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Updating Educational Resources

By AICC Staff

May 20, 2020

Your Association never fails to bring new, relevant, and updated materials to help you be more successful. We also see this responsibility as speed to market, as we often have a heightened sense of urgency to keep the most pertinent information before you as soon as possible. This is our No. 1 priority.


While the AICC staff offers many news feeds across a broad range of subjects and international markets for the AICC InBox newsletter, another resource you may want to pull up is, which houses a list that summarizes the organizations and government entities that currently or in the future may have an impact upon your business. If you have anything to add, we would like to hear back from you.

Not that I am the gatekeeper, but with more than 100,000 hits and more than 350 followers, also look to the Ask Ralph blog resource as a key to open the network of fellow career experts on your behalf.

For example, we frequently receive inquiries about warp. The blog community is there to help you determine whether the warp you are experiencing are related to moisture, improper starch, starch application, stresses introduced into the liners during the corrugating process by the pulling sections, or cross-direction and machine-direction tensile strength differences induced in the liners at the paper mill.

During our Corrugated Packaging Essentials seminars, there is a short investigation segment into how to select the most cost-effective combinations of containerboards to engineer a 44 ECT. While we do not know how you currently choose the linerboards and mediums to produce this combined board grade, the margin gap from a more historical method to a more “balanced” method can be a difference of 25% in cost. Lately, we have seen that the most cost-effective method of constructing a 32# ECT minimum can be with a 29/26C/29 structure fibered with 100% OCC.

What’s New?

We have released the third edition of Understanding the Key Characteristics of Linerboard, avaialble at, which focuses on obtaining the highest-quality linerboard and corrugating medium for the purchasing dollar. At the end is your opportunity to download a template page to use with your suppliers to compare characteristics of the containerboards in the marketplace. You now have the option to evaluate your internal or external sheet and containerboard suppliers.

American Forest and Paper Association and TAPPI have been very cooperative at providing selective data for us for each of the three editions. We would labor in vain without their assistance.

In this revised third edition, the characteristics of 23# and below are delineated. These grades and characteristics are from my personal resources, as the AF&PA does not collect data on these emerging elements of linerboard and medium production. However, these grades are available and are being used. Our goal is that this brochure will become a valuable resource to AICC Emerging Leaders and Leadership Development Groups.

Looking at e-commerce and digital printing, one may need to investigate both the strength characteristics and the surface properties of these individual substrates. While digital ink transfer is relatively indifferent to surface smoothness, roughness, and hardness, nanotechnology is even more forgiving than today’s digital. We have two installations in North America, and more are expected. Sustainability has entered fiber-based packaging, and we are well equipped with options in choosing a variety of different containerboard combinations at different cost points to meet known packaging needs.

While not part of this particular document, we can usually answer your questions about greenhouse gases, ocean plastics, carbon sequestering, carbon footprint, and life cycle analysis.

PortraitRalph Young is the principal of Alternative Paper Solutions and is AICC’s technical advisor. Contact Ralph directly about technical that impact our industry at

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