ll keep my ear to the ground on the GHS and update when if I hear of any changes.

Has anyone else had experience on  this subject that they can share? Let us know what your experiences and thoughts may be.

— Ralph

RoHS Compliance

August 23, 2017

Scott asks,

We have a customer that is shipping products into Europe and they want to know if our packaging is RoHS compliant. Do you have any information on RoHS requirements or specifications?

The RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) used in Europe and Asia is very similar to our CONEG (Coalition of Northeastern Governors) regulations. Both focus on the reduction and control of toxics (heavy metals, phenyls and phthalates) in packaging. RoHS included six initial substances; Lead, Mercury, Cadmium, Hexavalent Chromium, Polybrominated Biphenyls and Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers.

In the 2015 Directive revision four additional substances were added to the list of regulated substances. These included Bis(2-Ethylhexyl) phthalate, Benzyl butyl phthalate, Dibutyl phthalate and Diisobutyl phthalate.

Your board supplier should be able to provide a COA or Certificate of Compliance or the paperboard you purchase from them. You may also want to solicit the same from your ink and glue suppliers too just to have them on record. Also keep in mind that labels, stickers and films are also considered part of your packaging. The exceptions are stickers or labels required by governmental agencies to meet health and safety or transportation requirements.

You can find additional information on RoHS at, and for more information on CONEG visit

— Ralph