Posted on: 26 December 2019
Casters are great; they make things easier to move around, and it's hard to imagine a world without them. However, all things that move come to a stop, and this is where caster brakes come into play. Caster brakes come attached to wheels and serve to stop them from moving or hold them in a stationary position. There are several caster wheel types in existence, each of which has different braking options. Here is a rundown of the most common brakes to help you choose the right one for your project:
Side Lock Brakes
The side lock is the most economical caster wheel braking system, making it the most common as well. As the name suggests, side lock brakes are found on the side of the caster and are effective for keeping medium carts and racks stationary. These are normally found on toolboxes and beds and can easily be engaged using your foot or hand. The effectiveness of the side lock brakes is dependent on the force exerted. The harder you push, the tighter the lock clamps. There are two kinds of side lock brakes:
- Top Lock: this brake system creates braking action from friction between the L-bar lever and the wheel
- Cam Lock: the cam lock utilises the same principle of rubbing against the wheel to stop the casters
Tech Lock Face-Contact Brakes
The face-contact brake functions by applying pressure to the front side face of the wheel. Often referred to as the 'pedal brake,' this brake operates by pushing the brake shoe against the wheel, which can be activated by hand or foot.
Total Lock Brake
The total lock brake incorporates two locking mechanisms in one motion, allowing you to lock both the swivel head and the castor wheel. This braking system is arguably the most stable brake yet, useful in the transportation of heavy products in tight spaces because it locks securely. The total lock brake offers zero play when engaged but unfortunately is not available for all castor wheels.
Dead Man's Brake
The dead man's brake utilises a series of integrated springs that leverage its high braking forces to completely immobilise a cart when not in operation. With the dead man brake, the cart only moves when the lever is squeezed; otherwise, it's 'dead.' This specialised brake is particularly useful in inclined floor space or a hospital bed set.
Like wheels, brakes should be chosen squarely on functionality and the environment application. Whether you require brake solutions for safety or for heavy-duty applications, this article expounds on the most commonly used brakes to give you an easier selection process. Look through an online castor store to see what's available for you.Share