Maximizing Load Capacity for Suspension Casters for Heavy-Duty Applications

When selecting a shock-absorbing caster, knowing its load capacity is essential. This information will prevent costly mistakes like purchasing a too-light caster for its application. Shock-absorbing casters provide a smooth ride that helps protect equipment from jostling during transportation. They also reduce workplace noise that can be distracting for workers.

Spring Deflection

Forget the bumps and grinds! Suspension casters are the masters of smooth rolling, and it all starts with a tiny spring hero inside. This little marvel’s deflection, or ability to squish under pressure, is the key to absorbing shocks and keeping your load happy. The size and material of the spring, along with the number of those magical coils, play a critical role in its performance. More coils? More squish room! Thicker wire? More muscle, but less bend. This delicate balance determines the “spring rate,” which dictates how well your suspension caster handles uneven terrain. So, remember – choosing the right caster is like picking the perfect spring orchestra – find the harmony of bend and strength, and let the smooth rides begin!

Active Coils

The number of active coils in a compression spring directly affects the rate of the spring. Increasing the number of active coils results in a higher spring rate and a stiffer spring; conversely, decreasing the number of active coils produces a lower spring and softer spring.

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Coil bind occurs whenever one or more of the spring’s active coils contact each other during suspension movement. This causes the spring rate to increase; rate creep will only occur if a spring is nearing coil bind.

We prevent coil binding during manufacturing by shot peening a spring’s ends, impacting the surface of a spring with small pellets to compress the coils and improve fatigue life. We also grind the spring’s ends to decrease its solid height and provide a flat bearing surface for the spring to stand up straight. We offer several spring configurations, including closed and ground ends, squared and ground ends, and double closed and ground ends.

Load Capacity

Shock-absorbing casters with high load capacities provide a smooth ride that prevents the jostling of cart contents. However, determining the suitable shock-absorbing caster capacity requires evaluating the load, floor, and environmental conditions.

To calculate the maximum rated weight for a spring-loaded caster, take the total cart or equipment weight and add 25-30%. Then, divide that total by the number of casters. This calculation reflects that no floor is perfectly flat, and most loads are not evenly distributed across the length or width of the cart.

Medical and commercial customers needing to make mobile lightweight equipment often choose medium-duty casters. These casters have load ratings up to 325 pounds, making them suitable for carts carrying supplies, tools, or light equipment. These casters are also ideal for use on uneven floors or inclines. This class of casters can absorb 50% of the impact from rolling over a bump or threshold without losing contact with the floor surface.

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Design Considerations

Once the weight capacity is determined for the casters, it’s essential to consider other factors that could impact the caster’s performance. These include environmental conditions like temperature fluctuations and exposure to corrosive substances.

Heavy-duty shock-absorbing casters use springs to reduce the force applied to the cart or rack’s surface and payload when moved. They are ideal for lowering jolting when transporting sensitive equipment that requires protection from vibrations and jarring motions.

These casters have larger-diameter, hardened steel ball bearings and thicker, higher-grade metal frames that support heavier loads and resist damage caused by harsh movement and impact. They also feature swivel locks and brakes to help with maneuverability.

Other options for maximizing load capacity include maintenance-free swivel caster wheels with soft rubber treads that provide quiet movement and floor protection. They are resistant to chemicals and oils and can carry heavier loads than stiff rubber swivels.

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