Aluminium trolleys: features and peculiarities

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Aluminium trolleys: features and peculiarities

Aluminium trolleys: features and peculiarities

Over the years, aluminium alloys, among the metals, those with the highest Strength to Weight Ratio (SWR), have been successful especially in the aeronautical, automotive, and obviously in logistics, Alvi’s area of specialization. In this article we will therefore delve into their use for manual transport and on lorries focusing on the transport by aluminium trolleys.


Properties and advantages of aluminium

Aluminium is usually considered a very light metal, with a reduced density of about 2.7 kg / dm ^ 3. This property is remarkable especially when compared to the density of other metals, which usually reach 8 kg / dm ^ 3 up to 20 kg / dm ^ 3 for steels and precious metals respectively.

In fact, considering the use of a metal for the construction of objects that have to perform a certain function, in addition to the target of decreasing weight for ergonomics and for energy consumption reduction, it is essential to ensure that a trolley has enough mechanical strength to support the static and dynamic loads to which it is subjected.

Therefore, in addition to design, the selection of thicknesses, the choice of the material and the relative yield strength are at stake for the correct sizing of the piece. Remember that the higher the yield strength of a given material, the lower the thickness required for equal stress and that the thickness used defines the weight of the finished object.

The property on which to focus, therefore, is given by the ratio between the yield strength and density, also called strength to weight ratio (SWR). The higher the SWR of a given material, the more it will be able to withstand stresses with a reduced weight.

A further method to describe the specific strength of an object is the breaking length, also known as self-supporting length. This is the maximum length of a vertical column of the material (assuming a fixed cross section), which could support its own weight if supported only at the top.

Other curious examples of materials, uses or feasibility studies in which SWR is essential are spider silk and space elevators. However, in this article we will deal exclusively with aluminium trolleys for transport.


Uses and importance of aluminium trolleys

The use in the logistics of aluminium transport trolleys is therefore linked to the ability to withstand considerable loads without undermining ergonomics in the case of manual transport and without an increase in energy consumption in the case of transport on wheels (by truck or forklift). The fields of application range from industrial logistics (textile sector, pharmaceuticals, electronic commerce, and laundries) to hospitals.

In particular, the ALVI catalogue is not limited to products for use in the ward near the patient but offers solutions for the transport of medical devices and consumable. These solutions prove to be useful between the hospital and all related services (laundry, sterilization, waste management, logistics centres, etc.) It is therefore easy to understand how the best sellers of the ALVI trolley catalogue are:

  • spring loaded bottom trolleys for internal use in laundries;
  • sack-holder trolleys;
  • closed trolleys for the collection of waste and dirty linen;
  • cupboard trolleys;
  • ward trolleys for clean linen.

Finally, aluminium cupboard-trucks are widely used in integration with automated systems, where although manual transport is reduced, the larger dimensions necessary to allow the passage of the AGV (automatic guided vehicle) encourage the choice of a lighter material.

See the complete list of ALVI lightweight aluminium trolleys, in the products section.


Technical features of aluminium trolleys

In addition to the strength and lightness linked to the high SWR, the use of aluminium alloys treated by anodic oxidation allows their use in all fields where high resistance to corrosion is required. In particular, the possibility of manual or automatic washing and disinfection is essential in healthcare sector.

Aluminium alloys have “naturally” a good resistance to atmospheric corrosion given by the creation of a thin layer of oxide, while anodising is an electrochemical process by which a very hard and compact protective oxide layer is created on the surface of the rough trolleys.

Finally, the design of ALVI products is optimized from the point of view of ergonomics and hygiene, key factors for success in the laundry and hospital sector.

Thanks to the experience gained over the years and the valuable input of our customers, special attention is paid to guarantee the accessibility of loads, an easy and safe handling of moving parts and the absence of niches or interstices to ensure the possibility to reach and disinfect any surface.


Why ALVI chooses aluminium trolleys


The first field of application of Alvi products in the 1970s was the textile industry, at that time very flourishing in the neighbouring Biella area.

Aluminium was the winning material in this sector for its low weight and resistance to corrosion (possibility of use in steaming systems and total absence of rust).

The design and high quality of the products, with smooth surfaces, are the key factors for the protection of transported fine yarns or fabrics.

ALVI today deals with the design and production of trolleys for the solution of any logistics and distribution problem, also serving the hotel industry, laundries and, of course, the entire hospital sector.

The production is carried out mainly in the factory located in the province of Vercelli, and then entrusted to a dense network of distributors present worldwide.

To receive more information on all ALVI aluminium trolleys, please write to or see the products section.