You know you need pallet racking…but the choice doesn’t stop there. What you choose to deck your pallet racking with is an important decision too. Although pallet rack decking isn’t much to look at, it’s a vital part of your shelving system, a crucial tool in keeping your products safe and pallet racking in tip-top condition.
Rack decking is made from wood, chipboard or steel, depending on your needs and is used to support storage for small and loose items or smaller pallet sizes. The decking secures a place on the racking for items that vary in size and packaging, ensuring nothing falls through.
Pallet rack decking types
The type of decking you need will depend on the product you are storing and whether your warehouse facility is indoor or outdoor or at a higher risk of fire. The four main types of rack decking are:
Timber decking is a versatile option; pallet timber decking is supplied open or closed boarded, made up of slats, then screwed into the battens. Timber decking is durable, resilient, flexible in size, and easily adapted to fit even the most obscure sizing. It can support heavy loads and provide a sturdy platform to hold small items and loose goods. Timber is a safe option and drastically limits any stock falling through the racking, protecting employees and inventory.
Like timber decking, chipboard decking is durable and available in varying depths. Its smooth surface and weight-bearing capabilities make it an excellent option for supporting long-span shelving systems. Made up of wood chips and glue-bound by heat and pressure, chipboard aids the storage and pick of items such as carpets that benefit from the smooth surface. Chipboard can fit to measure and sit flush within the racking system structure, ensuring no lips or surfaces are exposed to catch or scratch goods stored and picked.
Perhaps the most cost-effective option, wire mesh decking, is made of industrial-grade steel and comes in various thicknesses to support your goods. A super durable choice, wire mesh decking is suitable for all warehouse types, providing a clean, easy to maintain storage system to store a wide variety of sizes, weights, and product types, indoor and outdoor. The decking is ultimately more sterile as the mesh design means it is less able to collect grime and debris in the decking, reducing the frequency of cleaning and, crucially, a fire risk. Steel is the most fire retardant of the decking types, so it is something to consider when storing chemicals and hazardous materials. Mesh Decking is also an ideal option for an upper floor mezzanine.
Before making any purchases, there are a few things to consider:
This should always be your number one consideration. The decking’s essential function is to store your goods for either long-term storage or picking safely, and so it must be able to perform to its capability by taking the correct weight loads. Mesh decking can take up to 1,000kg, but timber has a grade according to the maximum load it’s due to take. If the weight load calculations are off, you will be putting your employees and goods in potential danger from racking fall or collapse.
A mesh or slatted solution is usually recommended if you have a sprinkler system in your warehouse. The gaps between the mesh and slatted options allow water from the sprinkler systems to get through and smoke to get out and reach the ventilation above.
While all options offer a sufficient level of robustness, you can assess the durability level you need based on the goods you are storing. Considering the footfall and frequency of pick in your warehouse, machinery used on the decking, and actions like cleaning, you can quickly build up an image of how long a particular type of decking will last under your warehouse conditions.
We hope this has clarified a few things for you and helped build a picture of which decking type will best suit your current and future needs. Ikon advises, supplies, and installs decking and everything you need for your warehouse to be productive, efficient and safe. If you'd like more information, get in touch. Ikon can arrange a consultation and advise you when designing your racking system what you will need.
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