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MABANES, Katrina Joyce

Engr. Bernie Cangrejo

BSPkgE- 4

Pkg4102

McKee Equation
There is a range of tests of the strength of corrugated board materials and
containers. One of them is the McKee Equation used for Edgewise Compression Test
(ECT) and Box Compression Tst. The McKee equation was created to estimate the
compression strength of a box. It was published by McKee in 1963 and is one of the
most commonly referenced empirical estimations. The Mullen Burst Test was also
used, but it involves slowly applying hydraulic upward pressure to the fibreboard
until the liner bursts and the board is ruptured. The burst strength is measured in
kilopascals (kPa). If the liners are different, it is important to test both sides. A
downside is that the test is related to paper tensile strength which may not be the
most important factor affecting the stiffness and compression strength of the
material.
Thus, the Edgewise Compression Test (ECT) is used as an alternative. This
measures the resistance of the containerboard to edgewise compression. These
tests are performed to give the linerboard and corrugated manufacturers relative
material comparisons. It should be noted that these tests can, and are, performed
on standard weight liners as well as on high-performance liners.
This test involves placing a specimen of typically 50 x 50 mm vertically in a
compression tester and applying a load until failure occurs. It is a better indicator of
stacking strength. Using ECT measurements, case container strength can be
calculated using the simplified McKee formula:

Case compression strength=5.87ECT tz

Estimated RSC top-to-bottom case compression strength is expressed in kiloNewtons (kN)), ECT = edge crush (kN/m), BP = inside case perimeter (m), and T=
combined board thickness (mm).
The McKee equation was created to estimate the compression strength of a
box. It was published by McKee in 1963 and is one of the most commonly
referenced empirical estimations. McKees equation can also be applied for Copy
Paper Boxes.
In this new case, equation derivation assumes that no shear is involved,
boxes are high enough for panel buckling, panel buckling is proportional to
sandwich beam bending stiffness which is proportional to tensile stiffness of the
liners tensile stiffness of the liners is proportional to ECT.
Though this equation is commonly used, this is questionable for accuracy. A
modified simplified McKee equation can be used to predict the box compression
strength or BCT of copy paper boxes using board caliper and board ECT. There is
also a fitted form of McKee Model for Copy Paper Boxes. The difference between the
two is that when using the simplified McKee equation for box compression strength,

MABANES, Katrina Joyce


Engr. Bernie Cangrejo

BSPkgE- 4

Pkg4102

it gives you an average error of 52% while fitted modified McKee model predicts
values closer to actual, average error of 25%.

Other testing for mechanical strength that can also be used are:
Mullen Burst Test
Short Span Compression (SSC) Test
Flat Crush Test
Thickness of Corrugated Board Test
Puncture Resistance Test

Source:
Kit L.Yam, The Wiley Encyclopedia of Packaging Technology, p. 1241, 2009
Enblem, Packaging Technology, 2012