Box Closures

There are four main ways to close a corrugated box: Taping, Stapling, Strapping and Gluing.

Taping

A very common question asked by many of our customers that use packaging tape is “What is the difference between PVC and Polypropylene packaging tapes?” …which is usually followed by “Which kind of packaging tape should I be using?”

PVC (polyvinylchloride) and Polypropylene are the base materials used to make a packaging tape’s backing.

Adhesives – Natural rubber, acrylic or Hot Melt – are then applied to the PVC or Polypropylene backing to provide the ‘sticking’ power.

In general, most people find that PVC packaging tape is superior to Polypropylene in every area except price and recyclability. Don’t worry – both tapes work well in most situations. As a general rule, however, you should use PVC for quality and Polypropylene for economy.

To help our customers decide which packaging tape makes the most sense for them, we provide this list of packaging tape ‘adhesive’ performance criteria and which packaging tapes perform good, better, and best against each criteria.

Both PVC and Polypropylene packaging tapes are printed and are available in various colours. PVC tapes have a smoother, quieter ‘unwind’. Polypropylene packaging tape with an acrylic adhesive is more environmentally friendly because the adhesive is water-based.

Stapling

The following illustrations show the most efficient method of stapling the tops and bottoms of corrugated boxes. Note that the number of staples required in each case depends on several factors, including board quality and test, contents, staple type etc.

Stapling Diagram

Stapling has several benefits;

  1. Cost Effective – The more cartons you close, the more you’ll save by stapling. Strapping and taping can be up to 50% more expensive in terms of material and labour costs. Furthermore, many packaging designs can be simplified to use less material when staples are used for closing – and less material means lower packaging costs.
  2. Strong, Stable & Secure – Stapling is ideal for packaging heavy items and for long distance shipping. They also hold well in all weather and environmental conditions. A stapled box is always a safe package, whether damp, dusty, hot or cold.
  3. Attractive and ‘Pilfer-Proof’ – A stapled box leaves a clear, unmarred surface; no part of the box is obscured (especially print) and the box achieves its function as a messenger. And because a stapled box is difficult to re-close, the staples act as a deterrent to the thief. Traces of the crime are obvious; thus a break-in during transport can be detected before the package reaches the customer.