Which tread fits your situation?
News - 08/03/2021
Protempo has offered an extensive assortment of many varieties of wheels and castors for over 45 years. The tread material is one of the things you could take into consideration to determine which wheel is most suitable for your situation. That is why we have listed the characteristics of the most common tread materials for you in this article.
Rubber and thermoplastic rubber (TPE)
Wheels with a rubber tread have an average roll and swivel resistance. A major benefit of this tread type is that it damps vibrations. This results in excellent driving comfort, even on uneven surfaces. Because rubber is a soft material, it also puts less strain on the surface.
On top of that, thermoplastic rubber (TPE) is quiet and does not leave marks. However, TPE cannot be used in high-temperature conditions, as the material turns soft when heated. TPE treads are common in the healthcare sector, among others. Protempo's wheels with tread made of rubber or TPE can be found here.
Polyamide and polypropylene
Polyamide (PA) and polypropylene (PP) are plastics. Plastics are generally wear-resistant materials with a low roll and swivel resistance. This results in high driving comfort. Both PA and PP are very robust, though PA can handle more severe strain, as it is a shatter-proof material.
Wheels with a plastic tread are only suitable for even surfaces. Do you have a sensitive floor? In that case, wheels with a PA or PP tread are generally not the best choice. This is because plastics are hard materials, which means they put more strain on the surface than materials like rubber, for instance. See our range of wheels with plastic tread here.
Polyurethane (PU) and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU)
Polyurethane (PU) features the properties of plastic combined with the elasticity of rubber. This makes this tread type more suitable for uneven surfaces than a plastic tread, and more wear resistant than a rubber tread. Wheels with a PU tread offer your high driving comfort thanks to the low roll and swivel resistance.
The hardness of PU is measured in Shore, with higher Shore values representing harder materials. PU is usually hard, while thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) is relatively softer. TPU becomes even softer when heated. Like TPE, TPU is often used in the healthcare sector. Click here to see our range of wheels with a PU or TPU tread. One of our partners, Steinco, is also market leader in the field of modern and non-marking TPE and TPU.
Cast iron and steel
Cast iron and steel are exceedingly hard materials. Both materials can bear heavy loads and are therefore primarily used for the treads of heavy-duty wheels and narrow-gauge and flanged wheels. Cast iron and steel are very wear resistant, but do put extra strain on the surface they are used on. These materials are not suitable for uneven surfaces. You will find our cast iron and steel wheels here.
Do you need advice?
We are, of course, happy to advise you on the most suitable tread for your situation. Please contact our wheels and castors department via +31 (0)24 3711 722 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Our specialists are happy to help you!