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Is the use of plywood acceptable instead of wire mesh decking?

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 MH16.1-2012 (RMI) does not explicitly address the use of plywood.
Its use is acceptable, but it depends on the intended use. For example, if used in a picking area where loads are significantly reduced (no pallets), it's okay.

Here are things to consider surrounding the use of wood or plywood as decking :

  • 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 must be equivalent to ANSI MH26.2 2017 or combined with safety bars.
  • Plywood decking should not fall from the rack and become a hazard. They should be fixed to the beams).
  • Plywood and solid metal panels may block overhead lighting and reduce visibility into the racking system