A pallet rack system’s basic function is to help warehouse operators to improve the storage density of their facilities by storing pallets vertically to make use of the vertical space in the warehouse efficiently. Pallet racks can be configured in a wide variety of ways to meet customer’s needs ranging from low density, high selectivity selective systems to high-density pushback, drive in and pallet flow systems.
There are two major core construction materials used to construct pallet rack systems, roll form steel and structural steel.
Roll Form Construction:
Roll form rack is built by taking a coil of light gauge steel (typically 12-16 gauge), run it through a series of roll forming dies that progressively bend the steel to create the final shape, typically a “C” or tube shape. When properly designed, roll form rack systems can support virtually all pallet weights (3,000 lb. pallets are common). The downside to roll form rack is that, due to the thin profile of the steel used to create the members, it is easily damaged.
Roll form rack is the most common type of rack and is used in a wide variety of applications ranging from retail to distribution.
Structural Rack is built out of Hot Rolled channel and angle sections that are much thicker and more resistant to damage than equivalent roll form shapes. While slightly more expensive than equivalent roll form systems, end users make the investment for high velocity facilities where history has proven that the rack is much more durable and long lasting.
Structural rack is widely used in the Grocery, Cold Storage, Food and Consumer products segments.
Both methods of construction can be used with virtually any rack configuration, the key driver for selecting one over the other is typically when customers have a higher velocity facility and have found the added investment in structural rack is offset by the increased durability and lifespan.
See the difference here.