Metal Core Trays vs.
Discoverer Plastic Core Trays

Metal Core Trays:
An Introduction

Metal galvanized steel and aluminum core trays date back to the 1800’s, if not earlier. It’s been around, and chances are you have used it in the field, especially since there are times it is the only viable option when you need core boxes in customized sizes.

Metal core tray


  • Sturdily built
  • Can easily be manufactured in custom lengths and sizes


  • Very susceptible to either freezing or burning your hands, depending on the prevailing climate
  • Sulfide ores react to the metal which can cause corrosion, contamination and core loss
  • Heavy to lift
  • Unstable stacking functionality
  • Can have sharp edges leading to lost-time injuries


There is a valid reason that we see the use of metal boxes drop dramatically. While they’ve served us well historically, our research shows their days are numbered.

Why try plastic core trays?

Plastic core trays are not new technology, but aside from having a proven track record of durability, it has evolved into more than a basic core sample container. More and more innovations are built into the plastic core tray that are eliminating entire sections of the downstream processes that in turn lead to savings in money and man-hours.


  • It’s been proven in high (140°F/60°C) and low (-58°F/-50°C) temperatures around the world
  • Designed to be stacked in pallets and left outside for the entire life of the mine
  • The expense of building a storage shed or having racking is completely removed
  • Chemically inert product, not susceptible to sulfide corrosion
  • Lightweight to carry
  • High-impact resistant and built to last
  • Not susceptible to termites or rotting
  • No need to DIY assemble the trays on site


  • As they are not flat-pack, they can be a little bulkier, leading to higher transport costs
  • You are limited to the sizes the manufacturer offers, as the injection mold tooling is expensive to set up


With the Pros vastly outweighing the Cons, it’s no surprise that the
plastic core trays is steadily becoming the most predominant form
of storing and transporting core across the globe.

Discoverer® Series 4 Recycled Plastic Core Tray
But not all plastic core trays are created equal.

Discover the Discoverer difference.

Discoverer® S4 Recycled Plastic Core Tray

Discoverer® S4 Tru Identiti™

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The ultimate core tray designed for image capture and cloud sharing. Considered the world’s smartest core tray.

Discoverer® S2 Recycled Plastic Core Tray

Discoverer® S2

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The industry favorite and our leading export product. Truly stacks and nests, leading to significant savings in freight.

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