How to Judge the Quality of Plastic Pallets?

Reviewed by Anurag Mishra (Sr. Technical Consultant)

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Testing instruments play a major role in the plastic industry. Manual analysis of quality of plastic is certainly next to impossible. From pallets to finals products, testing of plastics is done using a wide range of testing instruments. The quality of plastics is determined after analysing different properties like tensile strength, compressive strength, impact strength, color, melt flow index, etc. Each and every property of plastic define its applications. A lot of things depend on the properties of pallets that help in decision making at later stages. Especially in the production line, if the quality of pallets is estimated beforehand, quality control process can be implemented at very early stage.

What are some tests that can be performed on pallets?

Pallet color testing – To maintain the color consistency of the final product it becomes important to check the colors of the pallets beforehand. There are many instances when the color of the final product changed in comparison to the color of the pallet. When there is huge manufacturing line, checking every product becomes difficult. For plastic pallet color measurement, you can choose devices from the wide range. Spectrophotometer and colorimeter can be used for this purpose. Color tester captures the color of the sample and compare it with the other products keeping the sample color as a reference. You can define the difference in a color range that is to be accepted.

MFI testing – Melt flow index is a very important property of the plastic that defines its rigidity and flexibility. In this test, a granulated form of plastic is inserted into the hot barrel. How much molten plastic comes out from the die of defined length and circumference in 10 minutes is the Melt flow index of the sample. As such, there is no standard that high MFI means good quality of plastic. Measuring MFI helps in checking the suitability of plastic for the intended application.

Muffle furnace test – Muffle furnace burns the plastic pallets into ash. This ash is measured and compared with the actual weight of the sample. The difference in weight determines the percentage of ash in the sample. This ash content determines the important properties of the plastic sample. It is important to check the ash content for some applications but to a certain limit. A high percentage of ash would lead to product failure. To avoid such failure, muffle furnace test can be done.

All these tests need to be done on a sample of the raw material to avoid the substandard quality at a later stage. However, a device used for plastic pallet color measurement can be used at later stages to maintain the consistency of the whole manufacturing line.

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