GENERAL DESCRIPTION: A caster is a wheel attached to otherwise stationary objects so that they can be moved with ease. It provides convenient wheel rotation and movement. You see them in any area where people have to carry a lot of heavy items.
A caster is a wheel designed to be mounted to at the bottom of a larger object to enable easy movement. These are available in a myriad of sizes, and are usually made of steel, aluminum, nylon, plastic, or rubber.
Casters are found practically everywhere, including office chairs, shopping carts, construction equipment and airports. High capacity, heavy duty casters are very useful in several industrial applications, such as carts and trucks.
The Universality of the Threaded Caster
The threaded caster is one of the most common stem types of caster, used in office, home, and industrial applications. These are used in two ways. The first is to fit the stem through a hole, such as in a plate, and then thread the nut on the other side to secure the stem. The second method is just to screw into a socket. The stem will thread into the socket as far as it can go, either until it hits the end of the socket or the base of the stem. These two methods allow for great versatility in threaded stem casters, and allow threaded casters to be used on nearly any application.
The Stability of Rigid Casters
There are different types of casters used for different purposes. There are rigid casters, which are basically very rigid, and placed on the top of the stationary fork. In Northern America, such rigid casters are found in the shopping cars. These restrict the movement of the vehicle in motion.
The Spinning Mechanism of Ball-Bearing Casters
There are even ball-bearing casters, which are also used worldwide. These help in easing the motion of the wings of electric fans. They are one of the most famous of all casters.
The Rotating Mechanism of the Swivel Caster
Another type of caster is the swivel caster, which acts as the opposite of the rigid caster, as it allows the wheel to move in a 360-degree motion. However, this can be a little risky, as it can cause huge accidents under careless hands. For this reason, breaking and locking casters were introduced.
The Efficiency of Rubber Polyurethane Caster Wheels
Meanwhile, there are also caster wheels especially suited for use with stainless steel casters for corrosive and wet applications. These are the polyurethane casters, which are non-conductive, non-marking and often blue in color. They are designed for sanitary areas, such as health care institutions, laboratories, and food processing plants. These, however, are not suitable for applications involving poor floors, obstructions, abuse, overloading, and shock.
Care and Maintenance of Caster Wheels
Too much pressure on the casters can make them break, so make sure that you do not go past its loading limit. You also need to take care in keeping your area tidy, as the regular rolling of the wheels in the road or floor makes the caster dirty with dirt and hair. It is for this reason that people clean these on a regular basis else the dirt may impede its movement.
Casters are an integral part that helps in the movement of the wheel, so take most care of it.
As caster is made out of iron and many other rust-prone metals, so it is highly recommend to oil or repair them as necessary.
These are only some of the many types of casters produced for the convenience of both home and industrial use. Identification of such is required for any construction worker or do-it-yourself enthusiast.
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RESOURCE BOX: [AUTHOR] is a mechanic who also writes about simple machines and how it contributes to the mechanical industry.
A More Efficient World with Caster Wheels