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Wood Pallets VS Plastic Pallets

 
Advantages   Less expensive
  Easy to repair if broken
  Fast and easy to make new ones
  Can be recycled into mulch paper
  Stronger and have a high friction compared to plastic
  Eco-friendly as plastic is 100% recyclable
  Hygienic, sanitary and washable
  No growth/spread of bacteria and fungus
  Space optimisation (stackable, nestable and rackable)
  Reduced shipping costs because of its lighter weight (30-35% lighter than wood pallets)
  Safer and easier to handle (no nails, no splinters, no sharp edges)
  Resistant to all weather conditions and to chemical products such as acids and alkalis
Disadvantages   Product contamination via splintering, harborage area for pests and bacterial growth
  Not hygienic and very difficult to clean
  Not safe for operators and products (splinters, sharp edges and nails)
  Shorter life span than plastic pallets
  Not repairable if it cracks or break
  More expensive than wood pallets
  Can be slippery at times
  Not as strong as wood pallets
  Limited sizes of pallets

 

Different Types of Plastic

 

High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)

High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) is a thermoplastic polymer with a high strenght-to-density ratio.  Due to its great tensile strength, negligeable moisture absorbtion, impressive impact and corrosion resistance this is the most commonly used material in the manufacturing of plastic pallets. HDPE is recommended for closed loop and in-house applications where the pallet will be handled often and will offer a long life-span.

  

Polypropylene (PP)

Polypropylene (PP) is a thermoplastic polymer that is usually harder than HDPE and  has higher heat resistance.  PP is recommended when the pallet needs to hold greater weights or in  racking applications where there is no center support for the pallet.PP is also usually more expensive than HDPE.
  
HDPE and PP can also be blended together in a plastic pallet to get the best of both worlds and help to lower costs. This is common in plastic pallets manufactured from recycled materials because it produces a very rigid and durable plastic pallet at a reasonable price.

  

Advanced Composite Material (ACM)

Advanced Composite Material (ACM) is a mixture originating from collections of post-industrial plastic scrap. ACM pallets  are the least expensive plastic pallets, comparable to the cost of wood pallets, but his still very strong and stiff . However it can  brittle and has a shorter life-span than other materials. ACM is used for “Export” or “Disposable” pallets intended for a one-way trip. 

 

How to Select a Plastic Pallet

 

Dimensions

To select the right dimensions, you must consider the job to be done, the industry you are working in and the geographic location you are dealing with.

Depending on the goods to be carried, the doors to navigate through and the warehouse to receive those pallets, you may need a small pallet as well as big pallet.

Different industries tend to conform to certain standard dimensions to facilitate exchanges between manufacturers, distribution centers and retailers.

Pallets are used locally and internationally, and international standards are not necessary the same. Mostly used dimensions standards are European and American but Australian and Asian are also other standards used on the market.

 

Material

If the pallet has to be FDA Approved, virgin plastic will be the material to be used and it will be either a PP or PE (HDPE) plastic, this is mostly used by pharmaceutical and food industries.

If you are looking for an export, economical or heavy duty plastic pallet, it doesn’t have to be virgin, recycled plastic can do the job and the raw material can be used alone or mixed depending on the result you are looking for and the budget you are planning to put into your purchase, in example an ACM plastic will be less expensive but not as robust as a plastic in PP or PE (HDPE).

 

Load Capacity

The load capacity is the maximum weight that a pallet can carry but it is always better to consider a load capacity higher that the total weight to be supported for a margin of safety. Pallets offer three different load capacity; Static capacity, Dynamic capacity and Racking capacity.

Static capacity: If you are planning to use your plastic pallet as a platform for other pallets or use it for storage in a solid fixed place or position, the static capacity will be the one to be check.

Dynamic capacity: If the plastic pallet will be used to move goods inside the warehouse, from one place to another or for expedition outside the warehouse, the dynamic capacity is the one to consider because it represents the total weight to be carried by a jack or forklift.

Racking capacity: For the plastic pallet to be used in racking, we will consider the weight to be supported by a racking system without any structure beneath it to support it.

 

Nestable, Stackable or Rackable

Nestable: These pallets are the best option to save place when the pallets are empty. It will take less space than others and help you save on the transport fees.

Stackable:  Thanks to their anti-slip top, these pallets can be stacked nesatly and safely for convenience. 

Rackable: These are shaped as a picture frame or have runners to allow the pallet to carry the weight inside a racking, which is a good way to use more height space and avoid disposing your goods on the floor.

 

Open or Closed Top Deck

Closed top decks have a smooth surface, which is better for a required hygienic transport. They are also easier to clean and dry as well. Open top decks on the other hand, allow for easy manual handling and easier draining when wet.

 

Other Features

Anti-slip surface: It may or may not be a requirement for your pallets to contain anti-slip surfaces to reduce product movement. Some product works best with an anti-slip pad, while others function best with anti-slip strips. Add an anti-slip surface to any pallet using grip sheets.

Heavy-Duty: Some pallets are reinforced with metal rods to support a heavier load without cracking.

Product Specefic: Some pallets are designed to hold  specific container such as drums or contain leaks and will have features such as recessed rings or spill trays.

Lips: These that are molded on to the top deck edges of the pallet, providing an extra stable surface.

 

Need Help?

Contact us and we will help you determine your need and make sure we find the best pallet for you.

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