Packaging can be strong, packaging can be beautiful, and packaging can be durable. You probably know this already, but one of the factors that you may have never considered when purchasing printed paperboard boxes is its ability to withstand abrasion. This factor can be one of the most important factors in selecting your packaging provider, especially if your product is being shipped out to your customers. Abrasion resistance is a printed surface’s ability to withstand smearing, scuffing, or wear. During shipment, your products may be tightly packed together or may be pressed against the wall of the box that they are being shipped in. As your product is transported, it will go through a lot of bouncing, vibrating, and other fun types of movement. This, in turn, causes the packaging to rub together and can cause damage to the artwork on the package.
So how do we combat this inevitable damage? The first thing that can be done is what is known as a rub test. A rub test is exactly what it sounds like. A printed surface is rubbed against another surface in order to find out how durable it is. Obviously, the process is a little more sophisticated than this, but that is the basic idea. At FoldedColor Packaging, we utilize what is known as the Sutherland Ink Rub Tester. According to the creator of the machine, this tester is a “motor driven instrument for moving a weighted test strip over a printed specimen through an arc.” Also, “The Sutherland Rub Tester is designed to evaluate the scuffing or rubbing resistance of the printed or coated surface of paper, paperboard, film, etc. The test results are reproducible. The following tests may be made with the instrument: A) Dry Rub, B) Wet Rub, C) Wet Bleed or Transfer, D) Wet Smear, and E) Functional Rub.”
By carrying out this rub test on our packaging, we are able to simulate what your packaging will go through when it is placed on a truck and transported. This information allows us to create the appropriate formulation for your packaging so that you are never left unhappy with your product when it arrives to you or to your customer.