Performance-based pallet testing facility opens at Underwriters Laboratories Inc.

Oct. 1, 2003
Northbrook, Ill., Oct. 16, 2003 Underwriters Laboratories Inc., (UL) is opening a pallet testing facility at its Northbrook, Ill., location in November

Northbrook, Ill., Oct. 16, 2003– Underwriters Laboratories Inc., (UL) is opening a pallet testing facility at its Northbrook, Ill., location in November 2003 to evaluate the physical performance of plastic, wood and metal pallets. A ribbon-cutting ceremony, open house and tour of the new facility are scheduled for Monday, Nov. 17, 2003.

The lab will occupy 4,500 square feet of testing space and will house state-of-the-art testing equipment designed to measure pallet deflections under various loading conditions at specific temperatures, investigate the coefficient of friction of different surface interactions, and evaluate vibration characteristics and durability of the pallets under various dynamic conditions.

“UL recognizes the benefits of plastic pallets, but we are also aware of the potential hazards involved. The comment we hear the most from the field are that companies want a closer inspection of pallet performance so that they can evaluate the life span of the pallet and ultimately make smarter purchases,” says Daniel Steppan, senior project engineer, UL’s Fire Protection division. “We have developed a series of tests that will assist in evaluating the physical performance and endurance characteristics of plastic pallets under a wide range of conditions. The pallet industry, including pallet manufacturers, leasees, product manufacturers, retailers and end-users, will be able to rely on UL’s test data for performance, just as they have for flammability.”

The performance of UL Classified pallets will be defined by a single standard. An end-user who becomes familiar with this standard will have a better understanding of the performance limitations of the pallets they are seeking to procure and in turn make a more informed decision at time of purchase and application. Variables such as pallet rackability, load rating, environmental temperature limitations and endurance ratings will be accessible in the UL Classification database, available at

In addition, this new test facility will be able to provide testing of pallets to proprietary standards and requirements.

UL is also developing a program to assess the performance of pallets in the field in order to provide end-users reliable data of performance issues.

For more information on pallet testing, contact Daniel Steppan at 847-664-3574 or e-mail [email protected]

Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) is an independent, not-for-profit product safety certification organization that has been testing products and writing Standards for Safety for more than 100 years. UL tests more than 18,000 types of products annually, and more than 17 billion UL Marks appear on products each year. Worldwide, UL's family of companies and its network of service providers include 55 laboratories, and testing and certification facilities.