Best deck material for heavy duty shelves

I will be setting up a bunch of heavy duty steel shelving units with full size 4' x 8' shelves. The decking can be any 4' x 8' material (full sheets). I'll be storing a max distributed load of 1200 lbs per shelf. What's the best material to use as decking. Local Home Depot and Lowes have available (5/8" to 3/4" thick) particle board (with or without melamite), MDF, various varieties of plywood, etc. Dry environment, there will be two or three supports between the beams. Particle board seems to be the standard, but is it the best choice?
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Just using the criteria you've given, particle board, MDF, plywood, OSB board, in 3/4" thickness will all work. None of those will be strong enough unless you provide the supports, as you mention you will. All will be strong enough with the supports. Your decision should be made with additional considerations. Plywood and OSB will be likely to give you splinters around the edge. MDF and particle board won't be good around water, oil, solvent, etc. Plywood will be best if your load might not be evenly distributed, because it is the most puncture resistant of the bunch. How about surface texture? Are you loading the shelves with something that must not be scratched or that might pick up an embossed texture from the shelf? If so, MDF is the smoothest surfaced of the bunch.
Hopefully that gives you some things to think about.
-- ******** Bill Pounds http://www.billpounds.com

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'round here, building specs call for 40lbs/sf load baring on 1st floors. Thats 1280 lbs on a 4x8 area. Basically, you're building a floor. Assuming that your supports are on the 4' ends, you have an 8' span. You will need 2x6 "floor joists" to support that span.
But you did not ask about the support, you asked about the decking. The thing that particle board hsa going for it is that it's flat and relatively smooth. It has good compressive stregth but just about no tensile strength. It makes a good subtrate for counters, and it's relatively cheap. Plywood is much stronger, but not pretty. The appropriate thickness of your surface material is going to be driven by the distance between "joists", the material used, and the acceptable "springyness" of the surface.
We need a little bit more info to give an appropriate reccomendation.
This *may* help
http://www.woodbin.com/calcs/sagulator.htm

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On Fri, 7 May 2004 13:20:14 -0500, "The Pistoleer"

any subflooring grade sheet goods will do fine.
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