For anyone wanting to know more about plastic castors thought I’d share my many years on knowledge and experience. When you think of plastic castors most people think of small chair castors sometimes referred to as furniture castors. Made from polypropylene which is a material used in a very wide variety of application from bottle tops to carrier bags.
Plastic castors have many advantages over traditional steel castors, cost, weight, colour choices, potential design ideas can he realized cheaply and quickly via 3D printing. The list is endless however, many plastic castors are used due to the cost saving, design potential and durability. Plastic Castors can and have been used for over 50 year many on chairs, hospital equipment and for catering equipment. It’s important to remember that whilst plastic castors have many advantages over steel they are not as strong as steel castors and are much less likely to withstand operator abuse so it’s very important when choosing plastic castors to ask the correct questions.
- Weight load carried
- Floor condition
- Type of floor material , tarmac , laminate, concrete , epoxy resin & painted
- Duty cycle , length of time used , how often , by whom
- Environment (outside, inside or both)
- Likely contact with chemicals examples could be cleaning solutions , salt or dust
- Price Point do you require a long terms solution or short term
- Fixing Type, how do you intend fix the plastic castors , bolt & screw
- Colour choice because plastic castors can be produced in many colours
In my experience plastic castors are very suitable for medical equipment hospital ward trolleys, hospital dispenser trolley, commode chairs. If water is likely to be encountered plastic is the correct choice I’d offer plastic castors every time. Plastic Castors are very common on bread dollies and produced in several different colours. Plastic castors come in many designs and sizes from small 30mm twin wheel furniture chair castors to 150mm plastic castors for hospital beds. Not all plastic castor parts are plastic often there are steel balls in the swivel head raceways.
If required stainless steel can be requested which are best suited to wet areas a good example swimming pool, food factories & pharmaceutical. Plastic castors can be supplied with ball bearing wheels with either single ball bearing or double ball bearing with plastic guards to help protect from dirt and other types of contamination.
Typical Plastic Castor Types have square or rectangular plates with 4 fixing holes which can be secured with either bolts or screws whichever is most suitable for your application. There are also single hole plastic castors which require only a single point of fixture normally bolt.
Plastic Castors can be supplied with wheel brakes which lock wheel only or total stop brakes which secure the wheel and stop the castor head from swivelling. Directional lock castors are mainly to be found in hospitals. Plastic Castors are less suited to heavy commercial applications for example car production and assembly, steel production or processing, Shipyards.
Types of plastic castors
Furniture / Chair
Medical & Catering Plastic Castor
Thread Stem Fitting
Directional Lock threaded stem
4 Hole Plate Mounted Braked