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Re: storage racks with partially restrained moment connections - wind frame analysis in high seismic zones

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I don't have photos that I could find after so many years, but the glass was
primarily automotive windshields and large laminated plate stored in
pallets.  You are correct in that the sealed pallets did not fly off the
shelves.  The problem was that the pallets were routinely opened and slowly
depleted as stock shipments were required.  This was an end-distribution
facility that supplied the typical glass shops you see around town. From
what I could tell, the windshields were simply tilted back in pallets with
the fronts removed and re-fastened.  When the earthquake came along, the
glass was put in forward motion, then would impact the improperly fastened
pallet fronts either breaking through or in a few rare instances (the taller
and not so full) tipping the pallets outward far enough that the rack left
the CM behind on the return trip and the pallet crashed down.  I don't
recall any of the factory sealed pallets falling, but unfortunately I recall
about 85% of the stock had been accessed and did not fare well.  Needless to
say, anyone in the aisles would have been cleaved into smaller pieces.  By
blind luck, the few people who were inside the facility ran like hell when
the shaking started and the only injuries were from throwing themselves off
the loading docks.

>From the limited experience I have with racking systems, I agree with all of
the points you have been making.  Properly designed systems work, it is the
human element and the way the goods are stored that creates the greatest
risk.  The extra few minutes required to operate even simple restraint
systems is resisted by the end user.

Paul Feather
----- Original Message -----
From: "Peter Higgins" <76573.2107(--nospam--at)>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Sent: Monday, March 19, 2001 3:48 PM
Subject: Re: storage racks with partially restrained moment connections -
wind frame analysis in high seismic zones

Agreed. However, I have yet to see a full, bound, pallet fall out of a
rack, and I've been looking at hundreds of facilities for years after
earthquakes. I have heard stories, but have yet to actually see it happen.

Small, loose stuff is another matter. Glass I know nothing about, but the
story is interesting. Do you have any photos or documentation regarding the
nature of the materials? If it was glass ware, don't bother, I've tons of
pictures of china shops. It is indeed a mess.


Peter Higgins