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Packaging Solutions: Keeping Transportable Goods in One Piece

By Trenton Fuller Subscribe to RSS | May 31st 2012 | Views:

The last time you had a precious vase shipped to your home, it arrived as a small pile of rubble at the bottom of your box. Obviously, stuffing newspapers to keep the vase from being rattled during transit wasn’t enough. Learning from this disaster, your first instinct would have probably been to look for alternative cushioning materials.

The good news is that there are many kinds of packaging equipment available. As transported goods become ever more varied, however, cushioning materials also have to keep up. Currently, there are several kinds of packaging materials being used to protect transportable goods. The primary use of cushioning is to protect fragile items from the stresses of transportation, particularly from jolting, impact, or vibration. These goods range from ceramics, glass, electronic products, and porcelain.

It is interesting to note that packaging materials are used not only to serve as shock absorbers, but also to adjust the packages to attain a standard size. In this case, they act as adapters between the packaging (like a transport box) and the nonstandard package contents.

If you ever wondered how cushioning materials work, they act by absorbing a proportion of the kinetic energy produced when the package collides with another object, or when it is dropped. They also increase the braking distance of the package contents. It is important to remember that the effectiveness of the packaging equipment in cushioning goods will greatly depend on the type of material used. For example, with polystyrene foam beads, they are typically encapsulated in vacuum sealed film, allowing them to shape and contour well around a product.

With several cushioning materials in the market today, it’s important to choose one that meets basic requirements. First of all, good packaging solutions should be able to recover quickly; they must have the capacity to endure repeated subjection to similar stresses. If recovery is too slow, the braking distance declines with each exposure to stress, and the contents can’t be properly protected.

Another is that the protective packaging must be insensitive to climactic elements such as extreme temperature variations, moisture from elevated humidity, and solar radiations. Some contents are at risk for corrosion; thus, the packaging equipment must not contain any aggressive components (neutral pH) which could lead to such a state.

Finally, when choosing a protective packaging, it should be simple, effective, and environmentally friendly. After all, it’s practically useless to have a superb, shock-absorbing cushion if it is too difficult to wrap around the contents. To learn more about this topic, you can visit

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