Steel and Aluminium Pallets

Metal pallets are a specialised market and such pallets are not made by traditional timber pallet makers, the model shown for example, even with a timber deck, would be manufactured by a steel fabrication company. We keep records of specialists in both timber and metal packaging.

The market separates out into the following areas –

Steel 'Y' Euro

Steel industrial pallets are made with sheet steel, sometimes with steel strip or mild steel angle strengthening, either galvanised or painted finish.  Sheet steel pallets have compression and bending strength imparted by folding or ribbing. When compared with timber the steel pallet market is small but steel is still essential in specialised areas,  as an example of volumes we have on file 31 such manufacturers in Europe and the UK. The best known steel pallet is the "Y" Euro - a steel box-pallet, see below for the specification.

Stainless steel is a niche market for some designs, high cost means these are treated as captive pallets, again there are specialist manufacturers, in the UK we have listed a small number of manufacturers of stainless steel pallets.

The best known aluminium pallet is an air-freight pallet, exclusively used in modern aircraft which have been developed to precise designs and are made in several large sizes covered by EN and ISO standards such as ISO 4117: Air & air/land cargo pallets - Specification & testing. Aluminium air-freight pallets can only be manufactured by registered manufacturers similar to the scheme for the timber Europallet. Detailed 4117 sizes are given below. When timber pallets are used to ship air freight they are sub-multiples of the larger aluminium slave pallet.  Another aluminium pallet market is the meat processing industry where the attraction of being easily able to wash and sterilise anodised aluminium is attractive. We have on a master database listed specialist aluminium pallet manufacturers in the UK.

Hybrid steel/timber pallets such as the ‘point of sale’ German (DIN) Dusseldorfer comprise the best features of each material, with the 'Dusseldorfer' the slender ribbed pressed steel pallet feet  just allow entry of the narrow 570mm width of a standard pallet truck. The ribbed sheet steel feet give high compression strength and this is combined with the superior bending strength of an all timber deck. The US Air Force use a 463L pallet system which is a hybrid balsa wood core surrounded by aluminium for cargo aircraft.  All USAF cargo aircraft are now configured to accept these pallets. Others are the aluminium 463L US Master pallet and the AP-4248

The designs and sizes of some specialist steel and aluminium pallets are defined by EN and ISO standards and where there are areas where no EN or ISO standards exist certain European countries have National standards to which domestic and foreign makers can work such as the DIN 15146-4 Dusseldorfer

There is no separate listing of steel or aluminium pallet standards in our page PUBLISHED STANDARDS and items such as aluminium aircraft pallets and steel "Y" Euros are to be found under subject headings or you can use QUICK SEARCH.

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PDF15a Dusseldorfer half size pallet - general description (PDF 127kb)
PDF18c Aluminium or timber pallets for air freight. (PDF 58kb)
PDF18d The steel Europallet. (PDF 101kb)
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