While shelving and racking systems are widely used for bulk storage purposes, warehouse decking also has some significant uses, and its potential value should not be overlooked. The product is supplied in a variety of shapes and sizes, and may be composed of different materials. Each of these products has its own particular purpose based upon its design and its composition. In terms of their composition, there are basically four types on the market.
The first of these is made of timber, and typically consists of wooden slats mounted on battens. The slats may be mounted close together or in a more open style with gaps in-between. The product can be manufactured to any desired size, and its high resilience makes this type of warehouse decking a good choice for use in heavy-duty applications, as well as to deck the racks used for the storage of smaller pallets. Alternatively, these timber structures could be used to create a stillage that will then provide the means to support those items that are normally stored at floor level or when some temporary extra space may be needed.
Providing it is not to be used in damp environments, chipboard can be a far cheaper alternative to timber. Made by compounding particles of wood under pressure and heat with an adhesive, it is supplied in a range of densities to provide a warehouse decking option capable of supporting a maximum load of about 1 000 kg. While it can be used to deck long span shelves, such as those often used to store rolls of carpet, chipboard is not recommended for the storage of liquids, as it is inclined to sag if it becomes damp. Nevertheless, it can be the product of choice for many companies, given that it is the cheapest available option.
When it is necessary to employ pallet racking for the storage of smaller items, rather than timber or chipboard, wire mesh can be used to deck the beams. This will provide a type of warehouse decking that is designed to ensure pallets and the items stored on them are unable to fall between the beams of the racking structure.
Available in various thicknesses and sizes, another benefit of this type of structure is that, unlike timber and chipboard, it does not accumulate dust. While it is more expensive and less flexible than either chipboard or wood, where fire safety is an issue, it can be a good option for both mezzanine floors and multi-tier systems as, being composed of metal, this type of warehouse decking cannot be damaged by fire and will not obstruct the function of a sprinkler system.
Where maximum strength is essential and the cost is not a problem, the fourth option is to install notched steel decks, which may be loaded directly when palletised goods are unavailable. The panels can be fitted to shelves or racking beams and easily removed for cleaning. Made of galvanised steel, they are resistant to rust, which means that this is a type of product that is equally suitable for either indoor or outdoor use.
In summary, while the type of warehouse decking you require should be determined by your particular application, it will also be influenced by the size of your budget