A range of different bearings can be applied to castor wheels to prolong their lifespan. However, the wrong type of bearing can cause the castor wheel to fail prematurely, so it’s important to make the right choice. Learn more below about the different bearing types available and how they affect castor performance.

Bearings control the rolling motion of castors and reduce friction between moving parts.

Bearing Considerations

When choosing which bearing type to best improve the performance of your castor wheel, it’s vital to consider how the wheel will be working. Some key questions include:

  • Do you need to move the load regularly?
  • How heavy will the average load be?
  • Is quiet and smooth motion important?
  • Are you operating in wet conditions with high temperatures?

The answers to these questions will help determine which of the following bearings is most suitable.

Types of Castor Bearings

Adding a bearing to a castor wheel can improve its mobility and reduce the amount of wear on the wheel hub. This ensures wheels last longer, allowing you to get the most out of your chosen castors. Many bearing types exist, but three commonly used bearings include:

  • Plain or sleeve bearing
  • Ball bearing
  • Roller bearing

Plain bearing

Plain bearings consist of a metal or plastic sleeve that is inserted into the wheel to rest directly on the axle. These bearings are high maintenance, as they require regular oiling. Plain bearings are ideal for very heavy loads and best suited to applications that are not
moved regularly. This is due to the high starting strain that occurs with plain bearings.

Ball bearing

Ball bearings use a ring of small rotating metal balls to reduce friction between the wheel’s moving parts. Ball bearings create optimum rolling ease and quiet movement, plus they require no maintenance lubrication. This type of bearing can increase production through the use of smaller motors and higher speeds. However, they are best suited to light or medium loads.

Roller bearing

Roller bearings consist of a tube that contains small steel rollers. The cylindrical shape of these bearings allows them to carry heavier loads when compared to ball bearings. However, something to keep in mind is that roller bearings are not chemical or water resistant and they generate more friction than other bearing types.

Choosing a Bearing for your Castor

Regularly changing broken or failing castors can be costly and affect productivity. Opting for a suitable bearing can reduce maintenance and replacement costs by increasing the life of the castor.

Our friendly experts can explain the differences between our many bearing options. Give them a call today and ensure you make the best choice for your castor application.