Caster wheel tread can be made from a variety of materials, and are selected for their application. Materials in this list include those specifically intended for wheel tread, rather than a caster plate or stem.
- Aluminum resists corrosion and tarnishing, and is lightweight. Aluminum wheels are commonly used in a wide variety of industries including food service, and for wash-down and outdoor applications.
- Galvanized steel is steel that is coated with a thin layer of zinc to resist corrosion and make it rust resistant. Galvanized steel wheels are commonly used in warehouses and manufacturing facilities.
- Iron (Fe), also called wrought iron, has high strength and hardness, and is malleable, weldable, and more resistant to rust than cast iron. Iron wheels are commonly used for heavy load capacities in warehouses and manufacturing facilities.
- Cast iron has high strength and shock resistance, is long-wearing and non-malleable, and can withstand high temperatures. It is brittle and not corrosion resistant. Cast iron wheels are commonly used for heavy load capacities, such as V-grooves, on rough concrete, wood block, and other rough surface conditions in warehouses and manufacturing facilities.
- Nylon is strong and flexible, resistant to abrasion, lightweight, and crush- and crack-resistant. It is also resistant to water and steam, mild chemicals, oil and grease, high heat, and extreme cold. It has a hard tread, and is commonly used on carpet, brick, wood, steel, and concrete flooring.
- Phenolic resin has high strength, is resistant to oil, grease, gasoline, and mild acids, and is not suitable for use with standing water. It is lightweight, and resistant to chemicals, flexing, and heat. Phenolic wheels are commonly used on standing concrete and for loads that are not permanently set, as well as a variety of commercial and industrial applications.
- Polyolefin is a shrinkable plastic, has less strength at low temperatures, excellent chemical resistance, and cannot be joined by solvent cementing. Polyolefin wheels have a hard tread, and are used for floor protection and impact strength.
- Polyproplylene resists most chemicals, has excellent dimensional stability, and can be sterilized. Polypropylene wheels are commonly used for medical and industrial applications.
- Polyurethane is nonconductive and has good abrasion, chemical, and UV radiation resistance. Polyurethane is resistant to oil, weather, ozone, heat, electricity, abrasion, tearing and many chemicals. It performs well in low temperatures, but is not recommended for continuous use in high temperatures or with super-heated steam. It is a hard substance with a soft tread that has floor surface protection, operates quietly, and rolls with ease on most surfaces. Polyurethane wheels are commonly used on carpet, concrete, linoleum, wood, and tile surfaces in the food service, commercial and manufacturing industries.
- Rubber is highly elastic and resists abrasion and impact. It is resistant to water and steam, and has noise-reduction and floor-protection properties. Rubber wheels do not offer resistance to mild chemicals, oil and grease, high heat, or extreme cold. Hard rubber wheels have a hard tread, roll easily, and are commonly used for light-to-heavy loads on many common surfaces, with the exception of ribbed steel and tile. Soft rubber has a hard core and a soft exterior shell, which helps cushion against vibration and shock.
- Stainless steel 302 has the same corrosion resistance as 304, but higher strength, due to additional carbon. Wheels made with stainless steel 302 are commonly used with dollies, shop carts, scrap bins and floor trucks in wet or damp environments such as washdown, or food and beverage facilities, and processing plants and laboratories.
- Stainless steel 304, also called stainless steel 18-8 (18% chrome and 18% nickel), is corrosion resistant and can withstand high temperatures. Stainless steel wheels are commonly used for shop load applications, wet and harsh conditions, and in production line dollies, material handling carts, air cargo, and heavy-duty processing equipment in the manufacturing, automotive, food-handling, and aerospace industries.
- Steel is a suitable general-purpose material. Steel has better weldability and increased rust resistance over wrought iron. Steel wheels are strong, and are commonly used in severe surface conditions such as in steel or plate flooring, in a channel, or as V-groove wheels on iron track.
- Urethane is resistant to shock, wear, and abrasions, as well as to oils, grease, various solvents, and liquids. Urethane wheels have high traction and are can be used on non-marking surfaces. They are commonly used in wet environments in the food and beverage, and industrial industries.