- Pallet utilizing polyurethane resin
- Material specially designed for use in pultrusion
- Life Cycle Analysis shows advantages over wooden pallets
The company RM2 offers a new approach to pallet design, fabrication and management. The approach begins with polyurethane resin that is pultruded to form lightweight composite pallets that resolve many of the issues the material handling industry faces related to traditional wood or polymer block pallets.
Polyurethane specially designed for use in pultrusion
RM2 pultrudes Covestro’s Baydur PUL 2500 polyurethane resin to form its BlockPal composite pallet. Specially designed for use in pultrusion, this polyurethane material features properties such as high strength, toughness and impact resistance, and offers advantages over traditional pallet materials.
Pallets can be used used repeatedly in automated, closed-loop, multi-trip supply chains
“These properties are critical to RM2’s value proposition,” according to Chris Gibbs, head of information management, RM2. “Use of Covestro’s polyurethane composite results in pallets that can be used over and over again in automated, closed-loop, multi-trip supply chains with high numbers of movements.”
Gibbs explains that this enables RM2 to lease the pallets through long-term contracts with customers, a unique approach to material handling. This is further complemented by the company’s ERICA tracking system, which provides real-time intelligence to monitor and manage the movement of pallets. RM2’s ability to identify pallet locations helps minimizes pallet loss, which is central to RM2’s business model. For supply chains that reuse or could reuse pallets, the BLOCKPal™ pallets can translate into significant operational efficiencies, including less product damage, downtime and repairs; more pallets per truck for returns; and more trips per pallet.
Life Cycle Analysis shows advantages over wooden pallets
In fact, a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) commissioned by RM21 indicates only 899 BLOCKPal™ pallets are required for 100,000 one-way trips. By comparison, five times as many wooden pallets – 4,400 – would be required to make the same number of one-way trips. The LCA also indicates that due to its lighter weight, lower loss rate enabled by ERICA and longer life, the BLOCKPal pallet has a 21 percent lower global warming potential (GWP) impact and 50 percent lower total Primary Energy Demand than a typical wood block pallet. The pallets have been independently tested by the Virginia Tech Center for Packaging and Unit Load Design and, according to RM2, regularly exceed industry standards.
Significantly increased pallet lifespan
The Virginia Tech testing also demonstrated that the composite material utilized by BLOCKPal significantly increased pallet lifespan. This is an important differentiator, as extending pallet service life minimizes costly workflow interruptions and reduces the need to constantly replace traditional wood pallets.