Why Are Polyurethane Wheels Used for Your Caster Application?
Victoria Forney

Why Are Polyurethane Wheels Used for Your Caster Application?

Casters are integral components of the industrial world. They make it possible to move materials quickly and safely to their necessary destinations.

Many companies often overlook the value of casters and think that any wheel will do. However, it is important to know what kind of casters you are dealing with and the benefits of choosing one kind over another.

As a caster solutions company, we at Caster Central decided to put together some information for our customers (or anyone curious about the subject) regarding the benefits of choosing polyurethane wheels for casters.


What is Polyurethane?

Polyurethanes were invented in the 1930s when rubber was scarce during wartime. Polyurethane is a polymer that manufacturers can make hard and rigid to produce caster wheels or form into a foamy, yielding texture for soft items like mattresses or cushions.

Since its creation, manufacturers have used polyurethane to make many common household items as well as industrial and military equipment. Shoe soles, car panels, and even certain airplane parts would not exist as we know them today without polyurethane.


Why Do I Need Polyurethane Caster Wheels?

Polyurethane caster wheels are among the most highly produced wheel types in the caster industry. This is mainly because polyurethane wheels offer many of the same benefits as rubber tread wheels, including:

  • Firm grip
  • Shock absorption

Polyurethane also shares certain qualities with hard plastic wheels, like:

  • Resistance to wear
  • High load capacity

There are many reasons to consider using polyurethane caster wheels, whether in an industrial environment or in your garage at home. Below are some of the most significant benefits of applying polyurethane wheels to your casters.


Floor Protection

If you don’t want cracks and dings on the floor of your operation, polyurethane wheels are your best bet. Suppose you’re transporting harsh chemicals or other sensitive materials. In that case, it’s best to use wheels that are not going to jeopardize the integrity of the flooring, which could result in frequent spills or accidents.

Polyurethane wheels distribute weight better than harder wheels. If you place the weight of the load you’re moving on harder or less forgiving wheels, you may find that your floors end up scratched and damaged over time to the point that they require expensive repair.


Better Traction and Grip

Polyurethane offers high friction and grip for rotating wheels. This means that the wheels not only work well for pushing and pulling, but they also prevent sliding.

Other wheels made with harder materials will produce less friction, resulting in sliding or even tipping over. Due to high rebound energy, polyurethane wheels require less force to achieve motion. Because less stress is placed upon them, these polyurethane wheels tend to last much longer than others.


Load Bearing Capacity

With polyurethane wheels, you get the best features of soft rubber wheels and hard plastic wheels.

Rubber wheels cannot support as much weight as harder wheels. Because rubber is soft, it will collapse underneath a load that is beyond its tolerance threshold. Harder wheels can carry more weight, but they can be noisy and cause damage to floors over time.

Polyurethane wheels can carry more weight than rubber wheels while still absorbing shock, protecting floors, and reducing noise.


Noise Reduction

Harder wheels can be very noisy. Steel or cast iron wheels can create so much noise, especially under heavy loads, that they can be a problem for workers, potentially damaging their hearing. This can result in expensive insurance claims or lawsuits.

Because polyurethane caster wheels are excellent shock absorbers, they are very quiet. They also absorb bumps, cracks, or any other imperfections on the floor’s surface, making them great for use in homes, offices, factories, and warehouses.


Resistant to Corrosion

Different polyurethanes respond differently to chemicals or substances. Depending on the climate or work environment, the right polyurethane caster wheel can withstand water damage or chemical corrosion.

Certain facilities may be wet or humid. In this case, the right polyurethane wheel will not break down where metal or rubber wheel treads may rust and corrode.

Some polyurethane wheels are also resistant to chemical or solvent corrosion. Whatever industry you find yourself in, there’s a polyurethane wheel designed to suit your needs.


Resistant to Oxygen or Electrical Damage

Ozone is a gas composed of oxygen atoms. Many facilities generate ground-level ozone, including factories, chemical plants, and construction sites. Polyurethane wheels are resistant to ozone and oxygen degradation, where other materials might crack or corrode in such environments.

Do you work in a field where you may have to deal with nitrogen oxides (NOx) or volatile organic compounds (VOCs)? Durable polyurethane caster wheels may be the best option to keep your wheels working seamlessly for a long time.


Resistant to Weather, Mold, Mildew, and Fungus

Because the polyurethane material is mold resistant, polyurethane wheels are ideal for outdoor projects like gardening, landscaping, and construction. You can also use them for outdoor activities like fishing, boating, barbeque, block parties, and more.

Polyurethane wheels can be constantly wet and never show signs of damage. Also, mold, mildew, or fungus cannot grow on some polyurethane wheels. These wheels are a great choice for use in hospitals, nursing homes, or other antiseptic environments.



Of course, the number one concern we should all have in a work environment is safety. Nobody wants to get hurt on the job, and nobody wants to see a coworker or employee injured at work. With this in mind, we at Caster Central suggest polyurethane caster wheels.

Polyurethane wheels will not destroy the ground or flooring. This reduces the risk of falls, spills, and other accidents.

Also, polyurethane wheels are resistant to corrosion. Wheels that have become damaged or corroded can pose a serious risk. If you or someone on your team is transporting something heavy or hazardous, a busted wheel can cause a serious accident.

To prevent serious injury to yourself or your team and avoid the need for expensive repairs, we recommend using polyurethane caster wheels.

It is important to make sure that you’re using the right equipment for efficiency and safety, whatever your industry. That, of course, includes casters and caster wheels. When handling heavy or hazardous materials, use caution and make wise, well-informed decisions.

As with all equipment, regular inspection and maintenance of casters are extremely important to reduce the risk of accident and injury.


Which Caster Wheel Should I use?

If you’re doing a difficult, heavy-duty job, you need the best equipment. The right tools can mean the difference between a job taking an hour and a job taking a day. Working smart will always beat working hard, and safety should be the first priority, followed closely by efficiency.

With that in mind, you should take the time to consider what you do and where you have to do it before choosing your gear, tools, and supplies. Choosing the right type of caster wheels for your application is key to ensuring a safe, productive workplace. Click here to learn about common problems to look out for in caster wheels.

Polyurethane wheels are well-suited for a variety of climates and working conditions. They protect your flooring and easily bear heavy loads that other wheels can’t handle. If you’re still not sure if polyurethane wheels are right for your project, or if you just have some questions, Caster Central is always here to help. We pride ourselves on providing the knowledge and assistance you need.

Contact Caster Central online anytime or give us a call at (800) 445-4082!