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.
'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
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