Wire mesh decking is typically used as a safety device (fall restraint for objects) at beam levels over pedestrian and forklift traffic bays like in tunnels through rack systems, over the shipping docks or emergency exits. They are also used for stacking light loads at handpicking levels or to secure the load if the pallet is accidentally misplaced or hit so that it won’t fall.
Typically, manufacturers are rating these components for safety (permitting some permanent deformation) at 1500 lb to 2500 lb. The results depend on multiple factors like the shape and number of bars, their thicknesses, the span, the wire gauge, etc. According to the North American standards, all stored loads must be supported by both the front and rear beams, overhanging each by 2 to 4 inches. When a pallet is shorter than the rack’s depth, it means the load is partially or completely supported by the decking. This type of loading should be avoided as wire mesh decking is not typically designed to support pallet loads.
We recommend ensuring that the load is placed on pallets that sit on both beams simultaneously (i.e. for a rack that is 48” deep, pallets that are 54” long should be used). You may consider placing a pallet of the proper length directly over the beams to receive the smaller pallet.
Damotech's team of engineers can evaluate the load capacity of the wire mesh decking, but it may be down-rated. The load capacity will be limited to the value where the components stay in their “elastic state” for specific loading conditions, not allowing any permanent deflection of the bars like manufacturers tend to calculate for safety and replaceable components. They will be calculated as structural components.
Read this article to learn more about wire mesh decking.