Earthquake proof metal racking

Despite what it may seem, metal racks are not simple metal structures regarding their behaviour during seismic tremors since, unlike a building or industrial shed, more than 95% of the mass in a metal rack can correspond to the load it is storing and not to the structure of the rack itself and it can also be very high.

In the case of palletised warehouses, in addition to the risks faced by the metal rack structure, there is also the possibility of pallets moving and falling and damaging the racks themselves or falling onto machinery or workers.

Estantería metálicas en zonas de riesgo sísmicol
Global seismic hazard map
Source: Global Seismic Hazard Asesssment Progam

Research into metal racking in relation with seismic tremors is relatively recent. In 2004, there was no European standard for the design and manufacture of metal racking intended for high risk seismic areas, except for the FEM 10.2.08 guide, “Recommendations for the Design of Static Steel Pallet Racking in Seismic conditions” produced by the European Federation of Materials Handling (FEM).

The lack of studies into the dynamic behaviour of metal racking during seismic tremors led the European Commission to fund, using the Research Fund for Coal and Steel, the SEISRACKS research project (an acronym for “Storage Racks in Seismic Areas”) during a period of 30 months between 2004 and 2007. The SEISRACKS research findings enabled the FEM 10.2.08 guide to be revised and updated.

Various factors such as the kind of floor anchoring, the connecting elements asymmetry or the friction coefficient between the pallets and the stringers have to be taken into account during the design of metal racks intended for high risk seismic areas.

ATOX Storage Systems, with its international presence and consolidated experience in countries where there are high risk seismic areas, designs and manufactures metal racking which complies with the corresponding design and manufacturing recommendations and is also totally committed to maintaining the high quality of its products.

ATOX is a member of FEM through the Spanish Maintenance Association (FEM-AEM).