Wire mesh decking is to pallet racking what belts are to pants; their importance as an accessory is often ignored, and the important job they do taken for granted. Even though wire decking makes pallet racking easier to use and more versatile as a storage tool, many customers are still a little murky about what exactly wire mesh decking is, why it’s useful, and exactly which kind they need. Many of the people we speak with aren’t sure what to call it (Wire mesh? Metal grates? Steel decks? Things that sit on top?) and aren’t sure what we mean when we ask whether they need U channel or flare channel decks (“What’s the difference?”).
To help prevent you from joining in the confusion, we’re here to explain the differences between U-channel decks and flare channel decks. Who needs which kind, and why it’s important to have the right support channel to fit your pallet rack beams.
Support Channel: The Backbone of the Wire Decking
The support channel is the backbone of the wire decking and, as the name suggests, provides most of the load support. Support channels sit below the actual wire mesh platform, and the number of them on any one deck is usually determined by the width of the deck. Decks that are wider will have more support channels, and vice versa. If the decks are being used for a particularly heavy-duty application, a custom number of support channels can be requested by the customer to provide additional strength.
Wire decks with either three or four support channels are the most common, but decks with as few as two and as many as five channels are still widely available. The number of channels on a wire deck isn’t the only thing you’ll need to know about support channels before ordering, however. You’ll also want to know which type of channel you’re going to need for your warehouse operation.
U-Channel Mesh Decks vs. Flare Channel Mesh Decking
There are two primary types of support channels: U-channel and Flare-channel.
As you can guess, U-channels were given their name due to their resemblance to the letter U. If one were to look at a U-channel deck head on, the cross section would bear a strong resemblance to the letter from which it gets its name. The U-channel is a single, unchanging piece of steel.
Flare channels, unlike U-channels, “flare” out at the both ends. Allowing them to wrap over the top of pallet rack beams. While this gives flare channels a universal fit, it also decreases the overall weight capacity of the mesh decks.
Which Type of Wire Mesh Decking is Right for Your Warehouse?
The type of wire mesh panels that best suits your pallet racking. It is dependent upon the type of beams the decks will be used with.
The most common type of beam is the standard step beam, which has a 1 5/8” deep indent on the inside beam face, referred to as the beam “step”. When standard step beams are being used, U-channel decks are usually recommended, as the ends of the U-shaped support channel fit snugly on the beam step. Utilizing a U-channel deck allows the user to take advantage of the extra weight capacity provided by the U channel.
Another type of beam is the 7/8” step, or “bulk step” beam. These beams are similar to standard step beams. It features a step that’s only 7/8” deep instead of the standard 1 5/8”. Users with 7/8” step beams have a couple of options: if available. They may choose to use 7/8” step U-channel decks, which are simply U-channel decks made for 7/8” step beams. If 7/8” step decks are not available, they’ll want to use flare channel decks. Least common but still prevalent is the box beam. Box beams have no step, but instead have four flat sides. Since there’s no step for a U channel to sit on, box beams require the use of flare channel decks.
All in all, the wire decking information required for most customers is fairly simple. U-channel decks are capable with step beams. Flare channel decks “flare” over the top of beams and fit any type of beam. Custom decks are built more specific capacity and measurement requirements is needed. However, for most applications, the type of beam, beam dimensions and the amount of weight. These are the primary pieces of information that is needed at the time of quotation.
Have we left your mesh decking questions unanswered? Give Huameilong a call at +86-411-836-159-95 or email us at email@example.com to talk to a pallet rack specialist about your wire decking needs. We will be more than happy to help… for FREE!