Posted on: 12 February 2018
If you are buying equipment in a very busy industrial or commercial location, you know that you sometimes have to take into account very unusual operating conditions in order to make the right purchase decision. If part of the operation involves transportation of goods or equipment using specialist trolleys, you may even have to consider how the wheels on this piece of equipment are considered. What do you need to know about castor wheel "flutter," in particular?
The layman may consider that a castor wheel is a very simple device that can hardly present any complications when it comes to its purchase or configuration. However, these simple wheels have a very important job to do, in ensuring that the load they are transferring can be moved with speed and precision according to the individual circumstances. While this very rarely presents a major problem when the equipment is being moved at slow speed or is relatively lightweight, it can certainly present an issue in other situations.
In certain critical applications, a sensation known as "castor flutter" can lead to excessive noise, reduced ability to handle the load, excessive wear and tear and even loss of control. Any (or all) of these scenarios can present a major problem for the operator and owner, leading to commercial loss or legal liability.
Flutter is essentially due to the reaction of the wheel to force and movement. It's rather technical and difficult to describe, but is an instability that can arise when the individual wheel deforms and rebounds as it is exposed to movement and force. The process of deformation and rebound is perfectly natural, but sometimes it can be exacerbated as the movements increase and go beyond normal parameters. When this happens, the wheel will move rapidly across its axis and will appear to have a mind of its own as it reacts to what is essentially an unseen force.
How to Control
There are many different ways to control this phenomenon and it's important to choose the right type of castor wheel for any specific operation. The wheels must be fitted correctly within a specific tolerance, so that the amount of friction encountered is within limits and the right type of lubricating grease should be chosen, as this will have a considerable impact when it comes to dampening the effect of the opposing forces.
Have a word with your castor wheel supplier and ask them about "flutter." They will be able to advise you about the right type of wheel to buy in your operation, so that you don't encounter any difficulties down the road.Share