Neoprene Rubber Caster Wheels: A Comprehensive Guide
If you're searching for the best caster wheels for your home, business, or industrial application, you'll certainly see many wheel material options on the market. Yet, neoprene rubber caster wheels are one of the most popular options due to their versatility.
Neoprene caster wheels come with many benefits, which is why it continues to be one of the top wheel materials. That doesn't mean this type of rubber is without its problems, though.
At Caster Central, we understand the importance of having reliable caster wheels with great durability and reliability. To help you select the best rubber caster wheels for various applications throughout your home or business, consider our guide below about neoprene rubber casters.
What Is Neoprene?
Neoprene is a type of synthetic rubber. Manufacturers make the non-organic material by polymerizing chloroprene, a stable general-purpose synthetic rubber.
The chemical process that neoprene undergoes helps it retain its original shape after it stretches. The memory of its original form makes neoprene perfect for environments with extreme temperatures because it will retain its flexibility.
Many caster makers use neoprene because of its versatility. To increase its strength and stability, manufacturers bond the neoprene to a tougher, more durable material. The bonded material gives the caster added resilience, while the neoprene functions as the wheel's tread for shock absorption and quiet operation.
Advantages of Using Neoprene Caster Wheels
When looking at the composition of neoprene rubber, it's easy to see why it's such a great material for caster wheels. Here is a closer look at the benefits of using neoprene rubber caster wheels for your personal and professional caster applications.
Excellent Noise Reduction
Though some environments are more likely to be noisy, like warehouses or manufacturing plants, some places need minimal noise pollution to promote productivity and ensure a pleasant experience inside a building. For example, most offices aren't noisy because employees can focus better and be more productive in a quiet environment.
The last thing you want to do in a quiet environment is move noisy equipment from one room to another. Fortunately, neoprene rubber caster wheels absorb sound, so you won't make a lot of noise if you move a cart or table with these casters. The wheels have a smooth, quiet operation, producing no real noticeable sounds when you engage them, unlike harder caster materials like cast iron.
Suitable for Many Temperatures
Regarding temperatures, neoprene has excellent temperature resistance, making the material wonderful for casters necessary for hot and cold environments. The rubber can withstand temperatures between -20 degrees and 180 degrees. Despite temperature fluctuations, neoprene rubber caster wheels will keep their flexibility and shape.
Resistance to Chemicals
Depending on the environment in which you intend to use caster wheels, you have to be mindful of chemicals. You don't want harsh materials prematurely degrading your caster wheels, leaving you with equipment with subpar mobility and a frequent need for caster wheel replacement.
If you work around oil, grease, and other chemicals, neoprene rubber casters are an excellent choice. This synthetic rubber has great chemical resistance, so it won't break down quickly due to exposure to animal fats, steam, and other materials that would degrade or corrode other caster wheels.
Great Floor Protection
Unfortunately, some caster wheels are harsh on delicate flooring materials. For example, cast iron casters are perfect for concrete and other rugged terrain, but they can scratch hardwood floors.
Since flooring has a major impact on a room's appearance, you don't want anything to leave scratches, scuffs, or other noticeable damage. Floor protection is one of the top reasons people choose neoprene for their caster wheel applications.
Neoprene rubber casters will glide effortlessly over many flooring surfaces and will leave your floors looking clean and attractive. You won't have to spend time and money repairing floor damage with neoprene casters.
Ease of Use
When you fit equipment and furniture with caster wheels, you want to ensure excellent mobility. Fortunately, neoprene rubber casters have the maneuverability you need without requiring you to overexert yourself. They have more friction on the ground than other caster wheel materials like polyurethane, so your equipment will be stable during transport.
Disadvantages of Using Neoprene Caster Wheels
Even the best caster wheels have their downsides. For neoprene caster wheels, the disadvantages are few, but they can be significant depending on your needs and expectations.
You can't use neoprene rubber caster wheels for every application. Before installing these casters onto equipment, consider their disadvantages.
The cost of installing caster wheels varies by caster and wheel type, material, manufacturer, load capacity, and other factors. Unfortunately, neoprene rubber casters have a high upfront cost, which might not work for your budget.
The reason for the high cost is due to supply and demand. Decades ago, neoprene rubber was popular and widely used, so many manufacturers produced the material for caster wheels. Today, the demand is somewhat the same, but the cost of the synthetic rubber is much higher.
With the cost of neoprene increasing, many manufacturers no longer make neoprene caster wheels, which further drives the price. If you are looking for quality caster wheels without a high expense, neoprene rubber caster wheels might not be for you.
Small Load Capacity
Caster wheels are suitable for everything from office chairs to industrial machinery. Unfortunately, neoprene caster wheels don't have the heavy-duty load capacity to accommodate heavy applications. Instead, it's best to use these rubber casters on light-duty applications to prevent the wheels from breaking down prematurely under heavy weight.
If you need a heavy-duty caster solution, consider industrial-grade polyurethane casters. They're more durable than neoprene casters and have a higher load capacity.
No Wear and Tear Resistance
Neoprene rubber casters are excellent for pushing and pulling lightweight equipment quietly and smoothly. Still, it's worth noting that the material's flexibility means it isn't as durable as other caster materials, even with a tough bonded core.
Over time, neoprene rubber will wear down, leading to the loss of tread, especially if you frequently operate the casters on rough, rugged terrain. In many cases, the rubber will lose pieces of itself in a process called chunking. When this happens, your casters will no longer have a smooth, quiet caster operation.
An additional downside to neoprene's lack of wear and tear resistance is cost. When your caster wheels degrade or fail, you must replace them, or you risk moving equipment and furniture on unstable, unsafe caster wheels. You might incur another high fee if you intend to replace neoprene caster wheels with a duplicate set.
Best Applications for Neoprene Rubber Caster Wheels
Despite the disadvantages of neoprene casters, their benefits outweigh the bad in many ways. For example, these caster wheels are highly versatile, making them suitable for many industries and environments like hospitals, offices, food processing plants, restaurants, and homes.
You can use neoprene rubber casters in many applications like:
- Mobile computer equipment
- Medical carts
- Office chairs
- Lab equipment
- Food processing equipment
Explore Neoprene Casters From Caster Central
Whether if you need caster wheels for outdoor use or indoor applications, you can get the perfect options at Caster Central. Our company has more than a century of experience manufacturing casters, wheels, and accessories, giving you an impressive inventory of high-quality products for any caster wheel application.
We offer everything from neoprene rubber caster wheels to polypropylene casters at competitive rates. We build our products to last and back our casters with a 100% guarantee for your satisfaction. Call Caster Central at (800) 445-4082 to place your order with us today.