Stainless Steel: 304 or 316?

Stainless steel resists rust and corrosion while preventing scaling, and that makes it the ideal solution for casters being used in wet, outdoor, clean and high-temperature environments. Once you’ve decided on stainless steel, you then have the choice of 304 or 316-grade stainless. In this issue of CasterU, we give the information you need to make the right decision.

6809 Series: S6859-A45H-MPU-RB [304 Stainless Steel]

Stainless steel is actually a mixture of steel and a minimum of 10.5% chromium. The chromium keeps the steel from oxidizing, rusting, corroding, and eventually staining, so it really is stain-less.

304-grade Stainless Steel
The most common grade of stainless steel is SAE 304. “SAE” is the Society of Automotive Engineers, the organization that standardizes and designates various grades. 304 Stainless steel contains 18% chromium and 8% nickel. When used in casters, it is:

  • Work-hardened – steel that becomes stronger and harder through a bending and forming process
  • Electro-polished – Untreated stainless steel has a very dull look. Because super-clean items are expected to be brilliantly reflective, we electro-polish our stainless steel casters.
  • De-burred – After being stamped, stainless steel components often have razor-sharp edges that can be a hazard. We de-burr the material to ensure no one gets hurt.
  • De-magnetized – Stainless steel is often used in laboratories and environments containing sensitive equipment. De-magnetizing minimizes the impact on the surroundings.

Many Algood casters and wheels are available in 304 stainless steel and come with a full range of stainless steel components.

MAXX9 Series: S6559-A38H-NYNW-RB [304 Stainless Steel]

316-Grade Stainless Steel
316 Stainless is made up of 16% chromium, 10% nickel and 2% molybdenum. There’s a little more nickel and a little less chromium than in 304. However, the big difference is the molybdenum, a chemical element used for the strengthening and hardening of steel. The higher molybdenum content greatly increases the corrosion resistance of 316, providing superior resistance to chlorides and acids.

That makes 316 an ideal upgrade for technology production facilities that require an environment that is free of any contaminants. It’s also ideal for settings with strict hygiene and cleanliness standards, like pharmaceutical, hospitals and healthcare locations. Since sterilization processes in these industries combine both strong disinfectants with high temperatures to prevent contamination, a resistant alloy like 316 is ideal. 

Our Maxx9 and 7009 series casters can be produced using 316-grade stainless steel

Other applications for both 304 and 316 stainless steel include:

  • Chemical processing and storage equipment.
  • Refinery equipment
  • Medical devices
  • Marine environments, especially those with chlorides present
  • Medical equipment and implants
  • Foodservice, processing, and preparation environments
  • Coastal environments
  • Areas with high salt levels (such as roadways)
  • Brewing facilities

To find out more about which grade of stainless steel is right for your project, contact your local Algood representative or a member of our customer service team.

Caster University: To Determine Capacity Start with Weight

To Determine Capacity Start with Weight

Weight is one of the things that we don’t like to talk about, but when it comes to determining the capacity of a caster, it’s a must-have discussion. At first, calculating the required capacity of a caster would seem simple. Start with the weight of the equipment to which the casters are being fastened. Divide by four, and Bob’s your uncle.

But not so fast. There are lots of other considerations.

Load Weight. It’s not just the weight of the equipment that you have to think about. You must also include the weight of whatever is going in or on the equipment. And this isn’t a time to be modest about weight. Be sure to calculate the absolute maximum load that the equipment will carry.

Floor Surface. An uneven surface means that all four casters will not touch the floor at the same time, which means that a smaller number of casters will bear the load. Your capacity calculation must be based on the minimum number of casters that will be in contact with the floor at any time.

Wheel Selection. To reduce noise, avoid marking or provide a smoother ride, customers often choose soft tread wheels, like rubber and polyurethane. But here’s the thing. Those wheels generate more surface friction making a piece of equipment harder to move. The solution is to select casters with higher capacity.

Movement. A caster’s specified capacity usually assumes movement at a walking speed – up to 3 miles or 4.8 kilometres per hour. However, if your equipment is moving faster than that, let’s say as part of a towline, the caster’s capacity will be reduced. That’s because increased speed leads to increased wheel temperature and greater friction. Also, many starts and stops also increase surface friction and require casters with greater capacity.

Caster Components. Many components impact capacity. The choice of bearings, for example, can offset capacity requirements by increasing a caster’s rollability. In addition, using a stem will increase the capacity requirement by 25%. Be sure to discuss the effect of components when specifying a caster.

Practical Wisdom – Divide by Three. After almost 60 years in the caster business, we have lots of practical wisdom – particularly regarding capacity. So, here’s a gem that you should keep in mind. When calculating capacity, divide the load weight by three, not four. That creates a 33% safety allowance to account for uneven surfaces or unforeseen stops and starts. It may cost a little more but it will keep your employees safe, protect your investment in what is being transported, reduce maintenance costs, spare you a ton of aggravation and may even save a bundle of money in the long run.

For much more information about capacity, contact your local Algood representative or a member of our customer service team. Just remember that when you’re talking about capacity, it’s not a time to be shy about weight.


For help choosing the caster that best meets your needs, contact your Algood Sales Rep or reach out to our customer service team by email service@algood.com or by phone at +1 (800) 254-6633.

Caster University: Caster Combonations

Caster Combinations

Order something at your favourite fast food joint and it’s likely that the person behind the counter will ask if you’d like to “combo” that. That usually means that you can add things like soft drinks and fries and pay less than you would if you ordered everything individually. Well, it turns out that combos are just as important to casters. You can use a number of combinations of rigid and swivel casters to meet specific needs and applications. In this edition of CasterU we present some of the most common caster combinations along with the pros and cons of each.


Caster Combinations_Two-Rigid-Two-Swivel-B

Two Rigid, Two Swivel is generally the most popular pattern used. This combination is the most practical and the most economic design, primarily used for straight and/or long distances and can be used for most loads, depending on the total weight capacity.

The Three Swivel pattern is found on barrel dollies and small portable machines, which generally require excellent manoeuvrability. Installing a positional swivel lock on one of the casters provides additional control when needed. Because the load is distributed over only three casters, choosing casters with the right capacity is critical to performance.

Caster Combinations_Three-Swivel-B
Caster Combinations_Standard-Tilt-Mount-B

The Standard Tilt Mount consists of four swivel & two rigid casters and is designed for heavy load and long platform trucks. The two rigid casters are higher than the four swivel casters. The tilt is most effective when the rigid casters are 1/8″ higher than the overall height of the swivel casters. This platform design is often used for towing applications and offers easy manoeuvrability with uneven loads and higher capacities.

Diamond Mounting uses two swivel and two rigid casters. However the rigid casters are set at the sides and the two swivel casters are set at the ends. This configuration allows the platform to pivot in the middle and turn on tight corners. It is highly manoeuvrable but less stable and therefore not recommended for ramps. The capacity is strictly dependent upon the capacity of the casters required.

Caster Combinations_Diamond-Mount-B

Diamond Tilt Mounting is identical except the two rigid casters are 1/8″ higher than the overall height of the swivel casters. Again capacity is determined by the capacity of the casters. The tilt mount accommodates uneven loads and higher capacities.

Caster Combinations_Diamond-Tilt-Mount-B
Caster Combinations_Four-Swivel-B

Four Swivel casters respond instantly to directional change, making limited spaces easy to manoeuvre. This configuration is recommended for short distances. Installing a positional swivel lock on two of the casters effectively allows you to switch to a two rigid/two swivel configuration when additional control is needed.

Four Swivel, Two Rigid is designed for extremely heavy loads and long platform trucks. The two rigid casters help to distribute and reduce the load on the swivel casters, which maintain good manoeuvrability and makes steering very easy.

Caster Combinations_Standard-Tilt-Mount-B

For help choosing the best caster combination for your needs, contact your Algood Sales Rep or reach out to our customer service team by email service@algood.com or by phone at +1 (800) 254-6633.

Algood Blog: CasterU: Casters & Cold

Casters & Cold Weather

Cold-Weather Considerations

Last week brought extreme weather to North America. Texas, with sustained single-digit temperatures (that’s Fahrenheit) and as much as 5” of snow, seemed to be the focus of attention. But, at the same time, the north-east saw multiple snowfalls exceeding 6” while western Canada saw temperatures dipping well below 40ºC (which coincidentally is -40ºF). At Algood, we got a call from a customer in Texas with a question that we usually get from customers in Wisconsin or North Dakota. “Will my casters work in freezing cold weather and how can I protect them?” he asked. We know that if there’s one person asking, others are thinking about the same thing. So, with that in mind, here’s a CasterU primer on casters and cold weather.

Here are a number of cold-weather considerations for casters.

Raceways & Grease

If the grease in the wheel and swivel raceways freezes, casters will seize. Make sure that casters are well greased and that you are using grease rated for the temperatures in which equipment is being used. The standard grease used at Algood will withstand -25ºC (-13ºF) but specialty greases with even lower temperature ratings are available. Raceways can also be protected by seals and thread guards.

Consider Kinginless

Kingpinless casters are ideal for cold weather because the swivel raceway is concealed and protected from water and snow. They normally require no additional greasing bit if they do, the grease fitting is in a very convenient location. In addition, kingpinless casters have a larger swivel raceway, improving the maneuverability of equipment on cold, hard surfaces.

Wheels & Bearings

In freezing temperatures, surfaces get harder and mobility becomes an issue. Harder wheels, that make it easier to get equipment moving and keep it rolling, are the ideal choice. A wheel like our RollX™ has less surface friction and less resistance. In addition, RollX wheels are less likely to chip in cold temperatures. Obstacles on the ground like snow, ice or salt require additional grip, making a softer wheel like our Envirothane™ or Prothane™ a better choice.

Precision ball bearings are the best choice for cold weather. They are pipe sealed, protecting the balls, and rated for temperatures as low as -25ºC. There are bearings available that are rated for even colder temperatures.

Stainless Steel

Cold weather that includes snow and ice (and therefore salt) can create highly corrosive conditions. Casters manufactured using stainless steel and that include stainless steel components will fare much better in extreme cold.

Stay Inside – Duh!

This may be obvious, but keeping equipment with casters away from the outdoors in cold weather will increase its longevity. If you must take equipment outside, be sure that the casters, including all components and grease are rated for extreme cold temperatures.


Need help you with all your cold weather considerations, contact your Algood Sales Rep or reach out to our customer service team by email service@algood.com or by phone at +1 (800) 254-6633.

The Truth About Economics

The Truth About Ergonomics

Three Trade-Offs

If you’re looking for the truth about ergonomics a good way to start is with a definition: Ergonomics is the process of designing or arranging workplaces, products and systems so that they fit the people who use them.

As it relates to casters and wheels, ergonomics comes down to two factors. First, it’s is a matter of reducing push-pull force – or the amount of effort someone needs to expend in order to start or stop the movement of a piece of equipment. The second factor is maneuverability – how easily can that piece of equipment be turned.

Now, here’s the truth about ergonomic casters and wheels. To achieve ergonomic design, you will always have to sacrifice something – capacity, surface conditions or cost. Ultimately, it comes down to these three classic trade-offs.

Ergonomics vs Swivel Lead

The swivel lead is the distance between the vertical centre of the caster and the axle of the wheel. Increasing the swivel lead makes a caster easier to turn and improves maneuverability. The trade-off is that increasing the swivel lead decreases the capacity of the caster. In order to achieve ease of use, while protecting the cargo, you will have to increase the capacity and therefore the size of the caster – and that also means increasing your costs.

Ergonomics vs Wheel Specifications

There are situations where the only way to increase capacity is to increase the tread width of wheels. An example is when equipment has a fixed height requirement and that limits the overall height of the caster. Here’s the trade-off. More tread width creates more surface contact and more friction, increasing the push-pull force necessary to move equipment. Capacity comes at the expense of maneuverability.

The opposite example is crowned wheel treads that dramatically improve ease of operation because there is less wheel tread touching the floor. Again, what you gain in ergonomics you lose in capacity. And, the only other way to maintain capacity is to increase the size of the wheel, which increases costs.

Ergonomics vs Surface Conditions

The material used to make wheels has huge impact on the rollability of a caster. Steel wheels with their extraordinary hardness, have the least surface friction and are the easiest to move. At the same time, steel wheels are noisy and have a tendency to mark floors.

At the other extreme, rubber wheels are super soft, absorb shock, are very quiet and leave floors in pristine condition. That’s because there is more surface grip, but that comes at the expense of ergonomic casters. Unless the application or floor conditions dictate a particular tread material, the trick is to find a wheel that balances the protection of floors and the workplace environment with the best possible mobility.

In the end, you will make a better buying decision by understanding the trade-offs involved in finding the caster with an ergonomic profile that fits both your conditions and your budget.


For help choosing the caster that best meets your needs, contact your Algood Sales Rep or reach out to our customer service team by email service@algood.com or by phone at +1 (800) 254-6633.

Keeping a Low Profile

Keeping a Low Profile

Low Profile Casters

There are two situation that call specifically for Low Profile Casters:

Algood-Caster-GoLow_Series-SGL33-E17F-RX-RB
  • Overall height is critical. This relates to equipment or fixtures that have to fit in a fixed amount of vertical space. Refrigerated showcases are a good example.
  • Casters need to be functional but not visible. This is true of many store fixtures and office furniture.

By definition, a low profile caster is 3” or less in overall height – from the bottom of the wheel to the top of the top plate or raceway. The smaller height has the potential to reduce the capacity of the caster. There are many ways to compensate for that and increase capacity to as much as 2,000 lbs. They include:

  • Using a Twin Wheel Configuration
  • Using a Wider Wheel – Up to 3” – to increase the load-bearing surface
  • Reducing the Lead Offset (distance from the centre of the wheel to the stem/kingpin) of the caster
  • Using wheels (like our RollX™) that provide greater capacity, without adding weight or reducing rollability

Maneuverability is also a factor on low profile casters. Often times store fixtures or office equipment need to be easily moved from place to place. The ergonomics of the low profile caster can be enhanced by a double ball bearing raceway construction or a range of wheel bearings to improve movement. There are also a number of brakes available for these casters, including the thumb screw brake.

Mighty Maxx Series: S65253-B29F-RXW2-RB [Zinc Finish]
8000 Series: 8022-A27D-PROF [Zinc Finish]
5400 Series: S5433-A38F-RX-RB-iLK [Zinc Finish]

In applications where the caster is part of the overall aesthetic, a wide range of finishes is available. Low profile casters are also available in stainless steel for clean environments such as pharmaceuticals, food processing and technology.

The low profile caster is a great choice for office furniture, high-tech server cabinets, vending machines, medical equipment, theatre props, airport displays, retail fixtures, business machines, freezer and refrigerator showcases, industrial automatic dispensers, food/drink dispensing machines and appliances.


For help choosing the caster that best meets your needs, contact your Algood Sales Rep or reach out to our customer service team by email service@algood.com or by phone at +1 (800) 254-6633.

Algood Blog: CasterU: Threads

Choosing Your Threads

Configurating Threaded Stem Casters

Threaded stems are the best solution when casters are being mounted to tubing or a unit with legs. That’s the easy part. Choosing the best stem-caster configuration can be complicated and involves a number of considerations. In this issue of CasterU, we present and explain your threaded stem options.

5000 Series: S5053-.5-13X1HO-PROF-PB-TG [Zinc Finish]

Threaded Stem as Kingpin

In this configuration the caster kingpin is a threaded stem. It’s simpler because the stem/kingpin is integrated into the construction of the caster. There is no additional assembly required in the manufacturing process. This configuration is the most economical but is also the weakest option because the caster is more vulnerable to a variety of forces.

Threaded Stem as Kingpin

This design has the stem inserted through a Bolt Hole caster. The stem is fastened with a nut and tack-welded to keep it from spinning. The advantage to this configuration is that the stem absorbs force separate from the caster. The stem can break while leaving the caster intact. This is more reliable and offers greater longevity. Not surprisingly, it comes with a higher price point.

2100 Series: S2105-.5HOLE-PROFB-PB-TG [Zinc Finish]

Threaded Stem & Kingpin Free Caster

Similar to the arrangement above, a threaded stem can be inserted into a Kingpinless caster, fastened with a nut and tack-welded. This configuration combines the added capacity of the kinpinfree caster with the reliability of an inserted stem. It is very stable and very reliable, creating a long-lasting durable caster.

While the decision-making may be complex, the good news is that you have lots of options in choosing threaded stems. Even better, we can help. To find out which stem configuration is right for your application, contact your local Algood representative or call our customer service team.

Important Note

To maintain capacity ratings, casters with threaded stems must be fastened properly to the equipment on which they are being used. If not mounted correctly, the capacity of casters with threaded stems can be reduced by as much as 25%. We strongly encourage designers, engineers and users to consult with us to help determine the optimal way to fasten casters with threaded stems.


For help choosing the caster that best meets your needs, contact your Algood Sales Rep or reach out to our customer service team by email service@algood.com or by phone at +1 (800) 254-6633.

Algood Blog: CasterU: Tubular Solutions

Tubular Solutions

Choosing the Right Inserts

Using casters on equipment, racks and furniture made from tubular steel presents some unique challenges. The priority is to make sure that the casters don’t fall out when the furniture or equipment is lifted or being moved. To keep casters tightly in place you will need an insert and they come in different materials, shapes and sizes. In this issue of CasterU we tell you what you need to know to make sure you select the right inserts.

Size

Alert: Some of this information gets a little complicated. The more you can channel your algebra skills, the easier it will be.

Size is probably the most important specification to ensure that inserts fit properly. First, you will need to know the stem size of the caster you are ordering. To calculate the size of the insert required, you need three key tube measurements – inner diameter (ID), outer diameter (OD) and the thickness or gauge (G). But don’t worry. Because they are represented by an equation, you can get by with two of them. Essentially, it works like this:

Thickness = (OD-ID)/2

To standardize measurements, thicknesses are grouped into gauge values. For example, a gauge value of 22 ranges from .025” to .029” thick. To make things really confusing, the greater the thickness of the tubing the lower the gauge. So, for example, 22 gauge is about .028” thick but 7 gauge is .18” thick.

Another Alert: Even if your steel tubing supplier has specified the gauge you will be receiving, you would be wise to still do the calculation above. Small variances in thickness can result in higher or lower gauge values and the possibility of ordering inserts that don’t fit.

Material

Inserts can be made from plastic, steel or die cast iron. Plastic inserts have more give and would be better in situations where you want the insert to expand to fit snugly. Floor conditions may also be a factor. Because plastic inserts may move slightly, they may not be the best choice for uneven or rugged surfaces.

Steel inserts are less malleable and therefore have less give than plastic. They are a better choice when size specifications are more precise and provide a more stable ride. They are also better suited to higher capacities.

Die cast inserts have the least give but provide the greatest strength. They are ideal for the highest capacities and the most stable ride, but require precise size calculations.

Shape

The appropriate shape is determined by the shape of the stem and the shape of the tubing. So, round inserts are used in round tubing. There are round inserts designed to fit stems that are tapered and those that are not. For square tubing you would use a square insert that accommodates a round stem. Also, inserts are made with various kinds of ridges and teeth to improve the fit.

Inserts for Wood

Separate from those used for tubing, there are ones specifically designed for use on wood legs – usually as part of furniture. The standard stem size for wood is .375 or ⅜” diameter and therefore inserts for wood are all the same size. Wood is subject to expansion and contraction making it difficult to keep them in place. That’s why most are designed with teeth on the edge that bite into the wood.

We are Insert Experts

Algood absolutely has the largest selection of inserts available with its casters. More importantly, our sales reps and customer service team know all about them and can guide you through the complicated, but critical process of specifying which are the right ones for you.


For help selecting the solution that best meets your needs, contact your Algood Sales Rep or reach out to our customer service team by email service@algood.com or by phone at +1 (800) 254-6633.

Algood Blog: CasterU: Caster 911

Caster 911

Signs your Casters are Giving Up

Choosing the right casters and maintaining them are a good way to protect your mobility investment. But we all know that casters are often out of sight and therefore out of mind and don’t always get the attention they deserve. At the same time, there can be some pretty precious cargo riding on those casters and if one or more of them fails, the results can be very costly. Minimally, failed casters are a pain in the butt because they require immediate attention. So, to help you know when it’s time to call Caster 911, in this issue of CasterU we present some of the signs that your casters are about to give up on you.

Extreme Noise

If your casters are screeching or rattling, it could mean that they are badly in need of lubrication. In general, casters should be lubricated twice a year. Extreme noise could also indicate that the wheel bearing has seized or is about to seize. It could also mean that the wrong wheel bearing type is being used. For example, a caster may be experiencing more side thrust than originally anticipated, meaning that it really needs a tapered bearing. Finally, extreme noise could mean that the yoke is worn or that the caster is misaligned.

Push & Pull Problems

Equipment that has become significantly harder to push could be the result of corrosion or rust on the caster. This can also be the result of casters being used at excessive speeds and, in turn, leading to overheating or damage to the hub.

If equipment is much harder to turn, there is likely a problem with the swivel yoke or rig. This could be the result of brinelling which occurs when ball bearings create a groove in the cap of the raceway that limits the swivel of the caster.

Uneven Wheel Wear or Flat Spots

Flat spots may indicate that foreign material, such as string, thread, metal or dirt is causing wheels to bind. It could also be that the wheel material is not appropriate for the temperatures or environment in which the caster is being used.

Frame Distortion

This can be due to overall loads that exceed capacity. It can also be the result of excessive impact loads, which occur when equipment goes over a large bump and the resulting g-force magnifies the load beyond the capacity of the casters.

Top Plate Detachment

If equipment goes over an obstacle or is subject to severe conditions, the top plate may bend, separating it from the equipment. This could also indicate that the wrong hardware or washers were used to install the caster.

Bent Stem or Kingpin

This can happen as a result of a collision with other equipment or impact with an obstacle. Uneven loads where one caster bears much more weight than the others could also cause this contortion.

If you notice any of the above, it’s an emergency and your casters likely need replacing. Of course, using the right casters and ensuring they are properly maintained will prevent a 911 call.


For help or advice on how to avoid a caster catastrophe, contact your Algood Sales Rep or reach out to our customer service team by email service@algood.com or by phone at +1 (800) 254-6633.

Bad Match

Casters & Water

Casters and Wheels generally don’t play nicely with water. Unlike Bonnie and Clyde or Bert and Ernie, they are simply a bad match. So, if you’re planning to use casters in an unusually wet environment, you should read this short guide to protecting casters from moisture.

Moisture is like Kryptonite to steel. The chemical reaction that causes steel to corrode begins the moment it comes in contact with water and oxygen. And it’s downhill from there. Signs of rust may appear as quickly as a week or two. Given enough time, all iron in the steel material will oxidize and the metal will fail. That’s not good for Casters and Wheels.

As steel corrodes, it flakes. In casters, that creates debris in the raceway that will eventually cause it to seize. In wheels, the same process can occur in the bearing.

Here are some of the options available to you, depending on the level of moisture that your Casters and Wheels need to withstand.

Casters

Zinc Plating provides a basic level of protection form moisture and will protect casters from normal levels of dampness and humidity. Almost all Algood casters are zinc plated.

If casters are being used in more extreme wet environments and are for example being used outdoors or subjected to regular wash-downs, they need more protection.

Chrome Plating where the steel is nickel plated then chromium plated, provides about double the corrosion protection than zinc plating. The shininess of chrome plating also offers design benefits. Stainless steel, which is a mixture of steel and a minimum of 10.5% chromium, offers the greatest protection and is usually the standard for food preparation, pharmaceutical, and health care applications.

A more economical but less effective option is a Raceway Seal. It seals and protects the raceway from moisture. The drawback is that it can cause friction in the raceway, making the caster harder to turn.

Wheels

Wheels formed from steel and iron, as well as those with a steel core, are clearly bad choices for wet environments. Aluminum, rubber and polyurethane wheels will withstand wet environments. A further option for wheels is a thread guard that fits over the core and keeps water from entering the wheel bearing.


If you want to avoid a bad match and need help choosing the right caster configuration for your wet environment, contact your Algood Sales Rep or reach out to our customer service team by email service@algood.com or by phone at +1 (800) 254-6633.

Size Matters

Choosing the Right Wheel Size

Choosing the right size wheel may not be quite as easy as you would think. This issue of CasterU will fill you in on some of the finer points in selecting the size that will be optimal for your caster application.
There are two key considerations in choosing the right size wheel – diameter and thread width.

Diameter

The diameter is measured from one side of the wheel to the opposite side with the wheel lying flat, ensuring that measuring device passes over the centre of the wheel.

Generally, the larger the wheel size, the greater the capacity and that’s the major criterion in determining what the diameter of the wheel should be. However, there are a number of other things to consider. Larger diameters will allow wheels to more easily traverse uneven floors, doorways, diamond plate, and dock level thresholds.

Larger diameters will also improve the rollability of a caster, with less push-pull energy required. So, while a 6” wheel may provide the capacity you need, you may want to consider a larger diameter if floor conditions and ergonomics are a factor.

That makes sense but here’s another thing to think about. Increasing the diameter of a wheel decreases its stability. Larger wheels make for taller carts and can change their loading characteristics, because they move the center of mass higher, which makes it easier for loads to tip.

Ultimately making the right choice is finding the perfect balance between capacity, rollability and stability.

Tread Width

To measure the width, stand the wheel upright and measure from the outside of one side to the outside of the other.

As is the case with diameter, increasing tread width will increase the capacity of a wheel.

Increasing tread width is also a way to compensate for challenges with diameter. For example, if the overall height of the wheel is limited by the space in which it is being used, you can increase capacity by increasing the tread width. Also, a way of correcting for the instability resulting from larger diameters (mentioned above) is for the wheel to have greater surface contact. That can be done by increasing tread width.

Another major consideration in determining the optimal tread width is load distribution or capacity per square inch. There are some applications where that measurement is very important. For example, the membrane of the cargo hold in an airplane has a critical capacity/square inch threshold. Exceeding that threshold may cause the shell to rupture. You can increase the load distribution (and reduce the capacity/area) by increasing the tread width of a wheel. You can also use double the number of wheels, providing twice as much load distribution.

Manoeuvrability is also a factor. Wheel sizes with narrower tread widths have less surface touching the ground and will therefore be easier to turn.

So, there you have it – a simple guide to specifying the right wheel by finding the perfect balance between diameter and tread width. Because, ultimately size does matter.


If you need help determining the right size wheel for your application, contact your Algood Sales Rep or reach out to our customer service team by email service@algood.com or by phone at +1 (800) 254-6633.

The Heavyweights

Heavy-Duty Steel Wheels

Like most heavyweights, steel wheels are not the quietist or the smoothest, but they are absolutely the strongest and if you have an ultra high capacity application, steel wheels are likely your only choice. There are different types of steel wheels and to help you to make an educated buying decision, in this issue of CasterU, we present a short primer on steel wheels.

In addition to be the strongest available wheels, steel wheels are also the hardest. As a result there is very little traction with floor surfaces making them easier to push and pull. On the downside, steel wheels are noisy, prone to vibration and will damage floor surfaces.

These are some of your steel wheel options.

Algood_Renders-Solid_Steel-W-7508-SS

Steel or Semi-Steel Wheels
Algood steel wheels are made from pig iron which is a semi-finished metal produced from iron ore in a blast furnace and containing high amounts of carbon. Pig iron is then further refined in a furnace for conversion into steel. The wheels are formed through a casting process in which metal is heated until liquid and then poured into a mould.

The capacity of Steel wheels  is 2,500 lbs. They are porous and prone to chipping and cracking but are the most economical choice in steel wheels.

Ductile Iron Wheels
Also known as ductile cast iron, is a type of graphite-rich cast iron. It has much more impact and fatigue resistance because of the graphite and in particular because the of nodular shape of the graphite that is used. Ductile iron wheels are also formed using a casting process. 
 
The capacity of Ductile Iron wheels is 15,000 lbs. They are less porous than steel wheels but are still susceptible to cracking and chipping. They are more expensive than steel wheels.

Crowned Ductile Iron Wheel: W-9108-DIC-TB-.75 [Red]
Algood_Renders-Forged_Steel-W-9110-FS

Forged Steel Wheels
Forged Steel is an alloy of carbon and iron that is compressed under extreme pressure to make a very hard and strong substance. In the forging process heat or force is applied to steel billets or ingots, causing the material to change shape while in a solid state. The resulting highly compressed material is exceptionally strong.
 
The capacity of Forged Steel wheels is, at minimum, a whopping 20,000 lbs. They are not porous and are virtually failure-free. Not surprisingly these wheels are the most expensive steel wheel option.

V-Groove Wheels
V-Groove wheels can be made from either cast iron steel or forged steel. They are manufactured with a groove that guides the wheel along a track and are often used to support entrance gates or vault doors.

304 V Groove Wheel: W-7006-VG304-1.188 [Steel Grey]
304 Wheel: W-7008-304-1.188 [Steel Grey]

304 Stainless Steel Wheels
Stainless Steel is a mixture of steel and a minimum of 10.5% chromium. The chromium keeps the steel from oxidizing, rusting, and corroding. Stainless steel wheels are made from round bars of stainless steel material that are lathed to form wheels and are then machined for tread and diameter. 

Stainless wheels are moisture resistant and, unlike all other steel wheels, they will not rust. That makes them ideal for applications that are subject to the elements such as agriculture as well as food, medical and pharmaceutical environments. They will wear better than ductile iron but not as well as forged steel and are in the mid to high price range.


If you need help determining which of these heavy-duty caster will meet your needs, contact your Algood Sales Rep or reach out to our customer service team by email service@algood.com or by phone at +1 (800) 254-6633.

1 (800) 254-6633
service@algood.com

Algood Casters has manufactured, designed and developed industrial and specialty casters, brakes and wheels since 1969, in capacities from 25 to 65,000 lbs.

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