The research conducted at the laboratory on behalf of sponsors is based on the graduate education mission of the University. Funds are used for the following:

  • + To improve pallet and unit load design and performance.
  • + To conduct packaging system evaluations.
  • + To conduct marketing studies analyses.

  • The laboratory maintains an extensive research database that includes articles on subjects such as the performance of driven fasteners, observations of damage frequency, and damage severity levels occurring in pallets. Our pallet data is vital to researchers developing reliability-based models of pallets, containers, and other related structures.

    Ongoing Research

  • + Modeling interactions between pallet and packaging materials to increase the efficiency of packaging systems.
  • + Modeling stressors on the bottom deck boards due to tip-over of packages with a high aspect ratio during forklift handling.
  • + Development of a life-cycle inventory for the repair process of wooden pallets.
  • + Characterization of the migration behavior of bis-phenol A using chemiluminescence assay.
  • + Development of gelatin replacement polymer from biomass.
  • + Determination of gas barrier property of bio-based co- polyester and traditional plastics

  • Past Research

    • + Development of performance specifications for pallets used in automated unit load material handling equipment.
    • + The effect of load bridging on unit load deflection.
    • + Optimizing unit load design - a new systems approach to improving material handling efficiency.
    • + Vacuum technology project underway at the Center to control insects in wood.
    • + The performance of pallet joints made of structural composite in lumber.
    • + The effect of stabilization on palletized unit loads when supported on conveyors and on warehouse racks.
    • + The effect of unit load bridging on racked and stacked block style pallets.