Structural Mezzanine Floors and Industrial Steel Shelving

Shelving & Racking

There are various types of light duty steel shelving available. The most common office shelving is the bolt together steel shelving available in various standard sizes. The uprights are angle iron posts with holes all along the length onto which the steel shelf is bolted at your chosen heights. The unit is braced with corner gusset plates bolted between the upright and shelf on each corner at the top and bottom of the unit and again in the centre for tall or heavily loaded units. These shelving units can be bolted together in long continuous rows as well as back to back creating a solidly braced conglomerate of steel shelving. The most common uses of the light duty bolt together steel shelving is for filing, parts storage or any small or light weight item storage. The galvanized finish is quite popular for use in fridges or cold stores. The other finish available is epoxy coated.

The slightly more heavy duty steel shelving is more of a light duty racking system. The horizontal beams clip into the frames at adjustable heights, as with the standard heavier duty pallet racking, and are secured with locking pins. The beams and frames are also available in various standard sizes. The frames can be bolted to the floor but in most cases it is not necessary as these units are normally not that high and therefore have little or no risk of falling over. The shelf of this steel shelving unit can either be a steel or timber deck which rests on the beams. The timber decks can either be closed or gapped timber decks. The gapped decks are preferable in applications where good ventilation or air circulation is necessary. There are two steel finishes available for this type of steel shelving as well, namely epoxy coated or pre-galv.

Pallet racking

Pallet racking is an adjustable heavy duty steel shelving system for storage of pallets and or hand packed items. If the racks are hand packed, then solid or gapped timber decks are used. Various standard sizes of end frames and beams are available. The frames and beams are graded according to the weight you want to load on the shelves ranging from half a ton to more than 3 tons per shelf. The frames are bolted to the floor as a safety measure and where there are back to back rows the units are braced together with row spacers to further strengthen the structure. Racking units in excess of 3 meters high can also be braced to the walls with wall spacers in order to secure the racks further. The most common length of beam that is used with pallet racking is 2743mm as this gives you enough breathing room either side of the pallets for maneuverability. The depth of the frame is generally 914mm as this will give you an overhang of approximately 100 – 150mm on the front and back of the beams.

When designing the layout of a pallet racking system in a factory or warehouse, it is important to take the turning circle of the forklift that you will be using into account. It is sometimes more practical to physically load a forklift with a pallet and operate the forklift in order to establish your comfortable working passage width. You also need to take into account the overhang of the pallet from the depth of the racking. The height of the heavy duty racking system will be determined by the height that your forklift can extend to. In the case of hand packed racks, with timber decks, your layout will be determined by the products that are stocked. For example, heavier bulky items will need a wider passage than smaller lighter goods. The height of the rack is more of a preference and whether or not you make use of ladders or mobile staircases. Bearing in mind, when you go over the height of 3m, fire regulations become more stringent.

Cantilever racking

Steel cantilever racking is an adjustable racking system which can be double or single sided. This system is typically used to store long narrow items such as timber, steel and PVC sections such as tubing, beams, guttering and roof sheets. It is custom designed according to the customer’s specifications of height, length and depth of arms. It is also designed to carry varying degrees of weight according to your specific needs. The arms can be adjustable or welded into a fixed position. We only suggest the welded system if the arm spacing’s are uniform and unlikely to change. This is a totally free standing cantilever racking system which can be bolted to the floor for extra stability.

The uprights are braced diagonally to ensure its rigidity. The finish of the steel is normally enamel painted but can also be galvanized. The top or loading surface of the arms can be covered with timber or rubber in order to protect the stock items being loaded if they are prone to be scratched by the steel. The ends of the arms can have stoppers attached to them in order to prevent the stock items from rolling off. Alternatively, the arms can be designed that it is at a slight upward angle to ensure that the stock material such as round tubing will roll towards the centre uprights.

It is possible to use the uprights of this cantilever racking system as columns to support a mezzanine floor. Various steel material sections can be used in the construction of these racks depending on the design and application thereby creating a totally custom designed rack and mezzanine floor combination. The mezzanine deck itself can be either steel or timber. Steel beams are used to support a steel deck and timber beams will generally be used to carry a timber deck.

The timber beams cannot span the long lengths that the steel beams can but is ideal for this application as the passageways between the racking are normally not more than a meter. This is therefore a cost saving as the timber beams are more cost effective over short distances than the steel beams. When using the racking mezzanine floor system it is quite easy to create a double deck mezzanine floor. The racking would simply continue up on a higher frame and at the level of the first deck you would need to cut around the frame uprights.

With this cantilever racking system we would use our standard industrial steel staircase with checker plate or ‘Vastrap’ treads in enamel finish. Our standard handrail is the industrial galvanized steel hand and knee rail which is used on the staircase as well as on top of the mezzanine floor.

For more examples have a look at Racking, Shelving and Fencing

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