4 Popular Types of Paperboard Grades For Packaging

4 Popular Types of Paperboard Grades For Packaging

4 Popular Types of Paperboard Grades For Packaging

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Packaging plays a crucial role in protecting and presenting products to consumers. Among the various materials used, paperboard packaging stands out for its versatility, eco-friendliness, and ease of customization. In this article, we delve into four popular types of paperboard grades used in packaging, exploring their characteristics, applications, and the numerous benefits they offer.

1. Solid Bleached Sulfate (SBS)

Solid Bleached Sulfate, commonly referred to as SBS, is a premium paperboard known for its bright white appearance and smooth surface. Here are some key features:

  • Characteristics : SBS is made primarily from bleached wood pulp, resulting in a pristine white color that provides excellent printability and visual appeal. It is dense and has a uniform surface texture.
  • Applications : SBS is widely used in high-end packaging for cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, premium food items, and consumer electronics where a luxurious presentation is desired.
  • Benefits : Offers superb printing quality, good stiffness, and dimensional stability, making it ideal for intricate designs and embossing. It also provides a high barrier against moisture and oxygen, enhancing product protection and shelf life.

2.Folding Boxboard (FBB)

Folding Boxboard, or FBB, is a versatile paperboard grade known for its strength and rigidity, suitable for various folding cardboard applications:

  • Characteristics : FBB typically consists of multiple layers of mechanical and chemical pulp. It has a smooth, coated surface that allows for high-quality printing and finishing.
  • Applications : Commonly used in packaging for cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, confectionery, and consumer goods due to its ability to withstand stacking and transportation stresses.
  • Benefits : Provides excellent stiffness and bending resistance, ensuring structural integrity during handling. The smooth surface finish enhances the appearance of graphics and text, making products stand out on the shelf.

3. White Line Chipboard (WLC)

White Line Chipboard, often referred to as WLC or GD2 (Greyback Duplex), is a cost-effective packaging material widely used in various industries:

  • Characteristics : WLC is made from layers of recycled fibers, typically with a gray recycled paperboard back and a white top layer for printing.
  • Applications : Used extensively in food packaging, pharmaceuticals, and consumer goods where cost efficiency and sustainability are priorities.
  • Benefits : Offers good stiffness and bulk despite being lightweight. The greyback provides a neutral base for printing, while the white top layer ensures vibrant graphics and text. WLC is recyclable and supports sustainable packaging practices.

4. Coated Unbleached Kraft (CUK)

Coated Unbleached Kraft, known as CUK, combines the natural look of kraft paper with a coated surface for enhanced printability and barrier properties:

  • Characteristics : CUK consists of unbleached kraft fibers with a clay coating on one or both sides to improve smoothness and print quality.
  • Applications : Used in packaging for organic and natural products, dry foods, beverages, and retail bags where a natural aesthetic with branding capabilities is desired.
  • Benefits : Provides excellent tear resistance, tensile strength, and grease resistance. The clay coating allows for vibrant printing and branding while maintaining the eco-friendly appeal of kraft paper.


Choosing the right paperboard grade for packaging is essential to ensure product protection, visual appeal, and sustainability. Each type of paperboard grade offers unique characteristics suited to different packaging needs, from luxurious and high-end to cost-effective and eco-friendly solutions. By understanding the properties and applications of SBS, FBB, WLC, and CUK, businesses can make informed decisions to create packaging that not only enhances product visibility but also aligns with environmental goals.

In conclusion, the versatility and adaptability of paperboard grades make them indispensable in the packaging industry, catering to diverse consumer demands while supporting sustainable practices. Whether you are packaging cosmetics, food products, electronics, or pharmaceuticals, there is a paperboard grade suited to meet your specific requirements for functionality, aesthetics, and environmental responsibility.

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