Thursday, March 13, 2014

Ironing Warped Corrugated Cardboard

I get sheets of corrugated cardboard from local sources that sell them as cushioning and packaging material. Sometimes the cardboard is warped, sometimes not. Sometimes the warped stuff seems to flatten a bit if stored properly. Sometimes not.

stack of warped corrugated cardboard panels

The last batch was the worst - all too warped to use and not flattening out with time. I store it stacked flat with weight on top of the stack. It's sat through wide humidity swings, which didn't seem to help or hurt. Stubborn warp.

 So I tried to iron it.

I've asked a couple local corrugated cardboard producers what kind of minimum order I'd have to place to get the 24"x12" 200# C-flute panels I need. I have initial responses from sales reps, but no answers. I may just be too small. Those guys probably throw away more offcut scraps in a few hours of production than I might use in a year.

I say that because I once got a batch of "scrap" from a corrugating facility for free. It was the flattest, highest quality cardboard I've seen, and I think I got three surfboards out of it.

Maybe instead of emailing manufacturers I should just be lurking out back of their warehouses after hours.

But I'd like a legit, steady source. Anyone have a lead for me for fairly flat 24"x12" 200# C-flute panels in Orange County, California?


Digital Media Guru said...

Have you ever tried corrugated plastic? colorplast?

I ordered my cardboard here:

It came in a stack with a strap around them. The middle pieces were good. The vacuum on the laser cutter I use sucks them down flat anyway.

Mike Sheldrake said...

Epoxy won't bond well with Coroplast (polypropylene), so I wouldn't be able to use my simple glassing process. That's the main hang up there.

I had to scrap about a third of the cardboard I once had delivered via UPS, because of handling damage. Even so, the price was still better than my previous local supplier. Mail-order is definitely an option, but it's more of a crapshoot than buying local, close to a manufacturer.

Thanks for the link. Those do look like decent prices.

My laser doesn't have vacuum hold-down, yet. But even with that, some of my parts really shouldn't have as much warp left in them as this last batch of panels will give them.

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