The Importance of Heat Treatment For Wood Pallets

When choosing wood pallets, it’s essential to understand the benefits of heat-treating packing materials. Pallets of heat-treated wood must have ISPM-15, according to the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures. Thanks to this, insects and bugs that could lead to infestation throughout the exportation process are prevented from spreading.

Food and pharmaceutical companies have had recalls due to chemical residue traces after fumigation. Heat-treating shipping pallets has thus become crucial for customer safety. Currently, the ISPM-15, which mandates debarking, thermal treating, and branding wood pallets with a symbol of adherence, has been implemented in fourteen nations (as well as the European Union). The ISPM-15’s current criteria must be obeyed by all producers and buyers of wood pallets, boxes, and crates. Contact Spec Wood spf low grade for heat-treated pallets.

Why it is essential to heat treat wooden pallets

Trees are naturally subject to fungi, diseases, and insects through the soil, air, and water. Whether fully developed or just in their larval phases, these pests can be transported to other countries and harm native plant life when an affected tree is used to make pallets. Governments, environmentalists, and pallet producers devised an innovative approach for making pallets and began utilizing heat treatment to stop the spread of this and other pests.

The process

Wood heat treatment may be done with various techniques, some more successful than others. The end user application determines the strategy that is taken. Wood must be heated for at least thirty minutes until its core temperature hits 56 degrees Celsius to comply with ISPM-15. Wood is placed in a particular chamber to go through the heat treatment process. It is subjected to moisture and heat for several hours in specific processes. Others (kiln drying) use low, dry temperatures over a few days. Kilns with a 9 to 20 percent moisture content are used for processing and drying softwood timber.


  1. Environmentally Friendly: Heat treatment requires no use of hazardous substances, unlike toxic procedures that disinfect wood using methyl bromide. By doing this, the environment is protected, and broken pallets can be recycled and utilized again as wood chips.
  2. Improves Longevity and Quality: Heat-treating wood changes its chemical makeup. It becomes more immune to moisture and high humidity, even in the presence of microorganisms like fungi that could lead it to decompose. Heat further extends life by hardening and reducing its permeability and decay susceptibility. 

Make sure to speak to a professional today!