Castor Wheels – Your Questions Answered

20 July 2021

Today's castor wheel manufacturers produce so many different products, it can be tricky to know which ones to buy for different applications. In this short guide, we answer some of the most commonly asked questions, to help buyers come to a better understanding of the market and make an informed choice.
Today's castor wheel manufacturers produce so many different products, it can be tricky to know which ones to buy for different applications. In this short guide, we answer some of the most commonly asked questions, to help buyers come to a better understanding of the market and make an informed choice. If you’d like to discuss your requirements in person with one of our team, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
 

What Are Castor Wheels?


Also known as castors or swivel wheels, castor wheels are free-rolling wheels which can be fixed to the bottom of objects so that they can be moved from place to place – e.g. crates, trolleys, gurneys etc.
 

What Are They Used For?


Industrial castor wheels can be attached to a diverse range of objects, including supermarket trollies, roll cages, pallets, garment rails, display stands, medical equipment, hospital beds, and sports equipment. Industries that rely on heavy duty castor wheels include the retail, automotive, medical, distribution, and manufacturing sectors.
 

What Types Of Castor Wheels Are Available?


Castor wheels can be divided into two main categories, depending on the fixings they use: bolt hole castors and plate fitting castors. While bolt hole castors are fastened to the object using a single bolt, expander fitting or stem (the bolt head is placed inside the swivel head with the thread protruding from the top of castor), plate fitting castors are attached using four bolts, which are screwed into an integrated steel plate, or bolted through holes in the base of the unit.
 

What Are Bolt Hole Castors?

 
  • Have swivel wheels so the object can be moved in every direction
  • Work best on flat surfaces
  • Can support as much as 400kg depending on the model
  • Boast compact designs so can be fitted to objects with small base areas
  • Can often be used with expanders so they can be attached to equipment with hollow metal legs
  • Are available with or without brakes
 

What Are Fixed Plate Castors?

 
Can have swivel or fixed wheels
Are stable enough to be used on uneven flooring
Can support gross weights of up to 1,200kg
Are hard-wearing and designed to provide a long service life
Are available with or without brakes, for variable levels of control
 

What Types Of Wheels Can I Use With My Castors?


Both bolt hole castors and fixed plate castors can be used with different types of wheels. The main two types are:

1) Soft tread wheels:

Are also known as resilient wheels
Can be made from polyurethane or elastic rubber
Are durable and tear-resistant
Are quiet when operating and kind to floors
Are suitable for power towing
Are available in the form of anti-static, pneumatic, and microcellular versions

2) Hard tread wheels:

Can be made from cast iron and steel, nylon, polypropylene, or phenolic
Are exceptionally strong and durable
Are ultra-mobile and simple to push
Can move heavier loads than soft tread wheels
 

What Materials Are Used To Make Castor Wheels?


A variety of polymer plastic, rubber compounds, and metals are used to make castor wheels. Iron, steel, polypropylene, nylon, polyamide, and rubber are the most common materials. The right choice depends on your weight considerations, acceptable noise level, and the surface the wheels are to be used on. Cast iron hard tread wheels can be noisier and cause more floor wear than nylon or soft tread wheels. Nylon, reinforced phenolic, and reinforced polyamide hard tread wheels, meanwhile, can be used in higher temperature environments than other wheel types.
 

Find Out More


Ultimately, the best castors for you will depend on what you want to use them for. At Rolltek, we have a huge selection for you to choose from, so you are sure to find the castor wheels you need. Please contact one of our knowledgeable sales team today to find out more, get in touch.
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