It is the weight carrying capacity that is a dominant characteristic of heavy duty shelving. A compact shelf made of thick gauge steel would accommodate 300 kilos of materials. And of course the heavy looking cantilever rack can accommodate materials weighing tons, such as steel beams.
They might involve multiple floors which are reached using a ladder or fork lift or moving platforms. The typical heavy duty shelves use thicker gauge steel, rigid construction and full width support. Even the heaviest of loads can be carried by these systems safely and in a manner that is convenient for loading and unloading.
The Shelving often comes in Assembly Units
The shelves, the shelf supports and the uprights all come separately and are assembled on site to create the shelving system. Considering the modern preference for aesthetics, the systems are designed not to expose unsightly edges and holes.
Design can add to Load Carrying Capacity without Adding Material
Careful application of load bearing technology can make it possible to design heavy duty shelving systems that do not look particularly heavy and yet carry heavy loads safely. For example, one manufacturer uses a high strength shoulder design and shoulder rivets for shelf supports. Reinforcing supports at key locations increase the safety and load carrying capacity of the shelves.
The number of reinforcing shelf supports can add significantly to the load carrying capacity. For example, while a particular size shelf with zero reinforcement support can carry around 300 kilos the capacity for the same shelf goes up to 500 kilos with 2 correctly placed reinforcements.
Heavy duty shelves for reasonably heavy equipment like generators, truck batteries, fire extinguishers etc can be made with slotted angle uprights and steel plate shelves. The humble filing cabinet that stores office folders can be considered a reasonably heavy duty shelving system. And the shelves in libraries constitute another example, carrying as they do rows and rows of heavy bound volumes.
Several manufacturers offer riveted shelves, replacing bolts and nuts with rivets. This will add to the strength and will not come loose over time like bolts and nuts. Loose bolts and nuts can make the shelves unstable, a problem that rivets solve.
In all these cases, form and function are improved by applying design principles rather than by using super heavy materials.
Heavy duty shelving systems solve the problems associated with storing heavy items, and these days the solution takes the form of applying design principles and technology in the correct manner to enhance safety and load carrying capacity.