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Plastic Pallet Weight Capacity

11 Jun 2018

Pallets are an integral element of shipping and storing goods. In addition to the basic concept of loading goods on to a pallet and moving them around, there is also the important consideration of plastic pallet weight capacity. Plastic is tough, but it has a finite capacity for carrying loads. Adhering to the weight capacity of plastic pallets will ensure the safe transfer of goods and extend the life of your pallets.

nestable pallets

Test and Refine

Manufacturers of pallets carry out research to determine the weight capacity of plastic pallets and make sure that they meet loading criteria. Users need to comply with the loading instructions and guidance provided. After manufacturers have determined the load a pallet can bear, it is the user’s duty not to exceed this.

Manufacturing pallets can encompass a wide range of tasks in addition to deciding the plastic pallet weight capacity. These tasks include the design and shape of the pallets, selecting what they will be made from – new or recycled materials – and choosing the method of production. Pallets can be produced by using an injection mould, blow moulding or a process of thermoforming, where plastic is heated to a temperature where it becomes easily shaped in a suitable mould and then trimmed to specifications.

Design, Function and Application

Various factors influence the weight a pallet can support. These include the material it is constructed from. Virgin or new plastics used in production generally last longer and can carry more weight. Virgin plastic has a tougher molecular structure and has greater stability. For extremely large loads, PP – or polypropylene – pallets are recommended.

The environment can also affect pallets, even though plastic pallets are generally incredibly tough and withstand most climatic conditions, including moisture. Even plastic has its limits, though, and it can be corroded by certain chemicals. For use in specific environments where contaminants can occur, custom pallets may be necessary.

In general plastic pallet weight capacity can be categorised as static load capacity, dynamic load capacity or racking load capacity. Static load is the amount of weight a pallet can bear in a fixed position. Dynamic load is the amount it can bear when moved by a forklift or hand jack. Racking load refers to the load a pallet can bear when unsupported on a racking system. For safety, the load should be just under the recommended weight. Pallets should also be matched carefully to the application, and certain types of pallet are better suited to some applications than others. If in doubt, consult an expert.

In addition, pallets must be loaded carefully, with the weight distributed evenly across the surface of the pallet. Static load pallets can usually bear more weight than a dynamic pallet, but bear in mind that the pallet at the bottom of a stack will be bearing the weight of all the pallets above it. Pallets should also be moved carefully so that the load does not move about during shipping and transportation, as this will affect plastic pallet weight capacity as well. It is important to follow the guidelines for loading pallets, as this will result in greater safety for workers as well as make sure that goods and pallet reach their destination in excellent condition.

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