Metal shelving can be constructed from several different metals and each has their own properties.
Steel – Steel is one of the most common materials used for shelving and strikes a good balance between strength and durability. It also can be powder coated to different finishes to suit the environment it is situated in.
Chrome – Chrome wire shelving is an alternative to regular steel shelving and provides excellent ventilation, making it a great storage option for the food manufacturing industry. Chrome wire shelving normally comes with a nickel chrome finish, but this can be colours to match into an existing colour scheme.
Aluminium – Aluminium provides a good amount of durability while also being lightweight and moisture resistant, also making it a good fit for food manufacturing. If you are looking for shelving to hold heavy items such as for archiving, then aluminium might not be strong enough. Check the weight limits of aluminium shelving before ordering for peace of mind. This brings us to our next point.
Load bearing amounts
Shelves need to be able to hold the weight of what you intend to store without causing the metal shelf to bend or flex. Load bearings are usually measured per shelf or shelving bay and are usually shown in kilograms. The material of the shelves will also play a factor into the weight allowed by the shelf. Wood and chip board shelves will be able to carry more loads then that of metal shelving, so factor this into your decision. Shelving can also be ordered as long span or short span so will affect how much weight the shelf can hold as without extra support to the middle of the shelf, the original maximum load bearing weight will still apply. Shelves can hold anything from 100kg up to 500kg so make sure to check the product description.
Along with the shelves of a shelving unit. The accompanying supports play a big role in its overall structure and stability. Crossed struts are most commonly used for providing extra strength for shelving and can either be found on the sides of the shelving unit or along the back of the unit. Another method of support is for the entire back and sides of the unit to be clad in metal, this provides a much more stable structure but with the abundance of extra metal used for the cladding, this increases the cost of the unit.
Shelving can have several different fixing methods and will vary by the design of the shelving. Some shelving units use metal tabs that slot into one another while other metal shelving units use moulded metal pegs that slot into the frame. Chrome wire shelving tends to use plastic retaining cuffs that use the weight of the shelf to help secure the shelf in place. Library shelving uses hooked metal tabs to slot into a central frame. All the fixing methods will provide ample support for shelves and is more up to your personal taste as to which you find easier to initially fit.
Some shelving is better suited to certain applications then others. If you are looking for shelving to use in a library, then specific library shelving will be best suited as it has shelves that can be fixed to either side of a frame, allowing them to be used not only against a wall but also in the middle of the room. Specialist shelves can also be purchased for displaying books and making the shelving unit look more appealing to consumers. There are also specialist shelving units for the use of archiving which incorporate a method of easily moving the shelves via handles to maximise storage space. There are also shelving units for storage of heavier goods used in manufacturing that are identified by being classed as heavy-duty shelving and have higher load bearing limits on each shelf. For food manufacturing, as well as for storage in food and beverage areas such as the back of house areas of hotels, bars and kitchens, chrome wire shelving provides a great solution with extra ventilation and easy maintenance.
Shelving can also be ordered in different colours and finishes to suit a matching colour scheme, check if the shelving you are ordering has this option to customise the shelving to your liking.