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What is EDGE CRUSH TEST and how it is done in corrugation.

  • WHAT: Cross-direction crushing of a corrugated board. ECT is a measure of the edgewise compressive strength of corrugated board. It is measured by compressing a predefined section of board on its edge between two rigid platens.
  • WHY: To test material quality, stacking strength, pallet shipping endurance

One of the most popular methods to test the stacking strength of corrugated boxes is the Edge Crush Test or ECT. Every side of a corrugated box is made up of sheets that have three or more layers. Generally, a thin sheet with grooves and ridges is sandwiched between two flat sheets. These grooves and ridges, also known as flutes, provide anisotropic strength to a box. This means the boxes can bear a greater amount of force from one direction. Edge crush test, right test, or flat crush test helps determine this.

In the Edge Crush test, force is applied to one side of the box, perpendicular to the ridges, until the box gets crushed. In the Ring Crush test, a ring cut out from the box is used to test the same. While in the flat crush test, excessive force is applied on one side.

The results of the Edge Crush test are measured in pounds per lineal inch ( LBS) of load-bearing edge but represented as ECT and in our today test we measure in KN/m unit ( KILONEWTON METER – 1 kilonewton meter [kN·m] = 101.9716212978 kilogram-force meter [kgf·m]. 25 kN means 25,000 Newtons or 5,620.225 pounds of force or 2,549 Kilograms Force (kgf).

EC Tester
Power ON
Select Mode
Select ECT mode
Place the board sample in cutter table to cut in desired size for testing. The desired size is 52x32mm
Sample is cut in 52mm in one side
Sample is cut in 32mm in other side.
Cut samples of 32mm x 52mm
This is the ECT testing Template
Place the cut sample board in the testing template and place the template and board in the testing bed .
Press the start button.
Top platen comes downward and crushes the board .
Result comes in KG
Values in KN.m( KILONEWTON meter.
Release the sample from the plate and place the next sample for testing.
Crushed sample.
Place next sample for testing.

Repeat this test for 5 samples and record the values.

Conclusion :

ECT gives you an accurate idea of a box’s strength when they are stacked and shipped by pallets. Also, an ECT rated corrugated box uses less material than its equivalent Burst Test rated box, to provide an equivalent level of strength. This means it’s cheaper and less wasteful to purchase ECT rated boxes in bulk.

However, it is important to know that the above results (overall strength of a box) may vary based on the makeup of each corrugated sheet. Hence, knowing the type of corrugation is important before you make a decision.

International standards for measuring crush force in the Edge Crust Test (ECT)

There are a number of international standards from various standards authorities, which address the subject of measuring the crush force by the Edge Crush Test.

A variety of methods are in use in different parts of the world. These can be classified into three groups as follows:

  1. Those in which a carefully cut rectangular test piece is tested without any special treatment or modification (eg ISO 3037 “Corrugated fibreboard — Determination of edgewise crush resistance -unwaxed edge method”).
  2. Those in which the edges of the test piece to which the force is applied are waxed, to prevent the test result being influenced by “edge effects“ (eg ISO 13821 “Corrugated fibreboard — Determination of edgewise crush resistance — waxed edge method”).
  3. Those in which the test piece edges are not waxed but the shape of the test piece is such that the length is substantially reduced at a point midway between the loaded edges, in order to induce the failure to occur away from those edges (eg FEFCO 8, TAPPI T838 and TAPPI T839)


Happy Learnings

K.Panthala Selvan – 9962247365

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Published by Panthala Selvan

Authorised partner for Techkon Spectrodensitometers, cip3 solutions, colour management, packaging development etc

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