ANSI MH16.1-2023: Industrial Steel Storage Racks

Factory warehouse spare parts in 
steel industrial storage racks adhering to ANSI MH16.1-2023.

Industrial steel shelving units are a staple feature of any efficient storage facility. ANSI MH16.1-2023: Design, Testing, And Utilization Of Industrial Steel Storage Racks details minimum requirements for the structural design, testing, and utilization of industrial steel storage racks.

Steel Storage Racks

Steel racks are one of the most common forms of racks found in the market today since they are durable, sturdy, strong, convenient, and safe. Since these racks are constructed from steel and with durable coating (powder-coating can prevent rust and oxidation), they are ideal to safely and efficiently hold heavy duty items like building supplies (e.g., forklifts). A heavy-duty storage shelving unit with metal shelves sustains much heavier weights unlike standard units with plastic or wood shelves. Hence the advantage of steel shelving is that it optimizes the space of a warehouse, distribution center, retailer, and manufacturing facility since it is durable and sturdy. The extra weight capacity of steel storage racks allows for more efficient use of a facility’s storage space and to assure their safe use, ANSI MH16.1-2023 provides requirements and criteria.

What Is ANSI MH16.1-2023?

ANSI MH16.1-2023 specifies requirements for the structural design, testing, and utilization of industrial steel storage racks, including movable-shelf racks, rack-supported systems, and automated storage and retrieval systems (sometimes referred to as “stacker racks”) constructed of cold-formed and/or hot-rolled steel structural members. Such rack types also include push-back rack, pallet-flow rack, case-flow rack, pick modules, and rack-supported platforms. This American National Standard is also intended to be applied to the design of the storage rack portion of any rack structure that provides support to the exterior walls and roof.

It does not apply to other types of racks, such as drive-in or drive-through racks, cantilever racks (see ANSI MH16.3 for guidance on cantilever racks), portable racks, or to racks made of material other than steel.

Benefits of Steel Storage Racks

Here are the benefits of steel storage racks:

  1. Durability: can sustain an impact from heavy duty machinery and from bulky items such as automotive parts, machinery, and tools. Also, certain steel varieties (aluminum and galvanized steel) have corrosion-resistant qualities, ensuring they can be used in humid environments, like cold storage.
  2. Modularity: are modular by design, meaning they can be easily adjusted, reconfigured, and relocated. Modular shelving is also customizable, so you can replace the decking material, add storage bins, or change the height according to your needs.
  3. Safety: have greater load capacities than other storage options, like wood and plastic, and steel storage racks can withstand heavy loads. Higher weight capacities of industrial steel storage racks help improve warehouse safety, reducing the risk of overloading and collapse.
  4. Visibility: increase visibility in the warehouse (which also helps improve employee safety).
  5. Mobility: transport goods or create additional floor space as many shelving units are available in static and mobile configurations.

Design Specifications for Steel Racks

ANSI MH16.1-2023 states that industrial steel storage rack structures should be designed using the provisions for Allowable Strength Design (ASD) or the provisions for Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD). It is important that they are designed for stability, supporting the product load. The standard further maintains that all computations for safe loads, stresses, and deflections should be made in accordance with conventional methods of structural design. This is specified in ANSI/AISI S100 for cold-formed steel components and structural systems and ANSI/AISC 360 for hot-rolled steel components and structural systems.

ANSI MH16.1-2023: Design, Testing, And Utilization Of Industrial Steel Storage Racks is available on the ANSI Webstore.

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