CHOOSING CASTERS FOR USE IN EXTREME TEMPERATURE (HIGH OR LOW) ENVIRONMENTS
Having discussed the load-bearing capacity and factors to consider when buying your office chair caster wheels in our previous posts, we would like to share another interesting aspect of caster wheel with you. In this article, we want to highlight the effects of extreme temperature on casters.
Factors that affect the choice of caster wheel are quite much, but the common ones include:
· The load/weight limit and capacity
· The materials the casters are made from
· Size of the caster wheels
· The design of the casters; would you prefer a single wheel caster of a double wheel caster?
· The effect it has on your floor; which depends largely on the nature of your work environment. Some practical example to consider is if the floor is concrete, carpeted, hardwood floor, is it tiled, and so on.
· Also, Safety; are the casters idle for the space for which they are intended
Ergonomic is also a cause for concern because a suitable caster wheel on any equipment or office chair as we have seen in earlier posts has a direct impact on employee productivity. The right choice of caster wheels and floor condition equals higher output from whoever Is using the caster wheel, and more work is done with less effort.
Casters wheels should be able to withstand whatever weights imposed on them (this information and other relevant specifications of the casters are usually provided by the manufacturers). It should also be able to perform satisfactorily under different temperature; whether cold or hot.
When the temperature is low, you should be concerned about getting caster wheels that can withstand the temperature without failing. Likewise, a hot environment. Some examples of places or environments where temperatures are significantly cold include food storage, high humidity workplaces like factories, commercial kitchens, and the laundry.
While maintaining your caster wheel in a cold environment, don’t forget to consider the personnel/staff safety. Whoever is going to be working in low-temperature environments with casters also needs to be adequately protected against hazards. Some health risk factors in cold environments include hypothermia, trench foot, frostbite and other health conditions. So, put safety first at all times!
Heat resistant caster
Using caster wheels in cold environments will hinder the performance of the casters unless they are specially designed to withstand such temperature. We will talk about factors to consider when purchasing caster wheels for cold environments.
Here are factors you should consider while buying casters for low-temperature environments:
Cold environments can hinder how casters perform. Casters that are not suitable for cold temperature are not going to move freely. Such situations can result in injuries, hence making the workspace unsafe for work. The productivity of casters is also affected by the ease with which it moves; if the movement is hindered, it implies that less work will be done and much energy would have been expended.
Simply put, extreme temperatures increase casters rolling resistance, which makes it difficult for the bearings to move. Hence, causing fatigue, and increasing chances of posture deformations as workers lean in too much to push the equipment
The right choice of casters should offer flexible movement and maneuverability. In this regard, you may want to consider the fixed plate casters or the swivel plate casters. We mentioned these two caster wheel designs in our previous post. Just in case you missed it, here is a simple explanation.
Ergonomic safety is equally important!
Swivel casters can rotate 360 degrees while transporting loads. This particular feature makes it easy for one to maneuver and move loads from one point to the other. Additionally, you can easily take bends, negotiate corners, and work your way through tight spaces. On the hand, fixed plate casters, are designed to move in a fixed path or direction, just like the name imply.
Also, the amount of noise coming from the casters should be minimal; it's best if you can eliminate the noise. This depends on the kind of caster wheel; if it’s a hard or soft caster. The materials from which the caster wheel is made also plays a significant role in this.
Recall that casters can be made from plastic, stainless steel, iron, rubber, polyurethane, nylon, and other specially developed materials. Light materials produce less noise, as such, can help minimize noise pollution in the workplace.
Of course, this is the primary factor you should consider. The caster must be resistant to freezing temperatures. Cold temperatures can cause the caster units to become stiff. The parts also become brittle and increase the chance of failure in performance. When this happens, it doesn’t only cause the equipment to break down; the floor is also affected as marks will be made. Sudden break down can result in cracks and even damage of floor finishes like tiles.
The effects of high temperature on casters are not far from that of cold environments. When casters are used under normal temperature conditions, they perform optimally without fear of break down or accidents. However, when the temperature is extreme, either cold or hot, the caster’s performance begins to degrade.
High temperatures affect the rollability of the caster wheels. The materials from which they are made begin to get affected. For instance, caster wheels made from polymer; such as those made from rubber, and polyurethane become rigid and maintain their form. When they are introduced to extreme temperature environments, they begin to lose essential qualities like rigidity and firmness. They become deformed, and when the load is placed on them, they flatten out or compress - Hence making it hard to push or pull.
Extreme Temperature Affects Lubricants and Bearings!
Another part of the casters that get affected is the bearings. They are most affected when they are not sealed. How? Once the bearings are exposed to high or low temperatures, the lubricants tend to lose their viscosity. When this happens, the lubricants seep out easily; causing poor lubrication of the bearings. Poorly lubricated bearings hinder movements of the wheels, and same can be observed in a swivel caster design.
How to Make the Right Choice of Casters for Extreme Temperature Environments?
Ensure that you always check the temperature application of casters before buying them. One other extreme condition that is often neglected is wet environments. Wet environments also have an adverse effect on casters, especially when the casters have parts that are prone to corrosion. For example, steel parts, the bearings (if they are not sealed) and the swivel head. When choosing casters, ensure that you ask the right questions and be sure that it is resistant to extreme temperatures.