How Are Plastic Pallets Made?

pile of plastic pallets

Choosing the right pallet for your needs sometimes requires scrutinising every detail, including how the pallet is made and from what material. This article will discuss how are plastic pallets made in various ways and point out the benefits of its raw material to its function.

What Is the Raw Material for Plastic Pallets?

Every item that you own was once nothing more than raw materials. These materials then had to undergo some form of processing to be made into the things we have today. Plastic pallets are no different. If you want to know how are plastic pallets made, you must start from the source.

Typically, plastic pallets are made from high density polyethylene, or HDPE, although polypropylene can also be used. HDPE has several qualities which makes it the ideal material for plastic pallets. It’s cheap, which makes it widely available and affordable for manufacturers and buyers. It can withstand high temperatures, allowing it to be used in different environments. HDPE is also both water and chemical-resistant, thus it can carry water or solvents without corroding or leaking through the container.

Due to these qualities, HDPE is the preferred material for numerous tools in several industries, such as the food and beverage industry, pharmaceuticals, construction, storage and shipping. 

How Do You Make a Plastic Pallet?

Once you’ve started to answer the question of how are plastic pallets made from this first step, we can progress to how raw HDPE is made into plastic pallets. There are numerous ways to make plastic pallets. A few of the most common methods are:

  1. Injection moulding: Whereby liquified plastic is poured into a mould that’s in the shape of a pallet. It’s then left to cool and solidify. 
  2. Thermoforming: Whereby plastic sheets are heated, then stretched over a mould of a pallet until it cools and holds the shape of the mould.
  3. Structural foam moulding: Gas is injected into the melted liquid plastic to reduce its density, before feeding it into a mould.
  4. Rotational moulding: The plastic, in the form of a grain or powder, is simultaneously heated and rotated inside a mould. The melted powder will stick to the walls of the mould and take its shape once it’s cooled.
  5. Profile extrusion: The plastic is melted down and poured into an extruder. The machine will churn out uniform pieces of solid plastic. Once these pieces have cooled and become fully solid, they can be cut into the desired dimensions and shaped into a pallet using an adhesive or bolts and screws, similar to wooden pallets.

Each method comes with advantages and disadvantages, which help determine which method is used by each manufacturer. For example, injection moulding can be more expensive, yet it’s ideal for fast mass production. Structural foam moulding requires less pressure from the mould because of the plastic’s reduced density, but the plastic is more porous and more susceptible to damage. Therefore if you have specific requirements, it’s important to reach out to the manufacturer to find out how are plastic pallets made with their company, and check it aligns with your needs.

Contact ITP Packaging

Knowing how are plastic pallets made can be crucial to choosing the right pallet for your needs. Contact ITP Packaging today to learn more about their stock of plastic pallets.

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