Pallets can be made out of various materials like wood, metal or plastic. Plastic has become an increasingly popular option, this is a cheaper alternative to metal and less prone to mildew and rotting than wooden ones. You may want to know a bit more about these pallets before you commit to buying some, this will help you to learn a bit more about the process that plastic pallets go through in order to be made into what you use.
These are the 6 main processes for manufacturing plastic patterns.
High-Pressure Injection Moulding
Plastic pallets are usually made from one of the two materials either, copolymer polypropylene or high-density polyethene (HDPE) resin. These materials are used to create crack resistant and tough plastic.
The plastic and colouring are melted together in an extremely hot barrel with a rotating screw.
Once it is melted, the plastic is injected into a mould and clamped in place. Once it is cooled it is taken out. This process can be quite costly in terms of energy use which can be a downside.
Structural Foam Moulding
This involves inserting gas nitrogen, carbon dioxide and other chemicals into the melted polymer.
This will reduce the density of the plastic to produce a much lighter product, ofter 10-30% lower than a solid plastic pallet.
This is a long-standing process and can produce precision moulds. A vacuum is used to suction and press thermoplastic sheets into single-faced moulds.
They can be made very quickly without complex designs and can even be custom made.
These pallets are hollow on the inside making them more sustainable and cheaper than solid pallets.
However, the downside to these is that rain will be able to get in so it is best to keep them indoors.
This is a cost-effective way of producing new pallets. This method means there will be less wasted material than in an injection method.
The plastic is heated in a mould and pressure is applied to create a pallet shape.
This is the most common process to make plastic pallets. The process starts with powdered or granular plastic which is placed in a mould. The mould is heated and rotated on its axis to distribute evenly around the mould.
The pallet is then cooled down and is released.
The pallet made in this method will resemble that of a wooden pallet. Once it has cooled down it is cut into plank-like shapes and fastened together with nailed just like a wooden pallet.
The benefits of this process are that it uses recycled materials to keep costs down.
At Alpha Pallets we stock a wide range of pallets in wood and plastic. If you have decided that plastic is the right choice for you then give us a call on 01604 230579 or fill out our online contact form to get a free quote.