Aim: Developing a method to evaluate the safety of stacking loaded pallets. Presenting an exemplary stability analysis path for a stack of specific post pallets designed for the storage of pneumatic tyres.

Project and methods: Due to the current lack of standards for assessing pallet stack stability, stacked post pallets were treated as a self-stable multi-storey construction without bracings. Based on the current standard binding in the European Union for the design of steel structures, analyses of the load capacity of pallet posts and the balance of a stack of several pallets subjected to its dead weight and loads as well as horizontal forces resulting from initial global sway and local bow imperfections were performed. The impact of the forklift truck on the stack was also taken into account.

Results: Based on the calculated value of the critical load multiplier for the stack of five loaded pallets, it was found that the stack is a structure sensitive to second order effects and there is a need to take into consideration the influence of deformations on internal force values in its elements. According to the standard, the value of the stack initial sway imperfection and the design value of the pallet post’s initial bow imperfection were determined. Horizontal forces acting on the stack resulting from the sway and bow imperfections were determined. The application of the proposed method for the stability analysis of an actual stack composed of five post pallets loaded with pneumatic tyres made it possible to conclude that in all cases of possible sways the load capacity conditions for the most stressed posts, i.e. the posts of the lowermost pallet, were fulfilled. It was evidenced that the moment of the forces attempting to overturn the stack is much smaller than the stabilising one. Hence, the static balance condition associated with the risk of the stack overturning around the edge of the lowermost pallet resting on the floor was met with a considerable margin.

Conclusions: The horizontal forces acting on the stack of pallets resulting from the sway and bow imperfections of the system and the force associated with the forklift truck create the risk of the stack’s collapse. The reason for this phenomenon can be both exhausting the pallet post’s load capacity and the entire stack’s rigid rotation around its lower edge. The proposed method makes it possible to effectively determine the safety for storage of loaded post pallets placed one on the other. It was determined based on the load capacity conditions for the posts from the lowermost pallet and on the static condition ensuring that the whole pallet stack would not be overturned.

Keywords: strength safety, stability, imperfection, pallet, stack, warehouse

Type of article: original scientific article