Pallet Rack Shelving Materials - Learn About Your Choices


Pallet racks systems are usually considered when it comes to ways to store pallets. There are several racks on the market, with welded racks being more popular in the United States and bolted frames mostly used throughout the UK. So much talk and discussion is put into the different types of rack frames with little discussion really being on the shelves. Pallet rack shelving is just as important as the frame itself when it comes to pallet rack decisions.

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The different types of shelving and their usability should be understood prior to making a purchase.

Wire Decking Shelves

Wire decking shelves have upright load capacities of 24,000 pounds and 6,000 pounds per pair of beams. This offers a way to place heavy load weights on the rack with the need for a lot of pallet racks. Without the need for a lot of racks these can be used to maximize small available space. These are used to distribute the loads evenly across the rack. They come in three different styles.

Three Types Of Wire Decking

The waterfall wire decking is where the wire mesh is extends all the way across and down the front of the beam. This provides added support for the shelf. This is the preferred pallet rack shelving style. There is also the reverse waterfall wire decking. This is where the wire decking goes all the way across and down the back of the beams. This offers a benefit to facilities that run the risk of small merchandise falling down behind the shelves. The last style with wire decking is the pop in shelf; the shelf rests inside the beams and does not run down over the beams at all.

Fire Hazard

There are some forms of wiring decking that use solid metal instead of a wire mesh for the shelves. This form provides better weight distribution of the pallet loads; however, it is a fire hazard. Fire inspectors do not recommend using this type due to the fact that water from the sprinklers is unable to get to the levels below when there is a fire.

Steel Shelves

Other forms of pallet rack shelving can consist of wood, plastic and various metals such as steel. Wood and plastic are not recommended for high traffic areas that utilize a forklift for loading and unloading pallets. Metals such as steel are recommended for these types of facilities. Steel shelves can be purchased rather cheaply and come in three through six levels deep. They are strong enough to hold extreme pallet load weights. Steel shelves are common in warehouse and loading dock facilities.

The only thing is that you must make sure that you do not use solid steel pallet rack shelving. These pose just the same kind of fire hazard as the solid wire shelves. The water cannot get through the levels to put out a fire on a lower level of the pallet rack. Therefore no matter what material you go with for your shelves, make sure that they are never fully solid and that water can move through the levels.

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