Cushion packaging is typically added inside the shipping container like a corrugated box. The cushion is fashioned in a way that it can be deformed or crushed in order to keep the level of vibration and shock below the certain level that can damage the product in transport. The package cushioning can be in the range of 50 and 75 millimeters thick depending on the transport situation.
Other cushioning materials used are the internal packaging materials of items. Some packaging materials are placed for the purpose of immobilizing the products when inside the box and in order to block them. Other packaging materials are purposely placed just to fill the void and usually these do not have cushioning functions.
Types of cushioning
- Loose fill. There are some cushions that are packed loosely around the product. The box is closed tightly in order to keep the product in place. Loose fills include polystyrene foam pieces, common popcorn and foams which are starch-based. The amount of cushion that you will need as well as the transmitted shock levels will vary with the type of material used.
- Paper. Paper is also used as a packaging cushion for products in transport. It can be mechanically or manually wadded up in order to become a cushioning material. Papers that have heavier grades will provide more ability to bear weight than light grade papers like old newspapers. There is also creped cellulose wadding available. Those in the business of moving things around often wrap the objects for transport with different layers of embossed pulp or Kraft paper before placing the items in boxes.
- Corrugated fiberboard pads. You can use multi-layer shapes of corrugated board as cushion for your materials in transport. The fiberboard structures are made to deform and crush when exposed to shock stress in order to provide a degree of cushioning to the material. You can also use paperboard with honeycomb structures as your cushioning.
- Foam structures. There are different types of polymeric foams that can be used for cushioning. Some of the most common types are as follows: expanded polystyrene or Styrofoam, polyethylene, polyurethane and polypropylene. These materials can be molded into various sheets or shapes and are then cut and glued as cushion structures. Degradable foams are also used.