Basic Testing and Strength Design of Corrugated Board and Containers

Abstract: Packaging serves a lot of purposes, and would be hard to do without. Packaging protects the goods during transport, saves costs, informs about the product, and extends its durability. A transport package is required to be strong and lightweight in order to be cost effective. Furthermore, it should be recycled because of environmental and economical concerns. Corrugated board has all of these features. This thesis is compiled of seven papers that theoretically and experimentally treat the structural properties and behaviour of corrugated board and containers during buckling and collapse. The aim was to create a practical tool for strength analysis of boxes that can be used by corrugated board box designers. This tool is based on finite element analysis. The first studies concerned testing and analysis of corrugated board in three-pointbending and evaluation of the bending stiffness and the transverse shear stiffness. The transverse shear stiffness was also measured using a block shear test. It was shown that evaluated bending stiffness agrees with theoretically predicted values. However, evaluation of transverse shear stiffness showed significantly lower values than the predicted values. The predicted values were based on material testing of constituent liners and fluting prior to corrugation. Earlier studies have shown that the fluting sustains considerable damage at its troughs and crests in the corrugation process and this is probably a major contributing factor to the discrepancy. Furthermore, the block shear method seems to constrain the deformation of the board and consistently produces higher values of the transverse shear stiffness than the three-point-bending test. It is recommended to use the latter method. Further experimental studies involved the construction of rigs for testing corrugated board panels under compression and cylinders under combined stresses. The panel test rig, furnishing simply supported boundary conditions on all edges, was used to study the buckling behaviour of corrugated board. Post-buckling analysis of an orthotropic plate with initial imperfection predicted failure loads that exceed the experimental values by only 6-7 % using the Tsai-Wu failure criterion. It was confirmed, by testing the cylinders that failure of biaxially loaded corrugated board is not significantly affected by local buckling and that the Tsai-Wu failure criterion is appropriate to use. A method for prediction of the top-to-bottom compression strength of corrugated board containers using finite element analysis was developed and verified by a large number of box compression tests. Up to triple-wall corrugated board is accommodated in the finite element model. The described FE-method for predicting the top-to-bottom compressive strength of corrugated containers has been used as the basic component in the subsequent development of a user-friendly computer-based tool for strength design of containers.

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