Casters are effected my multiple factors. The area of the caster that is most prone to failure is the wheel, that is made up out of the wheel along with the bearing.
Effects of High Temperatures on Casters
When choosing a caster always remember to check the casters recommended temperature range. Along with this check the wheel material while also choosing a rig that comes with a swivel seal that is for both the swivel head and the precision sealed bearings inside the wheel.
The fluctuation in temperature mostly affects the composition of the wheel. This is especially true in the case of Polymer wheels. General forms of Polymer include: polyurethane, phenolic, and rubber. At typical room temperature ( around 70°F or 21°C) these materials stay solid and durable. However, in areas with high temperature these particular casters begin to lose rigidity, and then easily become deformed. If this occurs while the caster is holding a heavy load, the wheel itself may actually begin to "flatten out," which is otherwise known as "compression set" which leaves the wheel uneven, with portions of it unaffected causing problems in the wheels rolling ability. This, in turn, effects the force that is needed to both push and pull the cart.
Bearings are also easily effected by high temperatures. Yet that is only if those bearings are not sealed. If the bearings are sealed then the grease inside may lose it's viscosity, therefore making it possible for the grease to seep out of the bearing. Due to a lack of grease, the bearings will have poor lubrication, making it difficult to move it around. This is also often seen in the swivel head of casters that are unsealed.
Humid & Wet Environments for Casters
Another climate and environmental condition that causes issues for casters are humid and wet environments. These types of conditions can lead to corrosion of both the rigs and bearings on the caster. If corrosion reaches its peak it is possible that it will cause the steel that is on the rigs and bearings to fail, injuring the user.
It is imperative that when choosing casters that you choose based on your on specific environmental needs. If there is a specific caster, or are unsure about the environment or situation in which the caster you want or need please feel free to call us at 1-800-599-5131. Our staff at Caster Works Inc is willing to help you and provide you with any caster your need for your caster needs and ergonomic mobility.