Monday, June 30, 2014

What is a Caster and where are they used?

Look around casters are every where there is rarely a industry that doesn't used casters and wheels in some aspect. Hospitals, grocery stores, offices, industrial plants, delivery and warehouses, laboratories, industrial plants & your home, just to name a few. 

A caster (or castor) is an un-driven (non motorized), single, double, or compound wheel attached to a swivel or rigid caster fork. They are designed to be mounted to the bottom of a larger object, like a cart, dolly, display, furniture or equipment, so as to enable that object to be easily moved. They are available in various sizes, and are commonly made of steel, rubber, polyurethane, plastic, nylon, aluminum, or stainless steel.
Casters are found in numerous applications, including shopping carts, office chairs, and material handling equipment. High capacity, heavy duty casters are used in many industrial applications, such as platform trucks, carts, assemblies, and tow lines in plants. Generally, casters operate well on smooth and flat surfaces. There are options like pneumatic casters that are air filled that will work well on all surfaces and absorb bumps and cracks.

There three most common casters types are as followed...

rigid casters, swivel casters, xs wheels albion
Rigid Caster                             Swivel Caster 
Rigid Casters: A wheel mounted to a stationary fork with an axle and nut that allows the cart or equipment to roll but will restrict lateral movement.

Swivel Casters: Similar to the rigid in that it is a wheel mounted to a fork, but the swivel will have a pivot to allow the wheel to rotate freely to help with movement and steering.

Locking Caster: Locking casters are usually but not always swivel. These casters are equipped with a brake mechanism to prevent the wheel from rolling when activated.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Casters & Wheels, Choosing from the assortment of options.

There are a wide selection of caster and wheel options like brakes and bearings. We will hopefully give you some insight into choosing the correct options for your application.

First, after choosing your caster size and whether it is swivel or rigid and the wheel you would want to decide on a bearing. There are several choices and we have listed the most popular below.

Plain Bore: With this type there is actually no bearing, the axle rides directly on the hub of the wheel. This is often used in extremely heavy duty applications with very high heat or very light duty like displays and furniture. 
Stainless Steel Roller Bearing
Roller Bearing

Roller Bearing: This is the most popular choice, the axle rides on a greased roller supplying an easy and smoother ride, coupled with a axle with a grease zerk, it is easily maintained. Great for indoors and dry environments on dollies, carts and equipment.

Precision Ball Bearings: These bearings are sealed and need no maintenance or lubrication and are great indoors, outdoors, Perfect for most light to medium duty applications. They offer easier, quieter & smoother rolling characteristics than the roller bearing. Some examples; Medical equipment, lab carts, shopping carts, and dollies

Delrin Bearings: Delrin is a thermoplastic that is used a lot with stainless steel and in wet applications because they will not corrode. They roll better than plain bore but not as well as roller or precision bearings. They are also good in food industries, laboratories and bakeries for steam cleaning, there is a high temp delrin also available.

Tapered Bearings: Tapered are used in heavy duty industrial applications due to the nature of the tapered bearing it can handle much more weight. They are also recommended if you are using a tugger to pull your carts or if they are in a tow line, these bearings can handle higher speeds without over heating and failing. 

Next options are the brakes to turn your casters into locking casters. Mostly brakes are only used on the swivel caster not the rigid.
locking casters and wheels for carts and equipment
Top Lock

Top Lock Brake: This brake attaches to the caster and when the lever is pressed it applies pressure to the top of the wheel.This is our most popular brake for locking casters.

Cam Brake: This style has a larger pedal on the side that when depressed pinches the caster at the bearing and prevents it from moving. This style brake works well but only with roller bearing and plain bore wheels.

Tech Lock Brakes: These are a front pedal brake that also puts pressure on the wheel. This option is easier to operate that the rest but increases your swivel radius.

Total Lock: This brake is similar to the reck lock but also locks the swivel on the casters as well as the wheel. Perfect solution for that cart or table that can have no movement at all.

*All the metal bearings and brakes are also 
available in stainless steel for corrosion and rust prevention.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Product Review: Phenolic Caster Wheels for Heavy Duty Applications

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Phenolic Swivel Caster
Phenolic Caster Wheels are some of the most widely used and cost effective wheels on heavy duty industrial carts, dollies, equipment and racking. These resin based wheels are a best seller and a favorite of ours at Buy Casters. 
First off, what is a phenolic wheel? Phenolic is a resin mixed with macerated canvas which creates a high capacity, high impact resistant wheel that has many years of proven reliability in the industry. These wheels are nearly as strong as steel wheels and have similar weight capacities, but will not rust, corrode or cause sparking. While they do not offer great floor protection with heavy loads, they are better than steel or metal wheels in that regard.
These exceptional caster wheels come in and abundance of sizes and are offered with most every bearing available, and are in stock and ready to ship out today.

How can I tell a phenolic wheel from black plastic? If you look carefully at the wheel tread face there usually is a stripe down the center of the wheel that is not polished and you can see the grain of the resin there. Also if you tap it with a hammer it has bait more metallic sound than the plastic wheels due to its hardness.

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High Temp Phenolic Wheel
Where can I use Phenolic wheels? They can be used most any where, from warehouses to production plants, you will find phenolic wheels everywhere. Phenolic casters are not recommended for high moisture or wet applications like outdoor storage, wash downs and stem cleaning. The excessive moisture can cause cracking and possibly failure, glass filled nylon wheels are a great substitute for wet applications.

We also offer a high temperature phenolic wheel, this version offers higher heat tolerances while maintaining the high load capacities. These wheels like dry heat like ovens and bakeries, if you used in humid or wet applications we recommend high temp nylon. 

All in all we highly recommend the phenolic caster wheel whether on heavy duty industrial carts or medium duty stem and swivel casters for equipment or light or general duty casters for racks and dollies, the phenolic wheel will serve you well. 
Browse our selection of phenolic caster wheels online or call our knowledgeable sales staff toll free today 1-855-943-3511, we will be happy to help.