Steel casters, usually made of stainless steel, are strong, resistant and easy to clean. Heavy duty casters are usually made of steel because they have the longest life and can handle severe applications better than any other material, including polypropylene, nylon and rubber.
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Application of Steel Casters
Stainless steel exhibits great corrosion, rust and chemical resistance and is therefore used as a construction material for industrial casters. Exposure to harsh chemicals, water and extreme temperatures is common in environments like factories and manufacturing warehouses, so casters used in these environments must be constructed from durable materials. Steel casters can also endure extreme wear and tear without maintenance or repairs.
Since stainless steel has a smooth and high luster finish, it is very easy to sterilize in conditions like medical and food processing applications, where sanitation is necessary. In environments like chemical factories, food processing facilities and pharmaceutical manufacturers, steel casters are often the first choice because they will not rust, even when exposed to steam or water on a regular basis. Hotels, restaurants, zoos, construction zones and aerospace or automotive factories also use steel casters on their furniture, luggage carts, animal cages, mobile workstations, shelving and equipment when it is used in harsh conditions.
Design of Steel Casters
Industrial casters are often made entirely of stainless steel. The brackets, housings, bolts and even wheels must be made of resistant, strong and lightweight metal. They offer the highest load capacity and can handle the transportation of thousands of pounds on a regular basis. They operate well on hard surfaces like wood, concrete, stone and tile, and they roll smoothly and quietly. The brackets and housings are often manufactured through metal stamping, where metal is heated and forced under great pressure to conform to a mold by a large ram. The wheels are made through a forging process, which involves extreme heat and deformation through extensive hammering and rolling.
They often go through secondary post-fabrication processes like buffering, which makes the steel wheel's surface shiny and crack-free; trimming, which removes any burrs; and heat treatments, which further improve the metal's heat resistance properties. Depending on their maximum load capacity, steel casters come in many different sizes. Their mounting plates and legs are reinforced, to help manage heavy loads.