A caster wheel provides easy movement for objects to which a caster assembly is attached. Caster wheels can have full 360º movement or solely straight-line movement, depending on the type of caster frame used. Caster wheels have become a vital component of the furniture industry, bringing mobility to objects such as tables, chairs, bed frames, desks and more.
Caster wheels are utilized by a variety of industries, including construction, pharmaceutical, medical, manufacturing, food distribution and retail. These industries utilize caster wheels for applications including hospital beds, shopping carts, office chairs, material handling equipment and platform trucks. Caster wheels are extremely versatile and vary greatly in terms of their styles and purposes. Caster wheels are positioned between the legs of the caster frame, which can be mounted to objects by an axle or bolt. Since the function of the caster wheel is to roll on different flooring surfaces, it is situated as the lowest part of the caster assembly. Caster wheels can be made specifically for different industries or applications. Some of the more common wheel types include pneumatic caster wheels, which are filled with air and are designed for fragile, heavy cargo; dual wheel casters, which allow for high load capacity and durable service; and furniture wheel casters, which are specifically designed to add mobility to furniture. Caster wheels range from standard to heavy duty and can have hard or soft tires. Caster wheels generally vary in size, are able to accommodate different load capacities and are structured to be used on various floor types such as carpet, plastic or hardwood.
Caster wheels can be solid or spoked. They are constructed from a variety of materials, each material specific to the industry it serves. The most common caster wheel materials include thermoplastic, which is ideal for clean environments; rubber, which absorbs shock well and is noiseless; and molded polyurethane, which performs well in high-moisture applications as well as being shock-absorbent and more wear-resistant than rubber. Plastic and resin are cost-effective materials that are widely used in industries such as industrial warehouses and high temperature food processing plants. Nylon, which provides excellent resistance to chemicals and is ideal under wet conditions, is also a popular caster construction material.