Chair casters, a specific type of furniture caster, are wheel assemblies that are attached to the bottoms of chair legs to improve mobility and shock absorption. Their main purpose is to allow chairs to move across the floor with minimal friction and scratching. Chair casters are typically used in homes, offices, schools, hospitals, banquet halls, restaurants, retail stores, truck garages and industrial manufacturing plants and warehouses.
A caster is a utility that, when affixed to an object, improves that object’s mobility. Many chairs are affixed with casters in order to make them easier to move around. Chair casters are primarily constructed of wheels, caster frames and legs. The wheels are positioned between the legs of the caster frame, which can be mounted to objects by an axle or bolt. There are two main types of caster frames: swivel frames, which allow full 360º movement; and rigid frames, which only allow back and forth movement. When the wheel is installed into the caster frame, two legs are attached to either side of the wheel, and the wheel is held in place between these two legs by an axle or bolt. The manufacturing industry utilizes chair wheels since chairs are frequently being moved around the facility. Examples of industry-specific chair casters include medical and hospital chair casters, which are medium-duty with soft rubber of polyamide wheels; polypro injection molded housings for smooth, quiet operation; and office and household chairs, which are made from lower-duty thermoplastic materials.
The majority of chair casters are made from materials that are specific to the surface on which they will be rolling and the load they are carrying. The most common materials for chair casters are 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. Common surfaces that chair casters come into contact with are carpet, plastic and hardwood. An alternative to chair casters are chair glides
, which are wheel-less chair leg attachments that allow chairs to sit or be moved across floors with minimal friction and scratching. Office and household chairs that remain stationary and do not need casters usually use chairs glides instead of casters. Because the demand for mobile chairs is so high throughout industry and commerce, the demand for chair casters is also very high, ensuring the long-term vitality of the market for chair casters.