Casters are not created equal since they are made of different components. You need to know many things to consider when choosing castor wheels that will work well based on your needs.
Things to Consider in Choosing a Caster
Having the considerations known in choosing casters and wheels will help you avoid making an expensive mistake. These considerations depend on where you will be using the caster. The application will determine the quality of the caster that you will need. Here are few important things to know in choosing the right caster and wheel:
● Wheel diameter – bigger wheels roll easily; thus, choose a wheel as big as possible yet not so big that the centre of gravity of the load will rise, resulting in tipping.
● Swivel radius – this is not a concern if you are looking for a fixed caster. Yet if you need a swivelling caster, you must identify the required clearance to attain a 360-degree swivel.
● Dynamic Load and Load Capacity – each caster is planned and built to support a particular optimum load while in use. Exceeding the maximum load can damage and deteriorate the caster, leading to failure. Know that it is vital that you are familiar with the optimum load that it will carry so you can evenly divide the weight to the casters. More casters are needed for more load capacity of a trolley or cart.
● Rollability – selecting the correct bearing is important in identifying how well the caster will roll while in use. To minimise the effort and maintain rolling, it will be a wise investment to opt for a good precision ball bearing.
● Brakes – there are several options for brakes, and each has its pros and cons. Top and tread locks offer a more positive locking wheel, while side and friction brakes are economical.
● Mounting considerations – know how you want your caster mounted. Choices may include press threads inserted into your cart or trolley hole, or top plates bolted into place and screw thread.
Wheels for Various Needs
Generally, it is best to use hard wheels on soft surfaces and soft wheels on hard surfaces to avoid damages and markings on the floor. Selecting the correct wheel type and material from the very start can save you from many later troubles, especially when casters need to be replaced.
Soft Materials Castor Wheels
● Poly II Rubber – this soft tread wheel is a light grey polypropylene core and has a dark grey thermoplastic rubber tread, which rolls quietly and easily.
● Soft Rubber – this material has lower load ability but functions well in resisting most oils and chemicals.
● Thermoplastic Rubber – this material is usually a better option than a soft rubber and still able to give non-marking protection.
● Glass Filled Nylon – these can handle heavy weights, extremely durable and are highly resistant.
Hard Caster Wheel Materials
● Polyolefin – is one of the most reasonable hard step solutions, which are also non-marking and resistant to usual wash-downs, cleaning solutions, grease, oil and chemicals. Though moulded in lightweight construction, it provides high impact strength.
● MoldOn Polyurethane – it is a polyurethane tread moulded permanently to an aluminium hub. It provides easy rolling with longer life and protects floors from marking. It also has a high load capacity.
● Cast Iron – one much known hard wheel component is cast iron since it is strong and durable. It does not easily chip and wear. The only concern is the water-resistance problem; thus, use it with caution.
Choosing the right caster and wheel for a particular application can be easy if there is an expert who you can ask. Yet, the tips listed above are enough for you to know the basics and help you choose the right caster for your cart or trolley.