Steel casters and aluminum casters are different types of casters made of various metals, each with its own characteristics and advantages. Here is a quick overview of steel vs. aluminum:
Environmental conditions and load capacity help determine whether you choose aluminum or steel.
Regarding weight capacity, steel casters can withstand heavier loads than aluminum. They are suitable for applications requiring heavy-duty performance, such as industrial equipment, automotive, aerospace, and other heavy manufacturing industries.
Aluminum casters, on the other hand, have a lower weight capacity compared to steel casters but still can handle what is considered heavier loads, up to 25,000 lbs. per caster. It is a non-magnetic and spark-free metal. In healthcare and other environments, avoiding magnetism and sparks is incredibly important.
Steel casters are known for their strength and durability, ideal for rugged environments and heavy-duty applications. They are less likely to deform or break under heavy loads or rough conditions. Aluminum casters, being lightweight, may not be as strong as steel casters and can be more susceptible to breaking, particularly when subjected to heavy loads or harsh conditions.
For corrosion resistance, aluminum casters are the better choice. They are used in environments where moisture or chemicals, such as outdoor or marine applications, may be present. On the other hand, steel casters are more prone to rust and corrosion, which may limit their suitability for certain environments.
Steel casters are typically less expensive than aluminum casters, as steel is a more commonly used and readily available material. Aluminum casters, being lightweight and corrosion-resistant, may be more costly due to the higher cost of aluminum as a material.
Regarding casters and floor protection, most casters already have a soft treaded material on them. It can be a Polyurethane compound, rubber, or air-filled tire.
Most of the time, protecting your floor in a situation like this is not about cracking or wearing the floor; it’s about marking the floor and making it DIRTY.
Caster Concepts uses Polyurethane color additives that are nonmarking, whereas rubber as a compound tends to leave marks on the floor. An important consideration for Clean Rooms, Aerospace Companies, and other applications where room condition is near the top in terms of importance.
Keep this in mind when you are discussing your application with a rep, and remember, the only bad question is the question not asked!
Learn more about marking and wheel materials: Caster Wheel Polyurethane Types – Caster Concepts.
RELATED: How do we define a heavy duty caster?
The choice between steel casters and aluminum casters depends on the application’s specific requirements. Steel casters are known for their high weight capacity, strength, and durability, making them suitable for heavy-duty applications. In contrast, aluminum casters are lighter, corrosion-resistant, and may be ideal for lighter-duty applications where weight is a concern. You can also contact a Caster Concepts representative if you have more questions regarding your application.