4 Uses of Plastic Lumber in the Manufacturing Industry
Plastic lumber is becoming more ubiquitous in many industries, especially manufacturing. Our guide explains some of the most common uses for plastic lumber in the manufacturing industry, from dunnage to pipe supports and more.
Use #1: Dunnage/Pallets
Dunnage is one of the most common applications of plastic lumber in manufacturing. For anyone unfamiliar, dunnage is used to secure and protect packages and supplies in storage and transit—commonly referred to as pallets.
Plastic dunnage boards are commonplace in manufacturing operations and warehouses everywhere. Their durability and strength mean they can sufficiently protect cargo and won’t break down from heavy loads. Unlike standard wooden pallets that splinter and break often, plastic dunnage can withstand much more weight and abuse while maintaining structural integrity.
Use #2: Cribbing
Cribbing blocks are temporary structures used for various purposes in manufacturing operations. Manufacturers use cribbing for things like:
- Supporting heavy equipment and materials
- Holding materials at locations temporarily
- Transporting heavy objects
Cribbing blocks are like square beams that can be stacked atop one another to provide a temporary foundation for a heavy object. While wood and steel cribbing were common for decades, plastic cribbing blocks have become much more popular, as they will neither splinter or rot like wood nor rust or dent like metal.
Use #3: Equipment Mats
Equipment mats aren’t that different from cribbing or dunnage—they’re support structures for the heaviest and most difficult-to-move materials, except they’re much smaller and closer to the ground. Equipment mats create a flat, raised surface that can hold the heaviest of equipment and objects while making them easier to transport.
Equipment mats make things safer and more convenient for workers in manufacturing operations and warehouses. The easier heavy equipment and materials are to move with plastic lumber equipment mats, the less stress on workers.
Use #4: Pipe Supports
Our last everyday use for plastic lumber in the manufacturing industry is the simple but useful pipe support. When constructing or installing large and incredibly heavy pipes, temporary supports are required before they can be safely and securely positioned or fastened.
For years, wood was the most common material for these simple blocks, but plastic lumber’s durability and water resistance have made it a favored choice for the manufacturing industry. Plastic lumber supports can last longer than wood materials and are more dependable since they won’t splinter under significant weight.