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Castors and why they wear out

Guy Princi - Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The rubber compound castors used by Athlegen are custom manufactured to our specifications. Athlegen castors feature steel bearings (not plastic), and we do not use inferior small diameter, plastic stool castors. We use 75mm wheel diameter castors - if all other specifications are equal larger diameter castors last longer.

Rubber compound (TPE - Thermoplastic Elastomers) is a mix of polymers, usually a plastic and a rubber. The new compound has the advantages of both the rubber and plastic materials used. For castors this is typically cushioning, from the rubber component, and hardness/durability, from the plastic component.

Rubber compound wheel treads are chosen over the longer lasting nylon wheel treads because they cause less impact on most floor surfaces due to their natural cushioning properties. They are also generally quieter in their operation. Nylon castors can mark and dent wooden floorboards and vinyl floor surfaces.
Over time, as the rubber component of TPE ages, it dries out and hardens. No product is available to condition or prevent this characteristic of rubber. Once rubber hardens it can become brittle and start to spilt, (known as stress cracking or crazing). If this happens the castors will need to be replaced.

Factors that cause your castors to wear out

  • Exposure to harsh chemicals used to disinfect and clean some floor surfaces.
  • Direct exposure to sunlight will prematurely dry and harden the rubber component.
  • Exposure to extreme temperature fluctuations.
  • If the table is positioned on gritty, uncleaned hard surfaces, such as tiles or vinyl flooring.
  • Leaving the table in the exact same position over long periods of time can cause “flat spotting”. Flat spotting is where the tread fails to spring-back to its original shape, the result is a permanent distortion of the wheels shape.
  • Trying to move the table with the castor lock in place.
  • Any one of the above will result in the premature hardening of the rubber tread which will then lead to the tread crumbling and falling apart.

How to care for your castors

  • We recommend that you only clean your castors with a damp cloth.
  • Stubborn stains can be removed with a soft natural bristle brush.
  • Do not lubricate with oil, if necessary use a heavy bodied good quality bearing grease.

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Castors and why they wear out

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The rubber compound castors used by Athlegen are custom manufactured to our specifications. Athlegen castors feature steel bearings (not plastic), and we do not use inferior small diameter, plastic stool castors. We use 75mm wheel diameter castors - if all other specifications are equal larger diameter castors last longer. »

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