Aerospace Industry

Heavy-Duty Casters in the Aerospace Industry

Aerospace manufacturers must prioritize safety and efficiency.  They must guarantee workers and their tools have the room to maneuver, as they may be transporting heavy aircraft components. Ground support workers need mobility when working on the tarmac, and many other employees must be able to get around easily as they complete their tasks. Heavy-duty casters ensure they have the mobility and maneuverability to do these jobs safely without sacrificing productivity.

Heavy-duty casters are unlike those found in homes or many commercial settings. Engineers design them to withstand the rigorous demands of the aerospace environment. The casters can support substantial loads smoothly and reliably roll in the desired direction. What other factors do engineers at Caster Concepts consider when designing these tools?

Engineering Considerations

When designing heavy-duty casters for use in the aerospace industry, engineers must find ways to create casters that offer optimal performance and safety in a single unit. What factors do they take into account?

Load Capacity

Equipment and aerospace components are often extremely heavy, with one part possibly weighing several tons. Humans need assistance when moving these components around the facility. Standard casters cannot hold this weight, so they rely on heavy-duty casters designed with the aerospace industry in mind. These casters easily hold the weight of the various components without compromising their structural integrity or rolling ability.

Operating Environment

The aerospace industry faces unique environmental challenges. Equipment might be exposed to extreme temperatures or used in an area with different surface conditions. For example, it might be moved from asphalt to concrete and must adapt to the changing conditions. Furthermore, there is always the possibility that the equipment might be exposed to fluids or chemicals. Any casters used on this equipment must withstand these environmental challenges without any deterioration or loss of functionality.


Workers in the aerospace industry often function in confined spaces. Heavy-duty casters in this industry can swivel, have precise turning radiuses, and have good traction. These features make it easy to position and transport heavy loads, which standard casters cannot do. If workers cannot move around easily, they risk damaging the aerospace components, which can be costly.

Safety and Stability

Employees must be careful when transporting aircraft components and equipment to avoid accidents or preventable damage. Heavy-duty casters have features such as anti-slip treads, specialized braking systems, and stable designs to ensure workers can control the movements of the equipment.

Maintenance and Longevity

Any downtime in the aerospace industry is costly. This downtime might be caused by faulty equipment, as getting replacement equipment overnight is often impossible. Maintenance workers appreciate heavy-duty casters because they require little maintenance. Engineers design them with durable materials and construction to withstand tough conditions. What materials are commonly used when manufacturing these casters?

Material Selection

Manufacturers must determine the appropriate material for casters used in the aerospace industry. This material must provide reliable performance and an extended service life. Common materials found in the industry include:


Many aerospace companies choose polyurethane wheels. They easily withstand heavy loads, resist abrasion and impact, and function well in fluctuating temperatures. Polyurethane provides good traction and won’t be harmed by most chemicals and fluids.

Phenolic Resin

Manufacturers needing extremely durable wheels that resist high temperatures should consider phenolic resin wheels. This material is ideal for any application where the caster will be exposed to heat or friction. In addition, phenolic resin wheels resist many chemicals and solvents.


Steel remains one of the most popular choices for aerospace industry casters. It is strong and durable, allowing it to withstand extremely heavy loads. Manufacturers often combine steel with polyurethane or another material to absorb shocks and improve traction.


Aerospace manufacturers also prefer aluminum wheels. They are lightweight and robust while combining strength with corrosion resistance. Manufacturers often use aluminum wheels in applications where excessive weight is a concern. They are frequently found on tools and platforms that transport heavy aircraft components.

Braking System

The braking system is an important part of any caster. It must be effective for workers to move heavy loads safely in the aerospace industry. They need to control all movements, and the braking mechanism helps. What are some braking system options offered today?

Foot-operated brakes allow operators to use their feet to engage or disengage the braking system, leaving their hands free to complete other tasks. Total lock brakes ensure the caster doesn’t rotate or swivel. When engaged, this braking system completely immobilizes the load. However, precision brakes are necessary when the operator needs more control over the braking force. With precision brakes, the operator can gradually slow and precisely position the heavy load. Automatic brakes engage when a load is stationary. Workers don’t need to worry that the load will move unintentionally when the casters come equipped with this braking system.

Customization and Specialty Casters

Standard heavy-duty casters might not be enough for certain aerospace applications. A company might need to turn to customized or specialty casters. Clean room casters, for example, are needed for controlled environments. They feature smooth surfaces, non-marking treads, and materials that minimize particle generation. Aerospace manufacturers won’t need to worry about contaminants being introduced into the environment.

Corrosion-resistant casters are ideal for environments where the casters face exposure to harsh chemicals or saltwater. They come equipped with advanced corrosion-resistant coatings or materials like stainless steel to protect them from harm. High-temperature casters are needed when the caster is exposed to extreme heat, such as in the vicinity of jet engines or during certain manufacturing processes. High-temperature casters with specialized materials like phenolic resin may be required. Another option is low-profile casters. They are used in situations where ground clearance is limited. They allow for mobility without compromising clearance.

Heavy-duty casters are essential in the aerospace industry. They allow for the safe and efficient movement of heavy aircraft components, ground support equipment, and other loads. However, manufacturers must consider multiple factors when choosing casters to ensure the right selection. With the right materials, braking systems, and specialized features, heavy-duty casters contribute to streamlined operations, minimized downtime, and enhanced safety in aerospace applications.