Resilience: How Bounce Affects Caster Wheel Ergonomic Performance
Just a simple perusal of the internet will yield a seemingly endless supply of available caster wheels of varying load capacity, cost, and resilience capability. At times, it might seem like trying to choose which glazed doughnut is the best from that fresh box you just bought on a Sunday morning. Each doughnut seems to be as good as the next one.
Although casters resemble doughnuts in shape at times, casters are actually quite different from one another. Manufacturers don’t make it easy to differentiate one caster from another either, because they often mimic, or blatantly copy, the color or design of another caster company. For example, the orange color of Caster Connection’s caster wheels, particularly the CC Apex, has become quite popular on the market. You now will encounter orange casters at every turn. So, if all of these caster wheels look so similar, then how can we legitimately demonstrate the differences between them?
A very good way to show the differences between caster wheels is to measure the rebound resilience of the caster’s polyurethane, which is a primary material for constructing caster wheels. A more technical way to describe rebound resilience is the measure of lost energy during a process of deformation. A high recovery percentage translates to higher rebound resilience. A more general way to describe rebound resilience is the “springiness” or “bounce” of the caster’s polyurethane.
We measure the rebound resilience of a caster through pendulum tests, basically hammers swinging down and bouncing off of the polyurethane. The main way to measure rebound resilience is with a pendulum in accordance with ISO 4662 standards.
In the video and information throughout this article, you can see the results of rebound resilience testing on Caster Connection’s line of CC Polyurethane, with other industry casters as a comparison group. The testing is very straight forward and is not meant to be a strict scientific study, with all factors accounted for. It is meant to demonstrate the basic inherent rebound resilience of each wheel type.
Meeting a sufficiently high level of rebound resilience is critical, but keep in mind that constructing a superior caster wheel requires more than simply high rebound resilience. The design, thickness of the polyurethane, tread, bearing choice, durometer (measure of hardness), and other factors will produce caster wheels that are more ideal for different applications, even when these casters are made from the exact same polyurethane.
In general, the unique formulation of a polyurethane determines the most ideal applications, or in other words, each application requires a polyurethane that has the most ideal formulation, and therefore, most advantageous features. The appropriate design for a specific application is critical as well.
With all of this in mind, an acceptably high rebound resilience is still a hugely important feature for caster performance and what this performance offers you. What does the superior rebound resilience of the CC Polyurethane mean in practical terms?
All things being equal, Caster Connection’s polyurethane provides greater ergonomic benefits, particularly in the area of push/pull because of the wheel’s inherent rebound energy. In other words, a cart using casters with our polyurethane will move with less effort than another cart using casters with an inferior polyurethane.
Rebound resilience provides a subtly better grip on the floor and allows the caster not to slide as easily while at the same time providing aid in push/pull. It also offers a sound dampening effect that reduces the overall noise in any facility. This type of polyurethane works extremely well in both towline and push/pull applications.
Finally, high rebound resilience produces a high resistance to debris. This comes with two main features: the ability to navigate over debris and a high resistance to debris buildup on the wheel itself. This translates into carts that are perfect for applications with heavy debris, such as slag, found throughout a given facility. Related to this, the wheel will deflect debris and therefore last much longer than comparable wheels with lower rebound resilience. This means less maintenance on the wheels and floors of your facility in general.
You may see a lot of orange wheels out there, but we’re not dealing with donuts here. You can get a quality product or a knockoff, despite the fact that they have the same color, like orange for example. The color orange is fine, and we love the color, but don’t forget that not all orange is created equal. You need to have a wheel with sufficient rebound resilience and that is perfectly suited to your unique situation.
If you would like to learn more about how to make your purchase, continue with this series or fill out the form below, and we’ll be glad to help you figure out the solution to your problem. Now, which glazed doughnut is supreme? Well, that one’s on you…