Quality Fasteners Markedly Improve Pallet Performance
pallets, containers, and reels can be improved by using high quality fasteners
By Staff Writer
Date Posted: 10/1/1999
The performance and durability of pallets, containers and reels can be improved dramatically by using high quality fasteners. Pallet life, for example, may be increased up to 60% simply by using a high quality nail. Think how much the level of customer satisfaction would increase by using a high quality nail that adds 60% more pallet life.
Pallet nails and staples vary in quality and materials and incorporate many variables that influence their quality. The range in quality of commercially available pallet fasteners represents a 1,000% difference in pallet durability or resistance to damage. Problems such as protruding nail heads, a leading cause of damage to product in a unit load, may be prevented by using high quality fasteners.
Quality threaded nails resist the effects of dynamic shocks and vibrations that occur in normal material handling. Also, many pallets are made of green wood, which dries and shrinks during use; pallets assembled with quality threaded nails are not weakened by such wood shrinkage.
Compared to the cost of wood, the cost of a high quality pallet fastener is very small. The use of high quality fasteners in assembly and repair, therefore, is an excellent, cost-effective way to differentiate a company’s pallets and containers from those of competitors.
The most commonly used pallet nail in the U.S. has a deformed, roll-threaded shank with a helical thread along about two-thirds of the shank portion nearest the point. The remaining one-third, reaching from the head to the thread, is plain and is called the clearance. Ideally, the clearance is long enough to reach beyond the nailed member (deck board) and slightly into the nailing member (stringer or block).
Helically-threaded nails are available in a variety of threaded grooves and threads. Flat-bottom threads are more effective than round-bottom threads. Nonsymmetrical, one-directional, one-way threads can be more effective than symmetrical threads. Thread crests are either single or double; double crests are most effective.
Helically-threaded nails with a deep thread angle turn like wood screws during driving and form threads in the wood similar to those along the nail shank. As a result, they act like wood screws.
A quality nail should be at least 2 inches long; nails of this length will be imbedded 1 1/4 inches into the stringer after passing through and attaching a 3/4-inch deck board.
Head diameter on the 11 ˝ or 11 gauge nails should be at least 0.275-inch to prevent the head from pulling through the deck boards.
Thread length should be 1 1/4 inch so that the shank portion imbedded in the stringer has maximum holding power. Thread angles on a quality helically threaded nail should be between 60 and 68 degrees; thread angles outside this range diminish holding power.
(Editor’s Note: The above information was compiled from several TechTalk technical information sheets published by the National Wooden Pallet and Container Association.
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