Why and How We Tested Our New Pro-Drive Premium Pallet Nails

Date of post: April 20, 2020   By: Mike Butler

The most fundamental component of a successful supply chain is the pallet fastener. The pallet nail is the veritable backbone of the pallet’s structure and performance; pallet failure can lead to irreparable damage to a customer’s product and increased per-trip costs, making it a a critical piece of the supply chain. That's why when we developed our new line of pallet fasteners, we made sure to put them through their paces and thoroughly test their performance.

Our new Pro-Drive Premium Pallet Nails have been rigorously tested by Virginia Tech's Center for Packaging and Unit Load Design and manufactured to the highest industry standards.

Why did we partner with Virginia Tech?

The Center for Packaging and Unit Load Design (CPULD) at Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University has more than 40 years of experience. Led by a team of experts from every facet of the supply chain, including packaging materials, pallets, distribution packaging, supply chain optimization, lean manufacturing and process improvement, the program evaluates pallet fasteners for both strength and durability. Their tests include evaluation of withdrawal and pull-through strength on multiple pallet fastener designs, as well as the Morgan Impact Bend Angle Nail Tester (MIBANT Test).

How did Pro-Drive Premium perform?

After testing, the Pro-Drive Premium Pallet Nails experienced 30% higher withdrawal values and 14% higher pull-through values compared with competitor brands. Take a look at some of the features that set our Pro-Drive Premium Pallet Nails apart:

  • Wider head maximizes shear and pull through performance by 14%
  • Crimson red coating reduces fastener withdrawal and maximizes shear and pull-through performance
  • Continuous shank, which provides a deeper screw and optimizes withdrawal performance
  • Blunt diamond point
  • Available in a variety of sizes and lightweight pallet tool options

Did Pro-Drive Premium Pallet Nails undergo other testing?

Yes, the Pro-Drive Premium Pallet Nails were also tested by the Fastener Shear Index (FSI) and Fastener Withdrawal Index (FWI) following the MH1-2016 guidelines. Additionally, Pro-Drive Premium Pallet Nails were tested for withdrawal resistance and pull through resistance, measuring the maximum load required.

How Pallet Nail Testing Works

To offer our customers a deeper understanding of pallet nail testing and its impact on performance, we spoke to Eduardo Molina, Instructor of Packing Systems and Design at Virginia Tech.

What is the MIBANT Test and how does it predict pallet nail performance?

The MIBANT Test, developed by Virginia Tech, analyzes the overall quality of the nail with a system of measurements that include head diameter, wire diameter and thread diameter to predict the fastener properties while in use. The fastener undergoes another form of testing, one that measures resistance to bending and the overall stiffness of the nail. How much the nail bends provides an estimate of the shear resistance of the nail while being used in a pallet.

In the study, the Pro-Drive Premium Pallet Nails underwent the MIBANT testing according to the guidelines of ASTM F680-2017.

How does withdrawal and pull-through affect pallet and pallet nail performance?

The withdrawal index gives a pallet user a performance value when lifting, moving or storing the pallet. During these times there will be forces that try to separate the different components, including the stringer and the deck boards. This separation of the components and the fastener, otherwise known as the joint, is one of the most common failures that occur in a pallet. Additionally, when a pallet nail protrudes from the surface of the pallet it not only diminishes pallet performance, but can also damage the product.

The pull-through index is similar to the withdrawal test, but in reverse. Rather than try to extract the nail by the nail head from the stringer, the nail is pulled from the tip of the nail through the deck boards. This measures pallet nail performance under force.

These tests enable users to build better pallet joints by understanding the rates at which a nail withdraws or pulls through deck boards, causing the pallet to separate. The higher the rate means the higher force that is required to extract that nail from the wood.

Why test pallet nails this way?

The National Wooden Pallet and Container Association uses the MIBANT angle test as part of their input when designing pallets. If you are a pallet designer, pallet manufacturer or pallet user, it is important to know the MIBANT angle for your fasteners to understand the overall performance of your pallet.

When you use pallets, at some point there is going to be impact to the pallet itself, whether upon approach from a forklift or when stacking or transporting. If that impact is strong enough to bend the nails, the pallet performance and durability will begin to decrease immediately.

What does this mean for pallet designers, manufacturers and users?

When deciding on a pallet fastener, you want one that will result in a better performing, stiffer pallet. Pallet fasteners that pass these rigorous testing standards offer stiffer joints and minimize the likelihood of a nail protruding from the pallet or coming loose. Simply improving the pallet fastener by as little as 5% or 6% can translate into over 50% improvement in performance in the pallet itself. This level of performance testing provides customers with a deeper understanding on how well the pallet will function overall, enabling them to develop better unit loads while saving time and money.

We hope we’ve answered your questions on the testing our Pro-Drive Premium Pallet Nails have undergone. The only question that remains is, do your pallet fasteners stack up to Pro-Drive Premium?

Contact your LINC Systems representative to learn more.