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Five Reasons to Use a Polyurethane Caster Wheel in a Heavy Duty Industrial Application

Heavy Duty CastersPolyurethane tires are a popular wheel tread for use on industrial wheels, whether it is in a caster application or drive wheel applications. From noise reduction to their resistance to corrosion, there are many great reasons to choose polyurethane tires for specific caster applications. Here are the most compelling reasons:

1. Noise Reduction

Polyurethane tires are a popular choice in industrial applications because of their quietness in operation when compared to harder wheels such as steel or cast iron.  The polyurethane acts as a shock absorber and helps cushion the ride. It also absorbs bumps from uneven terrain.  When OSHA regulations come into play, using polyurethane instead of steel or cast iron wheels can significantly reduce noise levels to help protect your employees’ hearing. 

2. Load Bearing Capability

WeightlifterPolyurethane tires are also often utilized for their load-bearing capacity when compared to rubber.  Polyurethane can provide a greater load-bearing capacity while still providing the benefits of a rubber tread, such as noise reduction, shock absorption, and floor protection.

3. Floor Protection

Polyurethane tires rule in applications where protecting the floor is critical.  The polyurethane will deflect and create a much larger footprint than harder wheel materials, such as nylon.  This larger surface area helps reduce the stress concentration on floors and keep them in better shape for longer periods.  For plants whose floors are expensive and critical to your operation, a polyurethane tire may be the preferred choice.

4. Better grip and traction
Another benefit to polyurethane tires in industrial applications is the coefficient of friction of the material. This value describes the ratio of the force of friction between two bodies and the force pressing them together. Rougher surfaces tend to have higher effective values while smoother surfaces have lower ones due to the friction they generate when pressed together.

Polyurethane tends to be a grippy material, so its higher coefficient of friction can help keep towed carts from flipping.  An important consideration as sliding can be a problem for harder wheel materials. Polyurethane also provides excellent traction to drive wheels and helps to reduce the amount of load on the wheel to achieve the desired driving force.

5. Resistance to Corrosion

There are many different types of polyurethanes that have varying levels of resistance to specific environments or conditions. For example, chemicals, solvents, or even water. (We list some of the different types below).  In humid or wet environments, certain polyurethanes will not break down or corrode in the presence of water.  In situations where chemical exposure is a problem, a different type of polyurethane can be used to prolong the wheel’s life.

Polyurethane tires have many benefits in industrial wheel and caster applications, and the reasons above discuss some of the more popular ones.  Polyurethanes can provide resistance to corrosion,  protect floors, and reduce noise, all while providing a material that can handle a lot of capacity.  Switching to a polyurethane tire could have a dramatic impact on the success of your operation.

Tread Materials of Polyurethane Caster Wheels

Polyurethane wheels are some of the most ergonomic on the market as they provide less resistance than other wheels. Here are some of the polyurethane wheels manufactured by Caster Concept’s Reaction Industries:

T/R 85 Tread Polyurethane
This material produces an 85A durometer wheel that resists the accumulation of metal chips, sheet metal screws, and foreign objects. It’s a favorite in production line delivery systems across the country.

• T/R 95 Tread Polyurethane
T/R 95 offers the strength and durability of a standard 95A durometer poly while achieving some ergonomic benefits, a high tear resistance, and longer wear life. This formulation achieves good solvent and oil resistance and is nonmarking.

Standard polyurethane – 95A
An economical choice that provides a lower rolling resistance than rubber wheels and protects flooring from damage and scuffing while maintaining the hard durometer needed for industrial applications.

• HPPT Polyurethane
This type of polyurethane withstands the rigors of higher loads and speeds found in today’s lift truck industries. These wheels dissipate the heat that’s generated through the load, the speed, or a combination of both.

This tread formulation is designed to achieve optimal ergonomic benefits. It’s designed to return energy, reducing initial and continuous push-pull force. It also resists debris, is quieter, and non-marking.

Soft Tread
The softest polyurethane we offer, 70A, is designed for lighter loads, and ultimate floor protection and noise reduction.

• Hard Tread
The hardest durometer polyurethane we offer, shore 70D, designed to maximize weight capacity. This extra hard polyurethane is ideal for heavy loads. It is also non-marking and wear resistant.


The engineering group at Caster Concepts can assist you in selecting the polyurethane wheel that best fits your needs. Armed with the right information, you can provide your operation with many years of low maintenance and worry-free operation.

At Caster Concepts, we can help you properly spec out a polyurethane tire for your industrial caster application.  Caster Concepts is an ISO 9001-2015 certified designer and manufacturer of a comprehensive line of industrial casters, ranging from a medium-duty series to a heavy-duty series to meet any application. For more information, call us at 517.680.7950.

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