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What are Office Chair Wheels Made Of?

Did you ever stop to wonder what your office chair wheels are made of when you looked down at them? Is it rubber, plastic, or metal? How can something so small hold the weight of a human being?

There are so many questions that revolve around office chair wheels and today, we are going to answer some of your questions.

Below, we will be bringing to light what office chair wheels are made from as well as which casters are best suited for your specific floor and your needs.

What Is An Ergonomic Chair

Why Do Most Office Chairs Come With Five Caster Wheels?

DGQ 2 Inch Office Chair Caster Wheels Set of 5
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This is a fun fact about office chair wheels. Mobility and strength can be provided by four wheels, but they do not provide the structural integrity needed for long-lasting chairs.

Five wheels give you better support and allow you to move your chair around in any direction. This allows you to save time as well as ensures that your chair is working at its optimal whilst keeping your posture correct.

What Is The Difference Between A Caster And An Office Chair Wheel?

The casters of a chair are small wheels that are connected to the bottom of your chair legs. It helps the movement of the chair across the floor.

Wheels on office chairs are limited in their ability to spin on a single axis. At one time, the wheels can only move in one direction. A caster is a bit more sophisticated in the sense that it can be connected to wheels and provide your office chair wheels with more movement. The mounting system on casters holds your wheels in place.

The Different Materials That Office Chair Wheels Are Made From

There are several design elements to your office chair. You have the seat, back, and sometimes armrests are attached as well. When you work your way down, you have the stem of the chair that collects to the casters which then connects to the wheels.

What are the wheels made from?

Your office chair wheels are often made from elastomers, nylon, steel as well as other materials.

Elastomers

AMERIERGO Office Chair Caster Wheels
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Elastomers is a natural or that has elastic properties. Most of the time, the elastic element in your wheels is often provided by rubber that is placed on the outside of the office chair wheel.

Elastomers are a great material to use for office chair wheels because they are durable and move around easily. The material is versatile, it can be used for more than one part of the wheel such as a cover flap for the wheel or the rubber around the wheels itself.

ProsCons
Soft to the touchCan be an expensive material to use
DurableDoes not bear weight well
Does not damage the flooring easilyPoor chemical and heat resistance
Versatile and easy to manipulate

Nylon

MySit 4 Pack 1.5 Inch Nylon Plastic Replacement Caster for Furniture Wheels, Office Chair Swivel Caster Metric Threaded Stem M8 x 15mm(Around 5/16"x 3/5") with Locking Brake

Nylon is a common material that is used. It is made from petroleum. It is a strong, stiff plastic-like material that is often used to replace metal bearings and bushing. When nylon is used, it reduces the need for external lubrication.

Nylon is strong and static resistant. This means it is ideal to use on surfaces that might become static over time.

Nylon has good elasticity and static resistance, making it an ideal material for wheels designed to go on long carpets.

ProsCons
Good elasticityThis material is known to make a noise
Static resistantCan mark and scratch your hardwood flooring over time
Retains its shape well once heated and cooled
Strong and stiff

Polyurethane

STEALTHO Patented Replacement Office Chair Wheels
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This material is part of the plastic family which includes rubber. As a flexible, durable, adaptable, durable, and resilient material, polyurethane has many properties. This is why it makes a great material for office chair wheels. This material is also recyclable.

Polyurethane is a low noise material which means that you will not hear your chair rolling across your flooring. It is why this material can be used for chairs that are designed to go on tiles and hardwood flooring.

ProsCons
Has a low noise levelNot chemical resistant
Can bear more weight than other materials such as NylonNot puncture resistant
Does not mark or damage your flooringNot suitable for industrial environment
Can be recycled

Steel

4 All Steel Swivel Plate Caster Wheels
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Carbon and iron are the main components of steel. The compound also contains traces of silicon, phosphorus, and sulfur. This combination makes for a really strong material that is durable. In many office chairs, the steel in the wheels provides the ‘muscle’ that allows the chair to withstand weight and movement.

You need a strong material to hold your chair in place and can bear the weight of a human body. Steel is ideal because it is often treated which means it can withstand weather changes and will not rust as quickly. Steel is an easy-to-find material and can be recycled as well.

ProsCons
StrongCan rust over time
RecyclableHeavy and could affect the flooring
DurableNot easy to manipulate
Can bear a lot of weight

Wheels Need To Be Strong For Industrial Use:

Industrial use wheels are often made with plastic or rubber. In some cases, you have PU casters present as well. The casters for these chairs often have metal materials to ensure that the chair is strong enough to withstand the weight but still have the ability to move around the floor with ease.

FactorDuty 4 All Black Metal Swivel Plate Caster Wheels
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Industrial wheels need to be made from stronger materials because they need to be able to withstand heavier weights than your ordinary office chairs. You also need to ensure that the material used on the wheels does not puncture easily. Often, heavy-duty chairs are used for industrial purposes. This means they need to be heat resistant and can roll over uneven surfaces in factories.

Rubber is one of the most commonly used materials for heavy-duty office chairs. Below, we will look at the material properties.

Rubber

POWERTEC 17052 Fixed Heavy Duty Industrial Caster
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Rubber is made from a white liquid known as latex. Certain plants ooze latex and then it is heated, shaped, and turned into your desired product.

ProsCons
NaturalCan tear over time
MalleablePeople are known to have allergic reactions to latex
Durable
Can withstand a lot of weight

Are Office Chairs Recyclable?

Turns out, office furniture is in fact a recyclable product. You can break down your old office chairs and recycle the parts properly. Recycling will help protect the environment by reducing the amount of plastic and metals that are dumped at landfill sites.

You are able to reuse your old office chairs in unique ways without having to put too much thought into planning. You are able to repaint your office chair and turn them into works of art for your garden.

If you prefer, you can break down your chairs and use the materials around the house or as art projects for your children.

How To Tell Which Office Chair Caster You Have

There is a simple trick that you can use to help you determine what your caster and wheels are made from.

  1. You can try to dent the wheel with a ballpoint pen by pressing it against the surface. Casters that dent indicate that they are soft. Polyurethane or rubber is most likely one of the materials used.
  2. If it does not dent, then it is a harder compound caster. These casters and wheels are often made from nylon.

By understanding which materials your wheel and caster are made from, you are able to use the chair correctly. When you use your chair incorrectly by applying too much weight, you can reduce the lifespan of your chair and wheels.

What Is Each Office Chair Caster Best Suited For

For different kinds of surfaces, there are different types of office chair casters. We have listed some of the best surfaces for each office chair caster.

Soft caster

Office Chair Wheels Replacement Set of 5
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A soft caster is best suited for hardwood floors or tiles. They are similar to the wheels that are placed on roller skates. They have been designed in a way that will minimize sliding and scratches on your flooring. Soft casters are made from materials such as rubber and Nylon.

Hard caster

Office chair wheels replacement rubber chair casters
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A hard caster is ideal for carpets and rugs. Nylon and plastic are often used to make these carpet rollers, which make rolling on thick carpets more comfortable and soft. The hard casters in some office chairs allow you to lock them so that they don’t roll away from you.

Rolling caster

Rolling casters are best suited for hardwood flooring. With that being said, there are rolling casters that have been designed to be used on carpets and rugs.They are made from harder material such as Polyurethane. This means that they do not damage your carpet but at the same time, they are able to roll along your floor with ease and comfort.

Final Thoughts

Office Chair Wheels,Heavy Duty Casters Set of 5
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At the end of the day, office chair wheels are more complex than we realize. There is more to the wheels than we think. You need to consider the best materials for the chair and the use, the design of the chair, and even color.

By having a better understanding of office chair wheel materials, you will now be able to choose the best office chair wheels for your needs as well as desires. Remember, buying good quality wheels for your office chair will help ensure your chair has a long lifespan.

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