DISTRIBUTION PACKAGING

Pallet Testing

Pallets are very important to all industries as almost all products are shipped on a pallet at some point in the manufacturing and sales process. If a pallet fails to provide a safe and stable platform, many packaged products may be damaged at a great cost to your company.

Hence, pallets must be rigorously tested to make sure that they can stand up to the various weights, sizes, and shapes of packaged-products being stacked on them and to determine that they will continue to work in a variety of environmental conditions – all while regularly being moved around warehouses by forklifts and cranes and traveling hundred and thousands of miles in trucks, trains and ships.

Pallet testing determines the safe load capacity of the pallet under different loading and support conditions.

Pallet testing can also figure out a pallet’s durability compared to other pallet designs, and the vibration transmissibility based on the design of the pallet.

Various Tests:

Pallet Components: Bending
Strength and Stiffness
Pallets: Strength and Stiffness
Pallets: Durability
Fasteners

Components tests evaluate the bending strength and stiffness of pallet parts. These properties can be used to predict the performance of a pallet.

The strength and stiffness of the pallet is dependent on the pallet support and loading condition conditions. Typical supports include warehouse floor stacking, racking across length, racking across width, and conveyor chain. While the load can be applied using a uniform, flexible airbag, rigid ISO bars or using the actual product. If the pallet is classified as a general purpose pallet, the load needs to be applied using either an airbag or rigid ISO beam. On the other hand if the pallet is classified as a specialty pallet, the actual product should be used to apply the load.

Pallet durability can be determined using the incline impact tester to impact the end board or stringer/post with a fork tine or a corner/edge/or side drop test. The goal of the durability testing is to compare the performance of multiple pallet designs to each other.

Evaluations of pallet fasteners allow companies to comply with regulations. Fastener tests include the Fastener Quality Analysis (FQA), which provides information about the effectiveness of the investigated fastener on the durability of the pallet. Fastener tests also provide information about compliance with ANSI Mh1. The FWI (Fastener Withdrawal Index) and FSI (Fastener Shear Index) are calculated as described in ASTM F680. Additional performance evaluations include actual withdrawal/shear/head pull through resistance of nailed joints. These tests follow ASTM D1761.

Standards:

ASTM D1185
ASTM F680
ASTM 1761
ISO 8611

ASTM D1185 – 98a(2017): Standard Test Methods for Pallets and Related Structures Employed in Materials Handling and Shipping

Standard test methods for pallets and related structures employed in materials handling and shipping. These test methods cover the performance of pallets and related structures, functioning as platforms in materials handling and shipping. Their use facilitates the protection of products during storage and transportation. The test methods include measurements of the relative resistance of pallets and related structures to deformations, damages, and structural failures which detrimentally affect the functionality of the unit load. These test methods include conditioning requirements, static stiffness and strength tests, and dynamic tests of structural reliability. These test methods are used to evaluate the relative performance of new, used, or reconditioned general and special-purpose pallets fabricated from various materials.

ASTM F680 – 17: Standard Test Methods for Nails

These test methods cover procedures for the testing of nails. The test or tests selected, and the requirements for compliance, will be as specified in the applicable product standard. Performance tests for nail withdrawal and lateral load capability are not included. The tests described are as follows: Dimensional tests, Tension test, conventional bend test, Impact bend test, Rockwell hardness test, coating weight test, coating adherence test for zinc-coated nails.

ASTM D1761 – 12: Standard Test Methods for Mechanical Fasteners in Wood

This test provides a basic procedure for evaluating the resistance of wood and wood-base materials to direct withdrawal of nails, staples, and screws. Spikes are included as nails in this standard. The tests also provide a basis for determining comparable performance of different types and sizes of nails, staples, and screws in direct withdrawal from wood and wood-base materials.

ISO 8611-1:2011 – Pallets for materials handling – Flat pallets – Part 1: Test methods

Pallets for materials handling – Flat pallets – Part 1,2,3. This part of the standard specifies the test methods available for evaluating new flat pallets for materials handling. They are split into groups for nominal load testing; maximum working load testing; durability comparison testing.

Equipment:

Custom Pallet Tester

Max Dimensions: 69″ x 57″ x 16″
Loading Mode: Airbag
Max Load: 10,000lbs
Max Airbag Pressure: 11psi

Tinius Olsen
Compression Tester

Platen Size: 60″ x 60″
Max Opening Height: 78″
Max Load Capacity: 24,000lbs
Max Airbag Pressure: 11psi
Loading Mode: Airbag or Platen