European and United States approaches for steel storage pallet rack design. Part 2: Practical applications

  • Contents

A two-part paper has been written to summarise the main results of a comparative study on the design provisions currently adopted in Europe (EU) and the United States (US) for steel storage pallet racks. In part 1 (Discussion and general comparisons), key features of the verification procedures for thin-walled cold-formed members as well as of the design alternatives permitted by the EU and US rack codes have been discussed, pointing out the most relevant similarities and differences. The present part 2 applies six design alternatives to medium-rise pallet racks unbraced in the longitudinal direction. In particular, the proposed research outcomes are based on the design of 216 racks differing for configurations, geometry of components and degree of rotational stiffness of beam-to-column joints and base-plate connections. Results are presented and compared directly to each other in term of safety index in order to allow for a concrete appraisal of the most relevant differences between the considered design methods, highlighting also the influence associated with the approaches to modelling the geometric imperfection effects. Finally, Appendix A presents a complete design example to be used as benchmark for researchers and designers, where all the discussed design options are applied.

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