What Framing Materials to Choose for Your Shelving and Racking System

Last updated on May 17, 2024

Shelving and racking systems are essential in a storage facility. The racking and shelving systems complement the storage space by creating a secondary storage space on the same floor space. Shelves and racks come in different sizes and designs, with storageorage faciliutilizingilize different racking systems depending on the goods stored and the space required.

The quality and durability of any shelving and racking system highly depend on the material used during manufacturing. The taste and preference of a shelving system are determined by the weight and bulkiness of the goods you intend to store in your storage facility. There is no question about it: the racking material determines its lifespan, weight, and the amount of goods it can hold.

Some materials used in the manufacture of shelving and racking systems are discussed below.

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Metal

Metal

Metal is widely used to make racking systems. If given an option- other factors remaining constant- metal racking systems beat a wooden one hands down. Of course, the reason behind the preference is strength and durability. A storage facility handling heavy and bulky goods will opt for a metal racking system due to its high load-bearing capacity.

Malleability allows metals to be shaped into any design and dimension, depending on your storage specifications. Every racking system has to be transported to the storage facility. Thus, mobility is a factor to consider when selecting the type of rack you want.

A metal racking system is comprised of small individual parts that are easily disassembled, transported, and reassembled once they get to the designated storage facility. Metal racks are avoided in facilities with corrosive or damp products because metal reacts with water, compromising its chemical and physical structures.

A wire-gauze racking system is quite popular since it provides ample air circulation between the goods. Steel wires are welded to construct a cage-like structure that is strong and facilitates unrestricted airflow.

The common metals used to make racking systems include;

  • Steel
  • Aluminum
  • Galvanized iron
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Wood

Wood is naturally occurring and is found worldwide. Most shelving systems are made of wood, especially for domestic storage needs. Hardwood has a high load-bearing capacity and is used to make large shelves that have big storage spaces. Library shelves stock thousands of books and give the library a natural touch and taste.

Wood is easy and fast to cut, process, and manipulate to design any shape you want for your shelving system. The wood is treated during the manufacturing process to prevent rotting and shrinking. Wooden shelves are expensive but are a worthy investment in terms of space, durability, and strength. Aesthetic touches with patterns and carvings are easily made on the shelves, producing a clean, beautiful finish. Shelves made of wood are durable and eco-friendly.

Trees that produce hardwood trees for shelving systems making are;

  • Red oak
  • Mahogany
  • Teak
  • Pine
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Plastics

Plastics

Despite their adverse impact on the environment, plastics remain a big part of our lives. Plastics have diverse applications, including the manufacture of shelving and racking systems. Plastics are preferred over wood and metal because of their inert characteristic.

Plastic racks are suitable for storage facilities handling corrosive products, such as chemical stores and laboratories. In horticultural farms, plastic racks are used to store farm produce and keep them fresh because water does not alter the chemical and physical structures of plastic.

Plastics differ in terms of physical specifications and chemical composition. Polyethylene plastics are used to manufacture racking systems for light storage needs, such as storing kitchen accessories. Plastic shelving systems are cheaper compared to metallic or wooden shelving systems. Usage of plastics should, however, be controlled and regulated to minimize environmental pollution. Recycling should be practiced where possible.

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The Takeaway

Storage needs are inevitably part of human life, and having an effective way of managing your storage needs is crucial. Shelving and racking systems are manufactured in order to make our storage spaces efficient without incurring significant costs. The materials used to manufacture the shelves and racks determines the cost, bearing capacity, and lifespan of the shelving and racking system.

Your choice of shelving and racking system is influenced by your individual storage needs. Whether it is a commercial or personal storage space, an investment in a good shelving and racking system is recommended.

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