Evaluation of the Ability of Adhesives to Substitute Nails in Wooden Block Pallets

TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Virginia Tech


The most common fastening technique that is used to connect the components of wooden pallets together are helically or annularly threaded pallet nails. Pallet nails create a strong durable connection and increase manufacturing efficiency for a low cost. However, nails can also cause iron staining, wood splitting, and when exposed can cause product damage or personnel injury. Using adhesives could be a solution to these problems, but only if the adhesives' strength and durability is comparable or higher than nails. The objective of the study was to investigate the tensile and shear strength of pallet connections secured using commercially available wood adhesives and compare their performance to pallet connections secured using common pallet nails.

The lowest pre-compression pressure resulted in the best tension and shear performance for a solvent based construction adhesive (SBCA). The pre-compression pressure did not have any practical effect on the performance of the two-part emulsion polymer isocyanate (EPI) adhesive. Samples made with the solvent based construction adhesive (SBCA) had greater strength and energy at failure than nailed samples. Meanwhile, the samples made with the two-part emulsion polymer isocyanate (EPI) adhesive had equal or greater strength than nailed samples, except for during the tension parallel to the grain tests in which they had equal or lower strength.



adhesives, wood pallet, connection, tension, shear, strength