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10 Things To Consider When Buying Phenolic Caster Wheels

Depending on the application, it may or may not be the best possible solution. After the bout between the phenolic and the polyurethane on aluminum, we learned a lot more about the phenolic wheel’s strengths and weaknesses. This post will go over the top 10 things to consider when buying phenolic caster wheels.

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1. CAN HOLD A LOT OF WEIGHT

The strength-to-weight ratio of the phenolic caster wheel allows it to hold a lot of weight, due to the phenolic resin being molded into the wheel shape under high pressure and temperature. This creates the strength and shape necessary to carry heavy loads.

2. INEXPENSIVE

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Phenolic caster wheels are an economical option. However, the initial price tag comes at a high cost later in its life cycle. Due to environmental wear and tear, phenolic wheels tend to not last very long.

3. GOOD FOR STATIONARY LOADS

If mobility isn’t an issue for you, phenolic caster wheels may be right for you because they work extremely well when stagnant. Infrequent movement means there isn't the need to worry about marking up floors or frequent wheel replacement.

4. PHENOLIC CASTER WHEELS MAY MARK FLOORS

If you need phenolic caster wheels for active mobility on delicate flooring, you may need to reconsider your wheel choice. The black tread of a phenolic wheel tends to leave behind black marks on floors. If you’re seeking a tough caster wheel with supreme floor protection, the CC Apex is your best bet.

5. HARD BODY

Phenolic wheels are made of macerated denim mixed with phenolic resin, creating a tough compound comparable to the hardness of a bowling ball.

6. WHEN CHIPPED, CRACKED AND EXPOSED TO WATER, THE PHENOLIC WHEEL CAN EXPAND AND WARP OUT OF SHAPE

The phenolic wheel’s vulnerabilities will show if the shell of the wheel is cracked - especially if the wheel comes in contact with water. Water will fill the body of the phenolic wheel and cause it to warp. This will cause the phenolic wheel to be difficult to push, making the weight distribution of the wheel off balanced, and will possibly lead to a complete breakdown of the wheel.

7. CAN LEAVE DENTS AND DIMPLES ON FLOORS

Because of their extremely hard tread shell, phenolic caster wheels do collect debris during active use. The debris will harden onto the phenolic wheel's’ tread and can lead to punctures into flooring - leaving dents and dimples. It’s recommended that phenolic wheels be used on clean, solid concrete. If your intended use is on a rough flooring surface, expect the phenolic tread to adopt scratches, cuts and/or other imperfections from the floor surface.

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8. DEBRIS BUILD-UP ON PHENOLIC WHEELS CAN PRODUCE UNDESIRED NOISE

Phenolic caster wheels are not known to be the quietest operating caster wheel. Debris build-up on phenolic wheels can cause additional friction and vibration, which will increase decibel levels by putting out distracting noise. However, phenolics are generally quieter than steel or completely-aluminum wheels.

9. PHENOLIC CASTER WHEELS ARE LIGHTWEIGHT

The relatively low weight of the phenolic wheel can be accredited to it being made up of phenolic resin and macerated canvas.

10. RESISTANT TO OIL, GREASE, AND SOME LIQUIDS - HARD OUTER SHELL REMAINS INTACT

By standard, phenolic wheels are made up of chemical-resisting properties - allowing oil, grease and some liquids to not adhere to the phenolic wheel. This holds true when the hard outer shell remains intact. However, cracking of the outer shell due to use in harsh applications and/or environments can render the phenolic wheel incredibly vulnerable to complete breakdown by liquids that infiltrate the inside of the wheel.

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CONCLUSION

If you’re in the market for an economical caster wheel that is great for infrequent use, phenolic caster wheels can serve you well. The phenolic wheel’s tough body makes it good enough to hold up heavy stationary loads. For active rolling operation, be sure to use phenolic caster wheels on flat, solid, and clean surfaces. Existing floor damage may alter the texture of the phenolic wheel, causing it to contribute more imperfections onto flooring. Debris build-up is likely to happen on a phenolic wheel if the wheel is used in improper applications and/or environments and can lead to unwanted noise output. If you're interested in learning more about phenolic caster wheels, check out the following posts:

Are phenolic caster wheels your best possible solution?

Phenolic vs. Polyurethane on Aluminum Wheels

Shop for phenolic casters here.