Tread wheel are a critical component in a wide range of castors applications, from forklifts and office chairs to heavy machinery, logistics, and industrial transportation. Tread compound is essential to ensure the stability, performance, and safety of a wheel, and the construction material is key in determining its strength, manoeuvrability, and load capacity.
You will find below the main properties of some of the most common tread materials used in castor wheels.
Nylon, also known as polyamide, is a high-strength material used in heavy-duty treads. It offers excellent resistance to abrasion, shocks, and chemical agents, including oils, greases, and organic solvents. Additionally, it has good self-lubricating properties, facilitating manoeuvrability and start-up effort. Nylon wheels are rigid and robust, but they are not recommended for speeds above 4 km/h or in areas with concentrated acids or hydrogen peroxide.
Polypropylene is commonly used in medium to high-load treads. It provides good manoeuvrability and resistance to abrasion. These wheels are suitable for working temperatures up to 60ºC and for withstanding concentrated acids up to 50%.
Cast iron is an extremely durable material used in very severe working conditions where other types of wheels would quickly be damaged by sharp objects, chemicals, or excessive temperatures. In addition to its great strength, cast iron wheels also offer excellent manoeuvrability and ease of movement, making them ideal for a wide variety of industrial applications. Another advantage of cast iron is its ability to withstand extreme temperatures up to 300ºC, making it an ideal material for use in high-temperature environments. In summary, cast iron is an excellent choice for applications requiring strength and durability in adverse working conditions.
Polyurethane (Injected or Vulcanised)
Polyurethane is a highly versatile material widely used in tread bands for medium and high loads due to its several advantages. One of its main benefits would be its excellent resistance to abrasion. Additionally, its ability to absorb shocks and impacts makes it an ideal option for uneven, rough, or broken surfaces. Injected polyurethane is a popular choice due to its ability to provide a quiet ride, good manoeuvrability, and start-up. On the other hand, vulcanised polyurethane can take heavy loads whilst offering excellent elasticity.