Background and History of Caster Wheels
This article is about the history of caster wheels and developments related to it.
The first kind of the wheel was invented by early humans which were made out of a piece of stone into a circular disc shape, and this was also the first kind of technical invention created by humans, further with the process of evolution the journey of wheels went through massive and drastic changes. This article is about various development and transformation in the history of caster wheels. Today, wheels have a significant role in shaping the modern world; today, wheels have their application in every field; almost every machinery has some of the other usages of wheels.
There are various types of wheels which are in use for a distinct specific purpose, and one of them is Caster Wheels. Caster wheels are the kind of wheels where the small structure of wheels are employed for smooth rolling or moving comparatively larger objects. Caster is actually the structural design in which wheels are fitted, and the whole arrangement is mounted below the object which is to be used moving object or vehicle. We can say that wheels with caster arrangement are an advanced form of modern wheels.
Casters were initially used for furniture movement purposes, but now they are applicable in various machinery in different types of industries, we can see the caster wheels in shopping carts, chairs, tables, hospital beds, wheelchairs, material handling, aviation luggage, etc. The primary purpose of caster wheels is to ease the movements of various objects (cart/trolleys/trucks/chairs/furniture) by using the action of pull, push, and swiveling, which earlier was difficult because sliding or picking up with the help of hands was quite difficult. Imagine a world without these wheels, carrying heavy shopping carts by lifting with hands, no pulleys and carts for handling and moving in materials, automation industry without conveyor belts, Yes! These all fields of work are directly depended on caster wheels for movement.
The Development Stage
There is no as such documented information about the development of caster wheels, the only evident fact from the history is that the proper use of caster wheel was first time done by David A. Fisher when he registered a patent of caster wheel design in the year 1876. He designed this for installing on the legs of furniture for smooth movement of furniture. This was the first major landmark step in the industry of caster wheels which paved the way for further modifications and developments.
Earlier casters were very heavy and were not recommended for home usage, but with latest developments in material testing and research new light and soft materials like leather, glass, plastic, rubber, aluminum, etc. were also started getting used in the manufacturing of casters.
Development of new forms
Caster wheels were further developed for the more specific operation and thus, led to the categorization of caster wheels. Primarily, we have casters wheels of different types like rigid, swivel, industrial, and braking & locking. The main reason for manufacturing casters was to take different kinds of features into consideration such as brakes, shock absorbency, direction locks, and temperature resistance.
Quick insights about various Modern Caster Wheels
Rigid Casters Wheels: This is the most common and basic type of caster. It does not rotate, and it is designed to move objects in a straight line. Its application can be commonly seen in the back wheels of a shopping cart.
Swivel Casters Wheels: It gives a free rotation and thus allowing the object to rotate about 360°. Its application can be seen in the front wheels of a shopping cart.
Industrial Casters Wheels: Also known as heavy-duty casters which are designed to transfer up to 13600 Kg of weight. These design can incorporate both rigid as well as swivel casters. Dolly cart is an example of industrial rigid casters.
Braking and Locking Casters Wheels: Casters can also be used as a special brake and make a locking feature in the automobile industry; this system is low in cost and stops the wheel from turning. There is a small lever arrangement in caster that can be pulled to stop the object’s movement.
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