With the amount of abuse that a pallet endures in a single trip, it is very important to make sure that you are using a plastic pallet manufactured with the appropriate material for your application.
Plastic resin can vary greatly in strength, weight and cost. Below is some information to help you to understand the differences.
- High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
The most common material used in plastic pallets is High Density Polyethylene (HDPE). This material has great impact and tensile strength, which makes it very durable. This quality is very important in a plastic pallet. It also absorbs very little moisture and is corrosion resistant. HDPE is recommended for closed loop or in-house applications where the pallet will be handled often and is expected to provide several years of service.
- Polypropylene (PP)
Another common material used in plastic pallets is Polypropylene (PP). The general physical properties of PP are similar to those of HDPE but PP is a harder and more rigid material than HDPE. PP can also function in a higher temperature environment than HDPE. PP is recommended when the pallet needs to hold greater weights or in racking applications where there is no center support for the pallet. PP is also more costly than HDPE.
HDPE and PP can also be blended together in a plastic pallet to get the best of both worlds and help to lower costs. This is common in plastic pallets manufactured from recycled materials because it produces a very rigid and durable plastic pallet at a reasonable price.
- Advanced Composite Material (ACM)
The least expensive type of plastic material is ACM which stands for Advanced Composite Material. This blend is a mixture originating from collections of post-industrial plastic scrap. ACM makes a very strong and stiff pallet but it can be a bit brittle and does not hold up to repeat use like the other materials. ACM is known as an “Export” or “Send & Forget” material intended for use in applications where the pallet will be making a single trip and will not be expected to be used again. The cost of ACM plastic pallets can be very close to the cost of wood pallets.
Need help in determining which plastic material is right for you? Leave your application description below. I can help you select the correct plastic material for your project.
Post by: Mike Simon, Midwest Sales Executive