BlogChoosing the Right Hardness Level for Rubber Castor Wheels

Choosing the Right Hardness Level for Rubber Castor Wheels

Discover the key factors to consider when selecting the ideal rubber hardness level for your castor wheels.

UNDERSTANDING RUBBER HARDNESS LEVELS

Rubber hardness refers to the stiffness or resistance of the rubber material used in castor wheels. It is an important characteristic to consider when choosing the right wheels for your specific application, as it can affect the performance and longevity of the castor when in use.

Rubber hardness is measured using a durometer scale ranging from 0 to 100. The higher the durometer value, the harder the rubber material.

Click here to view the hardness level for the full range of our castor wheels; alternatively, turn to page 6 in our latest catalogue. If you require an up-to-date catalogue, please get in touch with our sales team, and we’ll send one free of charge.


IMPACT OF HARDNESS UPON PERFORMANCE

The hardness of rubber has a significant impact on the performance of castor wheels.

Softer rubber wheels, such as our light-duty TPR series, are designed to provide better traction and shock absorption. They are smooth and quiet during operation and non-marking making them suitable for use on delicate flooring and low-level noise environments, such as hospitals and laboratories.

Hard rubber wheels, are generally more durable and can withstand heavier loads, these are towards the higher end of the scale. Our BSB series is ideal for applications that require high load-bearing capacity and resistance to wear and tear.

The choice of rubber hardness can also affect the rolling resistance and manoeuvrability of the castor wheels.


FACTORS INFLUENCING HARDNESS SELECTION

Several factors should be considered when selecting the appropriate rubber hardness level for castor wheels:

  • Load capacity: The weight that the wheels will be supporting is a crucial factor in determining the required hardness level. Heavier loads generally require harder rubber wheels to ensure stability and durability.
  • Surface conditions: The type of surface the castor wheels will be rolling on can influence the choice of rubber hardness. Softer rubber wheels provide better traction on compact, resinous, and smooth delicate surfaces such as indoor corridors and walkways. Whereas harder rubber wheels are more suitable for loose, semi-compact surfaces such as tarmac or rough concrete floors, like those found in warehouses or outbuildings.
  • Environmental factors: Consider the temperature, exposure to chemicals, and presence of oils or solvents in the operating environment. Some rubber materials are more resistant to certain chemicals or extreme temperatures, which can affect their hardness and performance. For example, using a TPR wheel housed in a stainless steel bracket would be perfect for use in a laboratory, as these lack any bearings for oil or chemicals to erode.
  • Noise and vibration: Softer rubber wheels can help reduce noise and vibration, which is important in environments where noise levels need to be minimised, such as in hospitals or offices.
  • Speed and manoeuvrability: In certain environments, the ability to move apparatus quickly and effectively is important; that’s where the use of a softer wheel is best, as these provide more manoeuvrability and ‘on the spot’ movement vs. those of a harder tread.

Remember, selecting the right hardness level is crucial for optimising the performance and longevity of your castor wheels.

Should you need any assistance in selecting the best rubber wheel for your application, please contact our team today, who will be happy to assist you.

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