Difference between paper and cardboard

Materials such as paper and cardboard are in high demand. They are manufactured using practically the same technology, but, despite this, in some respects they are not similar to each other.


Paper - sheet material, raw materials for which are plant fibers.


Cardboard is a dense solid material obtained from pulp processing.




to GOST. It indicates that the maximum value that the mass of a paper sheet with a size of a square meter can reach is 250 g. If the mass index is higher, then the presented material is cardboard.


Paper is considered to be a material of small thickness - within 0.2 mm. The paper sheet can be easily wrinkled. It is difficult to do the same manipulation with the cardboard, since its thickness is greater. However, there are exceptions to this division of production. For example, insulating cardboard is quite thin - 0.1 mm.

Number of plies

Paper is considered a single ply. Cardboard can have not only one layer, but also several. Multi-layer cardboard is made by pressing wet sheets of fibers. The properties of the finished product depend on the material of each layer. The typical structure of a multi-layer cardboard sheet is as follows: in the center there is an insert made of relatively cheap raw materials, on both sides of it there are layers of high-quality, durable raw materials, the top of the sheet has a coated coating, the bottom is treated with a special impregnation.


This characteristic is one of the main ones. What's the difference between paper and cardboard? It lies in the fact that paper does not have the same stiffness as cardboard. Therefore, the materials are used in different areas. For example, the basis for newspapers is paper, which has the ability to bend well and fit compactly. But cardboard can be used to produce solid packaging that can reliably protect the contents. The rigidity of the cardboard does not depend on the thickness of the sheet, but on the elasticity of each layer.


Paper Cardboard
Weight per square meter - not more than 250 gWeight per square meter - over 250 g
Thickness limit - 0.2 mmTraditionally thicker than 0.2 mm
Single layerSometimes multilayer
Less rigidityHigher rigidity