shox caster wheels

4 Ways to Avoid Caster Flutter

Oct 06, 2015

Caster wheels are used in industrial, commercial, as well as personal applications. From industrial trolleys to swivel chairs, caster wheels are extremely useful in providing maximum maneuverability to the user. However, sometimes the caster wheel can swing in its bracket, causing noise and uncoordinated movement. This is known as caster flutter.

What Causes Caster Flutter ?

Caster flutter can be caused in the following ways:

  1. The caster is attached to the swivel section. If this section is loose, it will cause the caster to flutter uncontrollably in operation.
  2. If the caster is not aligned well with the ground, it will flutter. Misalignment can be caused if the installation is improper or the legs of the caster have been damaged or bent.
  3. In most cases, usage of the caster wheel at high speeds will cause it to flutter.

How to Avoid Caster Flutter ?

Caster flutter can be avoided by implementing the following:

  1. The use of a longer swivel lead will increase the natural frequency of the caster wheel. This will keep the caster from fluttering at low speeds. At high speeds, the caster could still flutter but this is an economical solution for a low speed application.
  2. The natural frequency of the caster wheel can be increased by increasing the weight of the wheel as well. Hence, caster flutter will occur only at high speeds.
  3. Usage of thick grease allows the oscillation to be contained. It works on the same principle of shocks being absorbed in machines by usage of heavy grease.
  4. A simple way to reduce caster flutter is to operate the caster wheel at a low speed. Caster flutter in most wheels can be reduced by reducing the speed.

Avoiding the occurrence of caster flutter is important to the proper functioning of an application. This becomes extremely important when the application is being used in a critical application. For example, let’s consider a trolley being used to transport delicate instruments in a laboratory.

If the caster wheel doesn’t function and causes disruptive movement, the entire trolley and the products stored on it are at risk. The same is true for a caster wheel used to support a human being.

Hence, caster flutter should be taken care of at the earliest. Manufacturers should take the time to design and install it properly, whereas users should maintain it and perform regular checks.

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