ECT vs Mullen Test for Box Strength
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ECT vs Mullen Test for Box Strength

Difference Between Edge Crush Test and Mullen Test

Mullen Test for Box Strength

The Mullen test was developed 130+ years ago when the greatest (and very real) threat to boxes was their handlers. These days, their most purposeful use is when you’re shipping individual boxes via traditional carriers; the boxes are tossed from one conveyor belt to another and crash into other boxes of varying sizes, shapes, and rigidity. Punctures from outside sources are a very prominent threat in the case of individual shipping.

Nelson Container uses these tests often on the large- and jumbo-sized packaging produced on our new flexo-folder/gluer. When packaging items in big, big boxes, those items aren't usually stacked on top of one another.

Contact us for info about our in-house Mullen test

Edge Crush Test (ECT) for Box Strength

Modern production and shipping have changed drastically, and the testing methods we use to measure a package’s strength have changed accordingly. These days, much of the shipping done is boxes on pallets, delivering goods from one business to another (B2B). Testing the edge wall of a box for its stacking strength is the most sensible and reliable measure of how well the box will hold its form under the vertical weight during transit.

Edge crush testing is generally the test you want to be done when testing your package strength for B2B shipping, especially if the packages are medium- to small-sized and going to be stacked on top of one another.

Contact us for info about our in-house edge crush test

Single Wall Corrugated Box ECT/Mullen Conversion Chart

Max. Suggested Load/BoxMin. Edge Crush TestMullen (Burst) Test
35 lbs. 26 ECT 150#
50 lbs. 29 ECT 175#
65 lbs. 32 ECT 200#
95 lbs. 44 ECT 275#
120 lbs. 55 ECT 350#

Double Wall Corrugated Box ECT/Mullen Conversion Chart

Max. Suggested Load/BoxMin. Edge Crush TestMullen (Burst) Test
100 lbs. 48 ECT 275#
120 lbs. 51 ECT 350#
140 lbs. 61 ECT 400#
160 lbs. 71 ECT 500#
180 lbs. 82 ECT 600#

The edge crush test got its name because that’s exactly what it tests—the amount of weight a boxes wall can withstand before the wall is crushed. The Mullen test is also called the burst test because it tests how much pressure would need to be put on a box’s wall before the wall bursts.

Both the edge crush test (ECT) and Mullen test are used to figure out the strength of a box, and both of these tests have their place in the world of packaging. Lucky for you, Nelson Container has an in-house ISTA testing lab with both Mullen Test and edge crush test capabilities so we don't need to outsource to a third-party company. In-house testing saves time and money for us, and we pass those savings on to you. "Partners" means we both benefit.

What are Edge Crush Tests and Mullen Tests Used For?

Small- to medium-sized boxes you're going to stack on pallets are best tested using the ECT, and large- to jumbo-sized boxes loaded directly onto trucks for quick B2B shipping are best tested using the Mullen Test.

ECT vs Mullen Test Example Graphic
Contact Nelson Container for more information on our in-house ISTA testing abilities and how it benefits your business.