The Importance of Uniformly Distributed Loads

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When designing your pallet racking or metal shelving systems, it is also important to take into account the weight of the items you want to store. After all, you have to make sure it can bear the load without compromising its stability.

Once the pallet racking or shelving system is designed and built, the spread of the load weight is another factor you need to consider, as you will need to uniformly distribute the weight across the bay or shelf to prevent concentrated areas of weight, which could cause the racking or shelving to become unstable.

So, What Exactly is a Uniformly Distributed Load?

A uniformly distributed load refers to the load weight needing to be distributed evenly distributed over a length or area instead of concentrated at one point which would be considered a point load. When referring to pallet racking, this refers to the materials placed on the pallets themselves, as well as the pallet loads placed in the racking bays. When referring to metal shelving, it refers to the materials placed on each shelf.

What is the Importance of Uniformly Distributed Loads?

A UDL is important because if bays or shelves are loaded unevenly, it can reduce the overall weight capacity of your system. However, if the load is spread in a ‘uniform’ and correct manner, this reduces the excessive stress placed on the beams and uprights considerably. In short, a uniformly distributed load creates a safe storage environment.

Please note that when weight capacities are calculated for pallet racking and metal shelving systems, they are based on the weight being uniformly distributed over the entire bay or shelf.

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