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Casters Simplified

In many of household and office equipment, an oft-unnoticed part of their construction is casters. Otherwise known as Castors, these little installations improve the functionality of regular household items. However, make no mistake: casters also have a huge variety of heavy-duty functions, with industrial castors functioning in different applications to facilitate industrial and production activities.

Casters or castors are wheels?single, double, or compound?attached to a fixture that allowed the object to which they are attached to move or slide across easier. There are two movements that are often eased by castors. The first is single-direction movement, where the castor moves the object backward and forward, or, right and left, respectively. The second is swivel movement, where the casters? wheels rotate to accommodate the direction to which the object it is attached to is being pushed to.

These two movements correspond directly to the two designs for casters: rigid and swivel. As implied by the latter, swivel casters have a bearing assembly above where the wheel is attached that allows the wheel to rotate to complete full 360-degrees. This rotation allows the swivel caster to facilitate full movement in all directions, especially when an object (like a chair or table) has 4 swivel castors attached to it.

Meanwhile, as the name suggests, rigid designs permit movement along a straight line only. Rigid castors position the wheel between two forks that set the motion that the wheel can take, making rigid castors excellent for objects used in assembly lines and other process-oriented activities that require chronological activity movement. For some pieces of industrial equipment, two pairs of both rigid and of swivel designs are attached, so that the user is able to pull it along a straight line, while having some of the flexibility of swivel designs. With the pair of swivel-design castors interacting with two rigid castors, the object being pushed along can also be made to pivot to the right or left as required before it resumes its bidirectional forward and backward movement.

The materials that make up castors are varied. Wheels, for instance, come in a variety of shapes and materials. Based on what motivated the attachment of casters to the object, wheels may be shaped like spheres, like discs, or even like cylinders.

Materials used to make the wheel are determined by the sort of weight and pressure that the castor will be subject to. For instance, there are such things that are known as pneumatic wheels, which are used particularly for equipment that are for use in the outdoors. As rubber tires, pneumatic wheels make use of air pressure for shock absorption, noiseless use, and facilitated movement across the most unstable of terrains. Cast-iron wheels, heat resistant fixtures, and silicone and nylon, are also available.

As was mentioned previously, what sort of casters are bought and how they are installed all depends on the purpose for which it was needed. Industrial castors are likelier to be made using pneumatic wheels, reinforced plastic wheels, or heat resistant metal assembly fixtures used in cold rooms or other extreme conditions.

Industrial castors that use four swivel assemblies are able to facilitate the movement of the heaviest of equipment in all directions. On the other hand, those that are for indoor use are free to use a wide range of materials aside from those used in industrial castors.