Investigation of the Effect of Corrugated Boxes on the Distribution of Compression Stresses on the Top Surface of Wooden Pallets.
Clayton II, Anthony Page
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Pallets are the foundation of unit loads and supply chains. They provide a way to store and transport products in an efficient manner. The load capacity of pallets greatly depends on the type of packages carried by the pallet; however, current pallet design methods do not consider the effect of packages on the load carrying capacity of the pallet. This results in excessive use of materials which reduces the sustainability of unit loads, drives costs up, and creates issues for people in the supply chain. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of a corrugated box's size and head space on pallet deflection and stress distribution on the top of the pallet as a function of pallet stiffness across multiple pallet support conditions. Data analysis identified that box size had a significant effect on the deflection of the pallet. This effect was only significant for warehouse racking across the width and length support conditions. As much as a 53% reduction in pallet deflection was observed for high stiffness pallets supporting corrugated boxes with 25.4 mm headspace when the size was increased from small to large. Meanwhile, no significant effect of box size was found for other supports. The effect of headspace was significant in some scenarios but inconsistent thus more investigation with a larger sample size is recommended. In addition, redistribution of vertical compression stresses towards the supports was observed as a function of the increasing box size. The increased concentration of compression stresses on top of the supports and the resulting lower pallet deflection could significantly increase the actual load carrying capacity of some pallet designs.
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