When considering which type of castor wheels you need, there are different factors to consider, including size, fixed/swivel action, and tyre material. Rubber and polyurethane castor wheels are the most common choices, but what is the difference between them?
Rubber castor wheels
Rubber castors fall into three broad groups: natural rubber, synthetic rubber, and elastic rubber, which is a combination of natural and synthetic. Rubber compounds can be manufactured to different levels of hardness to match the intended application.
Pros and cons:
|Pros of rubber castors
|Cons of rubber castors
Will not cause damage and wear to soft floors
Non-slip in wet conditions
Quieter than polyurethane castors
|Less durable than polyurethane
Wears more quickly than polyurethane
Black rubber can leave marks on flooring
Polyurethane (PU) castors are manufactured from a unique material that combines the elasticity of rubber wheels with the strength and durability of metal wheels. Consequently, polyurethane is a popular choice for castors in a variety of industrial and commercial settings.
Pros and cons
|Pros of PU castors
|Cons of PU castors
High load-bearing capacity
|May become brittle in certain circumstances
May cause wears to soft flooring surfaces
Choosing the right castor wheel for your floor surface
While rubber and polyurethane are both suited to many floor surfaces, it’s important to match your chosen castor to your exact requirements. For example, if protecting the floor or keeping noise levels low are your priorities, rubber castor wheels would be a better choice.
The type of flooring and the presence of debris will affect the amount of force needed to move trolleys.
For uneven floors, select castors with a soft, high thickness tread and a wide diameter.
For smooth floors or heavy loads, choose castor wheels with a rigid tread, or heavy-duty castors.