Numerical equilibrium analysis of a stack of steel post pallets
A method for analyzing the equilibrium of a stack of loaded post pallets is presented. The finite element method was used to investigate the behavior of the bottom pallet in the stack during the addition of successive pallets. The stack was regarded as a self-stable multi-storey structure without bracings which is subjected to the weight of loaded pallets, horizontal forces resulting from sway and bow imperfections, and the impact of a forklift truck. The definite quadratic form of the tangent stiffness matrix after every increment in load was determined by nonlinear analysis to indicate the loss of post stability. An analysis of the stacking process of the evaluated pallets did not reveal a buckling trend in the posts of the bottommost pallet and demonstrated that the loss of equilibrium can lead to the collapse of the entire stack when a critical number of pallets is reached.
Keywords:pallet, stack, equilibrium, stability, imperfection, warehouse
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