Frequently asked questions about wheels and casters:
1. Which castors are suitable for which floors?
Basically, the castor that is selected must correspond to the quality of the floor in order to have optimum performance. Here are a few suggestions:
Concrete floors - Polyamide (rather loud), polyurethane and Vulkollan® (rather quiet), super-soft polyurethane and highly-elastic solid rubber (very quiet)
Light floors - Grey solid rubber or other non-marking castors
Pebble base - Carrying wheel (biggest possible wheel diameter)
Natural ground - Carrying wheel (biggest possible wheel diameter)
Parquet floors - Grey solid rubber or other non-marking castors
Tile floors - Elastic or highly elastic solid rubber as well as the twin wheels from FTA
Carpeted floors – Rubber or polyamide
2. What is a total brake?
The Total brake brakes the wheel. If blocks both the tuning motion of the wheel as well as the swivelling motion of the fork crown of the castor (the steering)
The single action brake only blocks the wheel.
3. What is the difference between plain bearings, roller bearings, and ball bearings?
Plain bearings: The term is somewhat misleading, because for these wheels, the wheel runs directly on the axle. (No bearings!) Suitable especially for slow-running vehicles. Robust and undemanding, however stiff under high loads.
Roller bearings: Robust type of bearings for slow-running vehicles, more smooth-running than slide bearings. Standard solution for many transport wheels. Maintenance-free to a great extent.
Ball bearings: The bearings with the lowest rolling resistance and the highest carrying capacity. It is still easy to push vehicles even with high loads.
Maintenance: Occasional lubrication is recommended. Illustrations on the information sheet below.
4. Difference between swivel castors and fixed castors?
Swivel castors swivel in the desired running direction. They can be steered. Fixed castors are fixed in one running direction.
5. Do I need a swivel or fixed castor?
he most common application involves 2 swivel and 2 fixed castors.
Benefits: With it, the vehicle can run in a straight line or a curve perfectly.
The solution for tight spaces: 4 swivel castors make the vehicle movable on all sides. Less suitable for long stretches or moving straight ahead. Not suitable for roads with slopes.
6. What does Shore hardness mean?
The Shore hardness gives information about the hardness of the wheel material. There are two scales:
Shore hardness A and Shore hardness D.
The higher the Shore hardness, the harder the material. Example: Rubber has Shore hardness of A69; polyurethane has Shore hardness of A95. Therefore, rubber is much softer.
Shore hardness 25A corresponds approximately to the hardness of an elastic band.
Shore hardness 70 A corresponds approximately to the hardness the sole of a man’s shoe.
The information sheet below makes this easier to understand.
7. What is the difference between polyamide and Pevolon?
In principle, they are the same. Both are wheels made of thermoplastic based on polyamide. PEVOLON is a protected trademark. Because the name was introduced more than 30 years ago, it is a known term in the wheel industry. It stands for constant quality.
8. What is the difference between polyurethane and Vulkollan®?
Both are very high-quality materials for manufacturing wheels. They are mainly used for high loads and for rugged operating conditions. Polyurethane is very wear-resistant and therefore has a very long service life. Polyurethane meets the requirements in most cases.
Vulkollan® is the top product in wheel technology. It meets the highest requirements in connection with carrying capacity, wear-resistance and service life. In addition, Vulkollan® has high resistance to acids and other substances in many cases.
We would be happy to give you more detailed information!
9. ROHS guidelines and other standards?
The ROHS guideline regulates the restriction of certain substances in electrical and electronic devices. All our wheels and castors that are marked with the ROHS symbol do not contain any substances for which circulation is banned in accordance with ROHS.
If you are using older castors from FTA, we would be happy to give you information about the ROHS conformity.
STANDARDS and GUIDELINES
As a rule, FTA products comply with the common DIN, EN and/or ISO standards. If the sought after standard is not mentioned in our product description, then please ask us.
This applies in particular to electrically conductive castors.
The FTA team is happy to advise you when choosing a suitable castor.
10. Does the wheel diameter have an effect on the rolling resistance?
Yes. The bigger the wheel, the easier it is to push-start and push the vehicle.
11. What is a wheel or a single action brake?
We differentiate between a total brake and wheel brake.
The total brake brakes the wheel. It blocks both the tuning motion of the wheel as well as the swivelling motion of the fork crown of the castor (the steering)
The wheel brake only blocks the wheel
12. When do I need a direction lock?
The direction lock considerably improves the straight-line travel of a swivel castor on long stretches or in narrow hallways. It is even sufficient to equip the cart with one direction lock in order to make it easier to move it in a narrow corridor, for example.
What is a direction lock? With a direction lock, it is possible to convert a swivel castor into a fixed castor for a short time. Thanks to the direction lock, the swivelling movement of the swivel castor is blocked. The direction lock can be snapped into position and released again with slight foot pressure.
13. What does non-marking mean? When does it make sense?
Non-marking means that these wheels do not leave any ugly marks and lines on the floor. Hence, the place where non-marking wheels are used is anywhere where having attractive floors is important. Grey rubber, for example, is very well suited. Polyamide, polyurethane and Vulkollan® are also non-marking.