Wooden pallets continue to play an important role in the distribution of goods and services industry. They are cost effective, long lasting and strong as well as easy to handle compared to other options. However, they can be highly susceptible to external factors such as humidity and extreme weather conditions. Choosing the right fastener to match the wood density being used for your pallets is an important aspect that can influence the pallet's performance as well as safety. Here are factors to consider when selecting fasteners.
The pallet design, whether block or stringer is a main factor that should be carefully considered when selecting fasteners. Hardwood is commonly used in the manufacture of block pallets as compared to the use of softwood for the production of stringer pallets. High density hardwood may not pair well with staples, screws or bolts as fasteners, as these may not securely hold the joints together. Also when working with softwood for the stringer pallets, using nails as fasteners may pose damage concerns to the pallet.
Note that not all woods are grown equal and therefore their strength and density will vary significantly. Although hardwoods maybe generally viewed to be high density woods (oak, maple among others), some actually are characterized by low density qualities. Examples of low density hardwoods include willow and walnut. Softwoods such as cypress and pine are largely low density. These factors will influence your choice of fasteners. It should be noted that heat treated pallets alter the nature of the wood and its density (heat treating lowers wood density as moisture is reduced in the wood) therefore keenly choose fasteners that will do no harm to heat treated wood.
Fasteners come in different shapes, forms and are made from different materials. Choosing the appropriate fastener for the pallet job at hand is key to ensuring long lasting results and good quality returns. Whether you choose the spiral, ringed or just the normal nail for your pallet production, the underlying factor is that you choose fasteners that pair well with the type of wood being used for the pallet production. Some nails are resin coated to increase their vertical force resistance while others may under-go thermal treatment to enhance lateral force resistance. The size of the nail, from the shank size to its length should also not be overlooked. The point of entry whether blunt, diamond or chisel is also an important aspect to consider. Blunt pointed nails are excellent for use in hardwood. Even though they require a lot of force, they eliminate the risks of splitting the wooden planks.
Should choosing fasteners prove to be overwhelming your pallet production venture, worry not! HWP Herwood Inc. is your go to and number one wood packaging manufacturer of pallets and crates.