Everything You Need to Know about Adhesive Converting

What's in a Core?

Posted by Sue Chambers Jan 15, 2014 12:00:00 AM

The majority of products produced at Strouse come in roll form. That means they are placed on a liner and wound on a core. This means that cores are literally in the middle of most of our products. But what is it?

A core is the plastic or cardboard ring used in the center of a roll for support to wind up die cut materials. In simple terms, it's what's left over when you've used all of the tape on a roll.

Strouse engineers design products to work in conjunction with automated processes. Products are often put on cores so that they can be placed on a machine and easily dispense. It’s not only important for us to know what a product is used for but also how it will be used. This goes a long way in determining what type of core your product needs.

Cores come in all sorts of varieties: plastic or cardboard, printed cores/not printed, different height/width, different diameters, and an option for core labels. Let’s look at each.


Cores for die cut adhesives Strouse offers many different types and sizes of cores depending on your product needs.

Plastic vs.Cardboard: Cardboard cores are the industry standard. Plastic cores are mostly used for medical projects. Plastic cores help protect your product from being contaminated by core dust and paper. Cardboard cores, since they are made of paper product, can flake and cause tiny dust particles. Plastic cores typically come in 5 different materials: High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS), High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), Polypropylene, PVC, and ABS. However, paper cores tend to be significantly more cost-effective, practical, and environmentally sustainable. Paper cores typically are made of heavy-duty thick cardboard unless it is for something like toilet paper or paper towels. In that situation, the cores are made from thinner, less durable cardboard or paper.

Strouse printed vs. Non-printed Cores: The majority of products we manufacture are placed on Strouse printed cores where the inner paper of the core includes the Strouse logo and brand. Occasionally we manufacture roll goods where our customer is shipping them off to a separate customer and they need Strouse's name removed from the product. In this case we will use non-printed cores where the inner paper of the core is completely white.

Height/Width: The height or width of a core is dependent on the size of the product. Strouse custom cuts cores to whatever size the job calls for. We’ve die cut parts that were placed on cores as small as .1875 inches wide.

Diameter: The diameter of the core is dependent on how the product will be used. Sometimes the inner diameter is the most important. Sometimes it is the outer diameter. Will it be placed on a large scale manufacturing press or a small machine used for automatic placement? The majority of Strouse die cut materials are placed on cores that have 3 inch or 6 inch diameters. We also use cores that are 1" and 10", but less frequently. We have completed jobs where custom sized diameter cores are used. It just depends on the application you are working on.

Thickness: The wall thickness can vary anywhere from .02" - .50". We typically use a set size, but we can always get a custom thickness if you require it.

Core labels: Traceability is important to many of our customers. Core labels placed on the inside of the core can provide you with lot numbers, the date of manufacture, and the operator number for quality traceability.

There's more to a core than meets the eye but remember not all products at Strouse come on a core. You can also order sheeted parts or individual pieces.

Sue Chambers

Written by Sue Chambers

President and CEO of Strouse