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New Australian Standard for the design of steel storage racking systems

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Introduced in February this year, the new Australian Standard covering the design of steel storage racking systems, the AS4084-2012 incorporates several changes to operational requirements and end-user responsibilities.

Standards play a vital role in ensuring workplace safety on a day-to-day basis. The new Australian Standard brings Australia up-to-date with the latest international knowledge and experience in the design of storage systems and cold-formed steel structures.

End users of storage systems invariably view the equipment as a standard ‘product’ that either satisfies the standard or doesn’t. Although the components of steel racking systems may be ‘standard’, the issue of compliance with the standard depends on how these standard components are interconnected to make a system, the level of load it is required to hold, the presence or absence of seismic loads and other factors.

Compliance with AS4084-2012 is a rack-by-rack, application-dependant proposition, making the role of designers very important because they are responsible for creating systems that are fit for purpose, meet the user’s requirements and budget as well as provide acceptable safety margins to ensure safe, long-term operation.

However, the user is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the racking systems, and has to ensure that the systems are being properly used and maintained, and continue to meet the standard.

Key changes to design philosophy in AS4084-2012

A major change in the new standard is the switch from using a ‘permissible stress’ design philosophy to a ‘limit states’ design approach, which brings the standard in line with the relevant cross-referenced companion Australian standards, including AS/NZS4600: 2005 Cold Formed Steel Structures and AS4100-1998 Steel Structures.

Changes in the new standard also include vastly expanded and improved testing provisions and the inclusion of advanced methods of structural analysis and finite element analysis.   

Storage Ideas specialises in materials handling solutions as well as storage equipment including racks, pallet racking, shelving, conveyors, and office and warehouse storage systems.

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