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Title: Design of new modular metal pallets: Experimental validation and life cycle analysis
Authors: Zacchei, Enrico
Tadeu, António 
Almeida, João 
Esteves, Miguel Alberto Pereira 
Santos, Maria Inês
Silva, Samuel
Keywords: Steel pallet; Pallet design; Experimental tests; Numerical analyses; LCA
Issue Date: 2022
Project: POCI-01-0247-FEDER-033369 (QuickPALLET) 
Serial title, monograph or event: Materials and Design
Volume: 214
Abstract: Given the huge number of products transported worldwide every day, it would be advantageous to use lightweight pallets made of readily recyclable materials that are easy to clean, durable, and cheap to maintain. However, the design process for new metal pallets does not follow any specific code, which makes the transition to products with improved characteristics more challenging. This paper describes the development of a new modular steel pallet that combines blocks and deck boards to produce a range of configurable geometries for use in transportation (forklifting) and stationary (racking, stacking) conditions alike. Analytical and numerical analyses using the 3D finite element method (FEM) were carried out. Experimental tests were performed to evaluate ultimate strengths and deformations for different loadings. The experimental results used to validate the numerical models showed that these pallets performed well in terms of stiffness, deformation, and stresses. A comparative life cycle analysis (LCA) was also carried out to identify the main environmental impacts of the life cycle of pallets made from different materials. The results of a ‘‘cradle-to-gate with options” model suggest that the new proposed pallet performs better than its wood, plastic, and aluminium counterparts.
ISSN: 02641275
DOI: 10.1016/j.matdes.2022.110425
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:I&D ADAI - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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