Some Basic Guidelines for Selecting Warehouse Decking
Designed for use with pallet racking or shelving systems, there are basically four different types of warehouse decking, and each of these tends to have its own pros and cons. Consequently, it will be important to take these into account when attempting to choose the most suitable type for use in a given situation. As a general rule, the support that it provides is seen to be particularly useful when it is required to store small items or loose goods, or where a variety of different pallet sizes may be in use.
The first of the four options is timber and it consists of slats that are screwed into the battens and either positioned flush with one another or with gaps between them to reduce the cost, where possible. This type of warehouse decking is sufficiently resilient to support most heavy items, but is also a good choice when it is necessary to store smaller pallets. However, where used to store palletised goods, it is important that the pallets are positioned over the beams, so as to provide a little extra support. Also, it may not be a suitable choice for multi-tier picking areas protected by sprinkler systems as, when active, the water could compromise its strength.
A cheaper alternative to timber is chipboard. It is made from wood chips mixed with an adhesive and bonded by heat and pressure. Available as either normal, medium, or high-density boards, it is suitable for loads up to 1 000 kilograms. In addition to being suitable for small items, warehouse decking made from chipboard can be used for long-span applications, such as carpet storage. However, it is not suitable for use in damp environments where it has a tendency to sag.
Steel, though more costly than either timber or chipboard, is obviously by far the most durable material and one that is widely used for storage purposes in both the wholesale and retail sectors. Within the former type of environment, it is employed in one of two main forms. These are notched steel and steel mesh, and both types are widely used to create warehouse decking.
Designed to fit directly onto shelving and pallet racking beams, the former consists of solid panels that are the ideal choice for handballing loads when pallets are not in use. Also, as they are resistant to rust, they are suitable for outdoor use if required.
Finally, wire mesh in various thicknesses and dimensions is cheaper than solid steel panels and is a great choice of warehouse decking for use with multi-tier systems and mezzanine floors. Furthermore, its open structure ensures that the performance of automatic sprinkler systems will be unimpeded.