Tuesday, August 29, 2017

5 Key Features of Stainless Steel Swivel Casters for Wash Down Applications

Blog:  5 Key Features of Stainless Steel Swivel Casters for Wash Down Applications
Many applications require a stainless steel swivel and rigid caster for wash down industrial applications.  Typically this happens in food processing facilities, pharmaceutical production, marine equipment, bakeries, and other clean or corrosive environments.  Different cleaners, steam, water, and even salt water can destroy mild steel casters and certain types of wheel material in a matter of months.  So we employ 5 key features on the stainless steel casters to keep your operation running and might I say……. Rolling!
(1)  Use a high quality #304 stainless steel swivel and rigid rig that is machined and polished if possible.  A typical medium to heavy duty stainless steel caster will have a double ball raceway with a 5/8” kingpin.  The plate is typically a 4” x 4.5” top plate with slotted 3” x 3” bolt hole spacing and ¼” thick.  All the ball bearings in the swivel race to be stainless steel also to disallow corrosion in the swivel race.

(2)  Have raceway seals installed on the upper and lower swivel raceways.  The rubber raceway seals help keep debris from lodging into the raceway bearings and creating drag when swiveling.  Also when washing with a high power sprayer they can help prevent direct blasting of the water or detergent from spraying directly into the race.  The seals also help keep food grade grease or high temp grease packed into the bearings and not as likely to be washed out.

(3)  Grease fittings should always be in the swivel race.  This allows maintenance to provide preventative maintenance on the casters and keep them properly lubed from the wash down sprays and detergents or salty environment.

(4)  Wheel selection is probably the second most important feature to address.  When selecting a wheel for a stainless steel caster application you need to take into account the wash down protocol.  Will detergent be used?  Will there be grease, oils, chemicals, cleaners, salt, brine, blood or steam?  All of this is good information to know before selecting the wheel.  Wheels can range in a wide price range.  For some applications a phenolic wheel with stainless steel roller bearings will work for around $70.00 but in other applications you will need a much more durable wheel that will withstand more chemicals and cleaners.  In this case a solid elastomer polyurethane wheel with stainless steel precision ball bearings will be better and they run about $120.00 per swivel caster.  Also always make sure you have a stainless steel or delrin or bronze bearing in these wheels.  Delrin is a solid plastic bearing that withstands just about every chemical and wash down application.  The provide good rollability but not the best.  Stainless steel roller bearings make for a good ergonomic roll but after time can give out due to long use.  Stainless steel precision ball bearings are a great option because they are sealed and do not let debris or chemical or water into the actual bearings.  These can provide long lasting use and are very ergonomic to push.

(5)  Accessories for the stainless steel casters are important also.  If you want a brake for the wheel then the brake mechanism also needs to be stainless steel so it too will withstand the wash down environment.  Same goes for swivel locks or other accessories.
Let me know if you have an application for stainless steel casters in your industrial or commercial material handling applications.  We can help and we keep the very best in stock!
www.pstrouth.com                                  phil@pstrouth.com           
www.heavy-dutycaster.com                           phil@heavy-dutycaster.com  

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Can Spring Loaded Casters Solve Your Sensitive Material Handling Problem?

Spring loaded casters are actually only helpful in a few applications in the industrial and commercial material handling world.  Spring loaded casters have three specific advantages.  One is they are designed to reduce vibration while rolling or maneuvering product on a cart.  The second is to help prevent shock loads when placing product or pallets on a carts or platform truck.  Third is noise reduction while transporting on a cart or buggy or truck.
Many times there may be sensitive material such as electronic components, glass, medical supplies and equipment and other material that needs little vibration while being transported.  Preventing shock locks is another unique feature of the spring loaded caster.  Typically the casters begin to engage the spring at about 400 – 700 pounds depending on the type of wheel used.  Also these casters can help eliminate excessive noise while transporting across rough floors or transitions.  The wheel chosen in this application is also important as we can use many types of rubber or urethane wheels to help with noise, shock load, and vibration.
Our spring loaded caster wheels have a standard 4.5” x 6.25” top plate to give the swivel race a larger footprint to help distribute the live load.  The springs are encapsulated in a polyurethane block under the swivel raceway.  There is about ¼” compression travel for the springs.


The spring loaded casters are only available in the swivel action caster.  The rigid if needed in an application do not have a spring actuation.
Let me know if you have an application for spring loaded casters in your industrial or commercial material handling applications.  We can help!

www.pstrouth.com                                  phil@pstrouth.com