4 Factors That Affect the Safe Working Load of Timber Packaging

Timber packaging is so diverse that an inexperienced person may not easily determine whether he or she can safely use a given timber packaging product for his or her application. This article discusses some of the factors that determine the safe working load of any packaging material that is made from timber. Use this information to evaluate the suitability of different timber packaging solutions for your needs.

Timber Species

The species of timber that was used to make a packaging product may determine how much weight that packaging material can take before it fails. For instance, packaging products that are made from softwoods may not have a safe working load that is as high as that of similar packaging products that were made from hardwoods. It is therefore important for you to know the specific species of timber from which a packaging material was made if you would like to calculate its safe working load.

Moisture Content

The safe working load of similar timber packaging products may vary due to a difference in the moisture content of the timber that was used to make those products. Moisture usually lowers the safe working load of a timber packaging product. This is because moisture reduces the strength of the bond between the grains of that timber. It is therefore advisable to select timber with low moisture content if you would like packaging products with high safe working loads.

The Handling Method

The way in which you handle your timber packaging materials also impacts their safe working loads. For example, timber packaging that will be moved with the help of stringers attached to overhead cranes will be exposed to different forces when compared to timber packaging that will be stacked in a warehouse. The safe working load for the same product can therefore vary depending on the specific method of handling to which that product will be subjected.

Package Design

The design of timber packaging can also raise or lower the safe working load of that packaging. For instance, packaging that has screws may have a higher safe working load than similar packaging that relies on nails to join different timber sections together. This is because screws embed themselves more firmly within the timber when compared to nails. Nails can therefore fail sooner than screws will.

As you can see, the safe working loads will depend on the specific application to which timber packaging is put. It is therefore advisable for you to ask the manufacturer to conduct safe working load tests that are designed to address the needs of your application. This information will help you to make other relevant decisions, such as how to optimise the timber sections used without sacrificing the ability of the packaging to perform well.