Pallet rack decking serves as a horizontal shelf. It can come in the form of wood (plywood), metal panels, or steel wire mesh.
We will discuss the key components of a modern warehouse storage facility that collaborate to establish a safe and efficient storage environment. The main elements of the pallet rack storage system are the frame uprights (posts) and cross beams. While this construction is utilized for pallet storage, it is not considered optimal or secure without additional measures. To ensure safety, the installation of safety bars and decking between the front and back beams is recommended. It provides the protection of both the stored goods and the personnel. Pallet rack decking serves as a horizontal shelf. It can come in the form of wood (plywood), metal panels, or steel wire mesh. The American rack design code MH16.1-2021 (RMI, 2021) does not explicitly address the use of plywood.
Its use is acceptable, but it depends on the intended use. For example, it is okay if used in a picking area where loads are significantly reduced (no pallets).
To make an informed decision, comparing wire grid decking with wood decking is essential. Determining the best option can be challenging, considering factors like support and price. Let’s explore some compelling reasons to opt for pallet rack wire decking instead of wood.
- With a ceiling-only sprinkler system, water cannot reach the fire if it is blocked by wood decking. Wire mesh decking allows smoke and heat to rise and sprinkler water to fall through the storage rack.
- Dirt may accumulate on the plywood over time. Not as much when using wire mesh.
- Plywood capacity should be equivalent to ANSI MH26.2 2017 or combined with safety bars.
- Plywood decking should not fall from the rack and become a hazard. It should be fixed to the beams.
- Plywood and solid metal panels may block overhead lighting and reduce visibility into the racking system.