When testing the strength of your corrugated cardboard boxes, you’ll want to choose whether to use the Mullen Test versus the ECT. Both box tests offer various benefits that may help you decide what suits you and your company. You can improve your business operations by exploring and comparing each option.
The Edge Crush Test (ECT) measures the vertical compression strength and stretchability along the edges of cardboard boxes. ECT-grade cardboard is often made from recycled materials rather than virgin material.
Using recycled materials means the fibers become shorter and less entwined. ECT cardboard is sturdy and light compared to other cardboard types, meaning it costs less and has a better stacking strength, unlike Mullen board variations.
Stacking corrugated cardboard boxes onto vertical pallets is common as businesses become more automated. It is expected that more stacking increases productivity and profits. However, this practice can create challenges. For example, many companies worry that the weight of stacked products will crush the boxes on the bottom of the pallet. Companies needed a way to measure their box’s stacking strength, and they created the Edge Crush Test to ensure better evaluations.
Use the ECT to determine how well your boxes will hold up during palletizing and stacking. Companies who wonder about the maximum weight their boxes can withstand will benefit from consistent testing.
The ECT uses the McKee formula to test how much weight a box can handle. The formula contains the resistance (R) measured in kilonewtons per meter, where Fmax represents the maximum force the box can handle.
While many methods exist to test your cardboard boxes, the ECT most often uses the McKee formula. When evaluating compression and the strength of cardboard resistance, the formula uses a simplified equation to measure pounds of force based on the box outline board thickness.
The ECT offers many positive outcomes for businesses who want to know how much weight their boxes can handle. Here are some benefits of using the Edge Crush Test:
The Mullen Burst Box Strength Test measures the bursting strength of your cardboard boxes after pressure is applied. Basically, the Mullen Test determines how much pressure a box can withstand before it bursts or creates a hole. This helps see how much your box can hold and how much external pressure it can receive before becoming damaged.
The Mullen Test measures bursting strength and hole force using pounds per square inch (PSI). The Mullen Test helps determine how much product you can fit inside your box before it bursts and keeps your boxes safe during shipping. During transit, cardboard boxes and packages can become damaged, shaken or punctured. Conducting a Mullen Test shows you how much your containers can withstand during transportation and handling, which is especially important for more oversized, heavier items.
Mullen grade boards are often made with virgin material, unlike ECT boards. The material contains long and interwoven fibers, making it more durable and stronger than ECT cardboard. However, remember that virgin materials make cardboard more expensive.
The Mullen Burst Box Strength Test uses a specific process to measure the pressure a box can withstand until it bursts or creates a hole. The test uses an instrument of two platens with circular holes in the middle. A sample piece of cardboard is clamped between the platens while the inner machinery pushes against the box until it bursts. The maximum amount the sample can take is measured and recorded once the test ends. Manufacturers can use this information to determine the strength of their boxes and make improvements.
The Mullen Test allows companies to measure how much pressure their boxes can take. Here are three benefits of using the Mullen Burst Box Strength Test:
You might choose an ECT or a Mullen Test, depending on your company’s needs and product types. Ask yourself a few questions before conducting a specific test.
You should use an ECT when you need to know how much weight you can stack on top of your boxes before they crush. If you stack boxes on top of one another in storage, conduct an ECT to see how much weight they can withstand.
Use a Mullen Burst Test to see how much pressure your boxes can withstand. If you’re packaging heavy items, you should conduct a Mullen Burst Test to ensure your boxes are strong enough and won’t burst when the item inside moves around. You can also use a Mullen Burst Test to determine how much pressure a box can withstand on its sides, such as if another box slams into it during transit.
The test is also helpful for boxes that are shipped long distances using various modes of transportation. For example, your product might be loaded onto a rail car, moved to a truck and transported to a shipping container. Conduct a Mullen Burst Test to see how strong your boxes are and how much external and internal pressure they can withstand before bursting.
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