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How is Cardboard Made

Cardboard is an extremely versatile material that is used in many everyday products. It is one of the most easily created and recycled materials making it a greener choice than other materials such as plastic. Cardboard comes in a variety of thicknesses and colors and can be made into many products and packaging. Cardboard production is very similar to paper production. Read the following article to find out how cardboard is made.

How is cardboard made?

The first step of both cardboard and paper making is to turn the wood from trees into pulp to make paper products with. This is done by feeding the wood through a debarker and a chipper. This removes the bark and turns the wood into small enough pieces to break down into cellulose. The wood is placed into a large soaking tank called a digester. Chemicals and water are added to break the wood chips down into individual fibers. This mix is then washed to remove the excess chemicals from the wood fiber. The wood fiber is then passed through a number of machines where it is bleached, mixed and cut to make usable pulp.

The wood pulp is then placed into a machine called the fourdrinier where it is formed into a mat of paper using large wire screens. These screens allow excess water to drain out of the pulp leaving behind the wood fibers.

Pressing and drying
The pulp mat is then run through heated steam rollers where any extra water is squeezed out of the pulp. These rollers also flatten the pulp making it a uniformed thickness. The pulp is then dried completely using heated rollers and thick blankets of material.

Once the pulp has become paper it can then be used to make different types of cardboard. Thick cardstock is made by gluing a number of layers of paper together using cornstarch. These cards are then colored using paints. If corrugated cardboard is being created, like the cardboard that is used in packing boxes, then the glued cardboard is run through a corrugating machine that gives the card the rippled shape. This is then glued between two sheets of cardboard top and bottom and cut to size.

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