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Structural pallet rack vs. roll formed pallet rack

Friday, February 12, 2016

What’s the difference between structural pallet rack and roll formed pallet rack?
The difference between structural rack and roll formed pallet rack lies not only in the structure of the product and the way in which it’s manufactured, but also in the real-world performance one can expect to see once the racking is implemented.

Pallet rack manufacturing
The difference between the two types of racking begins early in production. Roll formed pallet rack, the more popular and ubiquitous of the two types of pallet rack, is made by making cuts and bends in otherwise flat sheets of steel, hence the name “roll formed.” Because these sheets have little strength in their flat state, strength is given to roll formed pallet rack by adding bends. Generally, the more bends that are applied to roll formed pallet rack, the stronger it will be. The pliability inherent to roll formed racking puts it at odds with structural pallet racking. This is because structural pallet rack is manufactured by pouring molten steel into a mold and letting it cool to form the pallet rack component. Once the product has reached its final stage, it is in its strongest form. Trying to bend or modify a component may compromise structural integrity. There are a number of different forms, or shapes of structural steel, but a couple of the most common forms include C-Channels and I-Beams.

Beam-to-frame connection
Structural pallet racking also often differs from roll formed pallet rack in the way in which beams are connected to upright frames. While many modern roll formed pallet racking will feature a rivet style beam-to-frame connection, structural pallet racking features a bolt-together connection design, adding strength to an already strong pallet rack system. Speaking of strength, that brings us to another important difference…

Pallet rack capacity
Structural pallet racking is significantly stronger and often more durable than roll formed pallet rack. For many applications, this may not be a significant factor. After all, roll formed pallet rack can be very strong, and most applications don’t require excessive beam capacity. Still, for those heavy-duty storage situations, structural racking is often the only available option strong enough to withstand ultra-heavy loads. Structural racking is also generally more expensive than roll formed pallet rack, adding another variable to consider when making a decision regarding roll formed versus structural pallet rack.

Not sure which one is right for you? Give us a call, and we’ll be happy to help you figure out whether roll formed or structural pallet rack is the right fit for your storage solution. Also, make sure to check out our YouTube channel for more great tips and information!

At WPRP, Our Goal is to Help You and if you have additional questions about how to quote a Selective/Structural Pallet Rack System, do not hesitate to contact us. Our Pallet Rack Specialists are happy to help you through the quoting process.

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