SBS vs SUS Paperboard

SBS vs SUS Paperboard: Comparing Key Differences and Applications

When you're considering paperboard materials for your packaging needs, two options immediately come to mind: solid bleached sulfate (SBS) and solid unbleached sulfate (SUS). Each has its own unique properties, advantages, and disadvantages, making your choice critical in determining the performance, appearance, and sustainability of your packaging. Understanding their similarities and differences can greatly impact the success of your packaging projects.

SBS (Solid bleached sulfate), also known as bleached paperboard, is known for its bright, clean appearance. It offers excellent printability, making it the go-to option when you need a high-quality, visually appealing package. Additionally, SBS creates a strong and durable packaging solution, which is essential in protecting your products during transit. On the other hand, SUS (Solid Unbleached Sulphate), often referred to as kraft paperboard, has a natural brown color resulting from its unbleached fibers. This characteristic of SUS not only renders a rustic, eco-friendly appearance to your packaging but also offers enhanced strength and rigidity – perfect for heavy-duty applications.
As you weigh the pros and cons of SBS and SUS for your packaging needs, take into consideration factors such as appearance, performance, and environmental impact. Your decision on which paperboard to choose will ultimately hinge on these factors and your individual business requirements. Remember, the right packaging can play a significant role in elevating your brand and product experiences.

Understanding Paperboard

Paperboard is a versatile and commonly used material in the packaging industry. In this section, you will learn about two widely used types of paperboard: SBS Paperboard and SUS Paperboard. This information will help you make an informed decision when choosing the right paperboard for your packaging needs.

SBS Paperboard

SBS (Solid Bleached Sulfate) paperboard is a high-quality material made from bleached virgin pulp. It has a clean, white appearance, making it ideal for high-quality printed packaging. Some key features of SBS paperboard include:
  1. Smooth surface: The smoothness of SBS paperboard allows for high-quality printing, enabling you to add eye-catching graphics to your packaging.
  2. High stiffness: SBS paperboard is rigid and durable, providing excellent protection for your products.
  3. Moisture-resistant: This type of paperboard has a low moisture absorption rate, which helps to preserve the quality of your products during transport and storage.
SBS Paperboard
Smooth Surface
High Stiffness
Moisture Resistant

SUS Paperboard

SUS (Solid Unbleached Sulfate) paperboard, also known as kraft paperboard, is a popular material in the packaging world. It is made from unbleached virgin pulp, giving it a natural, brown appearance. Some important characteristics of SUS paperboard are:

  1. Cost-effective: SUS paperboard typically costs less than SBS, providing a more economical option for your packaging needs.
  2. Environmentally friendly: The natural, unbleached appearance of SUS paperboard is appealing to environmentally conscious consumers.
  3. Strength: SUS paperboard is known for its strength and durability, providing an excellent option for heavy or bulky items.

Remember, choosing the right type of paperboard for your packaging needs is crucial. Consider factors such as appearance, cost, strength, and environmental impact in order to select the best option for your products.

SBS Donut Packaging Paper Box

SBS Donut Packaging Paper Box

Composition and Manufacturing Process

SBS Paperboard Process

The SBS (Solid Bleached Sulphate) Paperboard manufacturing process begins with the selection of high-quality wood fibers. These fibers are extracted from wood chips and chemically bleached to remove any residual lignin, which gives the paperboard its bright white surface.
During the pulping process, the fibers are broken down and combined with water. This mixture is then formed into a sheet on a paper machine. Once the sheet has been drained of excess water, it is pressed and heated to further remove moisture while bonding the fibers together. The result is a strong, smooth, and printable surface, ideal for a variety of packaging applications.
For improved coating properties, SBS paperboard may be coated with layers of clay, calcium carbonate, or other materials. These coatings enhance the printing quality and provide additional resistance against moisture and abrasion.

SUS Paperboard Process

SUS (Solid Unbleached Sulphate) Paperboard, on the other hand, uses unbleached wood fibers in its production process. Just like in SBS production, wood chips are first pulped to extract the fibers. However, these fibers do not undergo the bleaching process, resulting in a more natural brown or kraft-colored surface.
As the fibers are not bleached, the remaining lignin provides greater strength and rigidity to the paperboard. The pulping process and sheet formation are similar to that of SBS, with the mixture being formed into a sheet, pressed, and dried.
While SUS paperboard may not have the same bright white surface as SBS, it can still be coated with similar layers to improve its printability and resistance to external factors. This makes SUS a suitable option for eco-friendly packaging needs, particularly when a natural appearance is desired.

Remember, the choice between SBS or SUS paperboard depends on your specific requirements, aesthetic preferences, and desired functionality. Both materials have their unique attributes and applications within the packaging industry.

SUS Cookies Window Box

SUS Cookies Window Box

Characteristics and Properties

Characteristics of SBS

SBS (Solid Bleached Sulphate) paperboard is known for its high-quality surface that is perfect for printing and packaging. Here are some characteristics of this type of paperboard:
  1. Made from bleached virgin fiber: SBS is made from 100% bleached chemical wood pulp, providing a bright, clean appearance and excellent strength.
  2. Smooth and consistent surface: The high-quality surface of SBS allows for superior printing results and a polished finish. This is particularly important for appealing packaging and marketing materials.
  3. High stiffness: SBS is known for its rigidity and strength. This makes it suitable for a variety of applications, including food and beverage packaging, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals.

Characteristics of SUS

SUS (Solid Unbleached Sulphate) paperboard, also known as CCNB (Clay Coated News Back) is a more economical and environmentally friendly alternative to SBS. Here's what you need to know about SUS:
  1. Made from unbleached virgin fiber: SUS uses unbleached wood pulp, which gives it a natural brown color. Despite the different appearance, it still offers good strength and durability.
  2. Clay-coated surface: SUS paperboard features a clay coating on one side that provides a more consistent, smooth surface for printing.
  3. Lower cost: Due to its manufacturing process and use of unbleached fibers, SUS is generally more affordable than SBS.
With these characteristics and properties in mind, you can choose the right paperboard for your packaging needs based on factors like aesthetics, strength, and cost.

Applications and Uses

SBS Paperboard Uses

SBS (Solid Bleached Sulphate) paperboard is made from bleached chemical pulp. This high-quality material is popular in the packaging industry due to its smooth surface and excellent printing capabilities. Some typical uses of SBS paperboard include:
  1. Pharmaceutical packaging: The cleanliness and purity of SBS paperboard make it a suitable choice for packaging medicines and other sensitive products.
  2. Cosmetics packaging: With its attractive appearance and print quality, SBS is often used for high-end cosmetics, perfumes, and personal care products.
  3. Food packaging: SBS offers a moisture-resistant barrier, making it ideal for packaging foods, especially those that require a grease-resistant surface, such as frozen or refrigerated items.

SUS Paperboard Uses

SUS (Solid Unbleached Sulphate) paperboard is made from unbleached chemical pulp, giving the material a more natural, brownish tone. This type of paperboard is known for its strength and durability. Here are some common SUS paperboard uses:
  1. Beverage carriers: SUS paperboard is sturdy and can support the weight of multiple beverage containers, making it ideal for carriers that hold bottled or canned drinks.
  2. Takeout containers: The natural appearance and sturdiness of SUS paperboard make it a popular choice for fast food to-go containers and other takeout food packaging.
  3. Hardware packaging: Due to its strength and durability, SUS paperboard is often used to package heavy-duty items such as tools, hardware, and industrial parts.

Auto-bottom Box with Display Lid

Auto-bottom Box with Display Lid

Consumer and Market Insights

SBS Market Insights

The SBS (solid bleached sulfate) paperboard market has been experiencing steady growth in recent years. As a consumer, you'll find that this high-quality paperboard is commonly used in packaging for food, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals. SBS provides excellent print quality and consistent performance, making it a preferred choice for premium packaging and graphic applications.
  1. SBS offers superior brightness and a smooth surface, which allows for enhanced printing and color reproduction.
  2. In the food industry, SBS is popular due to its low odor, making it ideal for packaging items like frozen foods, dairy products, and ready-to-eat meals.
  3. The pharmaceutical sector also favors SBS thanks to its ability to maintain its structural integrity under varying temperatures and humidity levels.

SUS Market Insights

SUS (solid unbleached sulfate) paperboard, also known as kraft paperboard, is another widely-used packaging material. The market for SUS has been expanding as it provides a more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional bleached paperboard. Often, you will see SUS used in applications that require high strength and durability.
  1. SUS is made primarily from unbleached virgin fibers, which impart natural color and better recyclability than its bleached counterparts.
  2. You'll find SUS used in packaging for heavy-duty items such as electronics, tools, and industrial equipment, as it offers exceptional strength and tear resistance.
  3. In the food sector, SUS is the go-to choice for products like pizza boxes and fast-food containers due to its grease resistance and sturdy nature.

As a consumer, it's important to take these market insights into account when deciding on the best paperboard option for your specific needs, whether it's the premium print quality of SBS or the environmentally friendly and durable properties of SUS.

Bakery Packaging Paper Box

Bakery Packaging Paper Box


In summary, SBS (Solid Bleached Sulfate) and SUS (Solid Unbleached Sulfate) paperboards have their respective strengths and weaknesses. Here are some key points to remember:
  1. SBS paperboard offers excellent brightness and smoothness, making it suitable for premium packaging and high-quality print applications. It is often used in pharmaceutical, cosmetics, and food packaging due to its strong visual appeal and cleanliness.
  2. SUS paperboard, on the other hand, retains its natural brown color, which makes it well-suited for applications that prioritize sustainability and eco-friendliness. It is commonly used in packaging of consumer and electronic goods, and offers better tear resistance compared to SBS.
When choosing between these two materials for your project, consider both the functional requirements and the desired aesthetic outcome. Additionally, sustainability and environmental impact may play a significant role in your decision-making process.
Ultimately, your choice of paperboard material will depend on your specific needs and goals. Weighing the benefits and drawbacks of each option and consulting with industry experts will help you make an informed decision that best suits your project.


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Phone: 0086-13811205110

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