The Different Types of Soft Wheel Threads
T Tracey Williams

The Different Types of Soft Wheel Threads

Jan 5, 2023

The right choice of wheel thread can improve efficiency, boost productivity, and reduce maintenance costs. In this article, we examine how different types of soft wheel threads can improve performance in different applications.

1. Solid rubber

With their smooth, cushioned, shock absorbing ride, solid rubber treads have a range of applications. Ideal for bumpy surfaces or settings where noise needs to be kept to a minimum, solid rubber also boasts an impressive -20oC to 60oC temperature range that makes this medium load baring design as helpful in a walk-in freezer as in a warehouse.

2. PVC

Lightweight, cost-effective, and reliable, Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) has several useful properties that make an ideal material for castors and wheels. Wheel threads made from PVC are waterproof, sanitary, gentle on sensitive surfaces, and can tolerate temperatures between -10oC and 60oC. As such, PVC is a popular choice for service trolleys in hospitals, wheeled cabinets, and lightweight mobile equipment.

3. Thermoplastic rubber

Thermoplastics are a type of copolymer that combines heat-resistant (thermoplastic) and vibration-absorbing (elastomeric) properties. The result is a wheel thread with exceptional levels of durability, and which performs well in temperatures from -20oC to 60oC. Thermoplastic wheel threads are ideal for equipment that needs to stand the test of heavy and intensive use, and is therefore a firm favourite for mobile trolleys and cabinets in the medical and pharmaceutical industries.

4. Elastic rubber

Also known as ‘crosslinked rubber’, elastic rubber is a remarkable shock-absorber. Unlike many materials, it can be stretched, twisted, and squashed without sustaining any structural damage. Wheel threads made from elastic rubber provide a smooth, softly cushioned ride even for very high loads, and are known for their wear resistance. Elastic rubber wheel threads can be used at temperatures between -20oC and 60o, and – as a natural material - boast a healthy sustainability profile.

5. Polyurethane

Polyurethane is a carefully structured polymer designed for resistance to abrasions, tears, and chemicals. Wheel threads made from polyurethane provide a soft ride and are ideal for environments where the wheels may come into contact with cleaning products, industrial chemicals, and harsh fluids. Polyurethane also has one of the most outstanding temperature ranges, operating perfectly from -30oC to 90oC.

6. Anti-static

Static electricity, generated by friction as wheels move across the surface, is one of the biggest causes of industrial fires and can damage some sensitive electronic components. High load-capacity anti-static wheel threads provide a soft ride with abrasion, tear, and chemical resistance, and are put through their paces with extensive electrical testing. Anti-static wheel threads can be used at temperatures between -20oC and 70oC, making them suitable for most factory applications.

7. Pneumatic

Bumpy and uneven surfaces can cause vibration, excess noise, and instability – potentially damaging products and increasing the risk of a trolley or roll cage tipping over. With their advanced shock absorption, pneumatic wheel threads can create a smooth ride on even the roughest surfaces, including gravel and tarmac. By absorbing vibrations, pneumatic wheel threads can extend the life of mobile equipment operating between -20oC and 60oC, making them an excellent investment for garden centres, supermarkets, and warehouses.

8. Microcellular

If the floor surface is rough, sharp, or likely to be scattered with hazards such as nails or scraps of metal, microcellular wheels can be a wise choice for your mobile equipment. The wheels boast almost identical properties to pneumatic threads, but due to their unique microscopic bubble infill are resistant to punctures. Microcellular wheel technology is particularly useful for construction and engineering applications and is ideal for cushioning heavy loads.

Find out more

At Rolltek, we’ve got a soft wheel thread for every requirement and environment. To help find your ideal solution, please get in touch.

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