Considerations for Phenolic Caster Wheels

Phenolic caster wheels are made of a special molded resin material. The lightweight hard material, formed under high pressure, can support heavy loads. These types of wheels tend to be inexpensive, but may not last as long as other kinds of wheels. Another benefit of phenolic wheels is that they resist oil and grease.

Good Floors for Phenolic Wheels

Phenolic wheels work well on smooth concrete. On softer floors, these wheels may leave marks. If the floor is littered with debris, the wheels tend to pick up the debris and gouge the floor. In addition, workers will find it more difficult to push and pull carts that have debris on the wheels. Manufacturers tend to recommend phenolic casters for applications where the cart will stay stationary most of the time.

Phenolic wheels do not work well on wet surfaces. The material will absorb moisture if it is cracked. Then, the wheel will lose its shape and no longer work as well.

Noise Level of Phenolic Wheels

Because phenolic wheels collect debris, they become noisier over time and may distract workers. Distractions will pose a safety issue in industrial settings. These wheels are less noisy than aluminum or steel wheels.

Weight Capacity

You need to select wheels that will hold the weight of the maximum load that you anticipate. Phenolic wheels can potentially support a lot of weight, but you need to check the specifications for the wheel that you wish to purchase. The total weight capacity of all of the wheels needs to be greater than your maximum load. You want to add in a safety factor.

Wheel Size

Phenolic wheels come in different sizes. In general, the larger the wheel diameter, the easier it is to move the cart. You may prefer a smaller wheel diameter for more stability and resistance to movement.

Cost of Ownership

While the initial cost of phenolic wheels may be less than the price of other wheels, the total cost of ownership may be higher. Because phenolic wheels do not last as long as other options, you may need to replace the wheels more frequently. The life span of the wheels will depend on the smoothness of the floor surfaces, floor cleanliness, and the frequency with which you move the cart. Harsh chemicals will also shorten the wheels’ lifespan.

Phenolic wheels are an attractive low-cost option for hard floors such as concrete. Before investing in these kinds of casters, consider that floor debris will increase noise levels and decrease the longevity of the wheels. You will also need to choose a weight capacity and wheel size that fits your application.