Cast Iron vs. Forged Steel Casters: Which Dominates Durability?

November 16, 2023

Caster wheels have evolved significantly over the years, with their roots traced back to simple designs and now as pivotal components in aerospace applications.

Within the caster industry, two predominant materials have emerged as heavy hitters in durability: cast iron and forged steel. These materials stand out due to their robustness and high performance in demanding industrial environments.

What Will You Learn?

As you delve into this blog, you'll understand these casters' technical aspects comprehensively,. tTheir unique roles in aerospace, application-specific advantages, and critical factors dictating caster choice.

The Basics of Casters Durability in Aerospace Applications:

The aerospace industry demands exceptional standards, especially when selecting components like casters. These casters must withstand extreme loads and environmental conditions, making material choice paramount.

The caster wheel's durability directly influences operational efficiency and safety, particularly in contexts requiring caster wheel swivel and caster locking wheels.

Under extreme conditions, selecting casters tailored to endure immense loads becomes paramount. Not only must the casters support enormous weights, but they also need to perform under varying temperature ranges and across diverse terrains, from smooth hangar floors to uneven tarmacs.

Don’t Forget:

The right caster enhances maneuverability and stability, which is vital in spaces where precision is non-negotiable. Ultimately, it's not just about finding a durable caster in the aerospace industry but identifying one that aligns perfectly with the application's technical difficulties.

Exploring the Technical Aspects of Cast Iron Wheel Casters:

6x3 Cast Iron Swivel Caster- Caster Concepts 71-06301-10-1

Cast iron wheel casters are renowned for their impressive technical attributes within the caster industry. Engineered to deliver high load capacities, these casters provide unparalleled stability and versatility, making them ideal for rigorous industrial settings.

Their design promotes even weight distribution, safeguarding floors from undue pressure and potential damage. Additionally, these casters guarantee optimal load management by accommodating smaller diameter wheels while facilitating easy directional changes.

Advantages of Cast Iron Wheel Casters:

The intrinsic properties of cast iron casters make them stand out.

  • Load-bearing Capacity: Central to their design, these casters heavy duty can support substantial weights, making them invaluable in heavy-duty applications.
  • Resistance to Wear: The cast iron's inherent properties make it resistant to abrasions and wear, assuring prolonged service life.
  • Thermal Properties: Cast iron wheel casters excel in environments requiring high thermal resistance, making them perfect for areas exposed to temperature fluctuations.

However, every material has its limitations. When noise is a concern, cast iron casters might not be the top choice. They tend to be noisier, especially on hard surfaces. Other materials, like caster wheel polyurethane or rubber wheel casters, might be preferred in such cases.

Delving into the Technicalities of Forged Steel Wheel Casters:

5x2 Forged Steel Swivel Caster- Caster Concepts 30-05201-20-1

Forged steel wheel casters reign supreme in industrial environments, demanding unparalleled strength and endurance. These casters are engineered to survive under persistent loads and continuous use and show resilience and durability.

They meet exacting tolerances thanks to meticulous precision machining, resulting in perfectly flat surfaces with smooth, rounded edges. As a testament to their power, they boast the highest load capacity, superior impact strength, and unmatched rollability within the caster industry.

The inherent characteristics of forged steel wheel casters underline their suitability for specific applications.

Advantages of Forged Steel Wheel Casters:

Tensile Strength: Forged steel casters boast unmatched tensile strength, allowing them to withstand enormous stresses without deformation.

Shock Resistance: These casters exhibit incredible shock absorption capabilities, especially in settings with frequent heavy impacts or drops, minimizing wear and tear.

Load Distribution: Their impeccable design ensures efficient load distribution, enhancing their rollability, a vital feature for the casters heavy duty segment.

However, as with any material, they come with limitations. While these heavy duty wheel casters excel in rollability, they might not be ideal for protecting softer floorings. The heavy-duty nature of these wheels might compromise the integrity of softer surfaces under immense loads.

In scenarios where floor protection is paramount, alternatives like polyurethane or rubber wheel casters might be better.

Considerations beyond Durability:

In the caster industry, durability is undeniably a pivotal factor for selection, especially for casters industrial in aerospace. However, it's not the sole factor driving choices.

Cost Efficiency:

Economic considerations play a vital role. While ensuring strength, one must also ensure cost-efficiency, balancing quality and budget constraints.


Timely procurement is essential. The availability of specific caster models and their lead times can influence decision-making, especially in aerospace, where delays can escalate costs.

Meeting Aerospace Standards:

Compliance cannot be compromised. Casters must adhere to rigorous aerospace standards, ensuring safety and compatibility with industry regulations.

While durability remains central, a holistic approach, factoring in cost, availability, and industry compliance, is imperative to making informed decisions in the aerospace caster domain.

Caster wheel swivel in Aerospace Dynamics:

In the aerospace sector, maneuverability is paramount. The caster wheel swivel emerges as a key component, allowing for precise and flexible movements, especially in constrained spaces.

Integrating a swivel mechanism in casters heavy duty presents advantages and challenges. On the upside, it enhances the caster's directionality, streamlining operations. However, the increased mechanical complexity demands meticulous maintenance to avoid operational hiccups.

When contrasting cast iron and forged steel, each material brings distinct attributes to swivel designs. Cast iron offers consistent performance in scenarios requiring gradual, controlled swivels.

In contrast, forged steel excels in environments demanding rapid direction changes, benefiting from its resilience and reduced wear.

Wheel Locking Mechanisms:

The role of caster locking wheels is indisputable for safety and precision in aerospace applications. Ensuring stability during crucial operations, these locks grant enhanced control.

Several locking systems prevail in the caster industry:

  1. Demountable Swivel Lock: A versatile, field-installed choice, particularly noted for up to the 71 Series applications.
  2. Factory Installed Swivel Lock: Designed with strategic notches, it facilitates linear cart movement with options for multiple locking positions.

  1. Foot Actuated Swivel Lock: Merging the efficiency of a standard swivel caster with a lock with foot-operated convenience significantly boosts ergonomic interactions.

  1. Heavy Duty Demountable & Swivel Locks: Tailored for rigorous tasks, these locks cater to the 80’s and 90’s caster series, the latter flaunting a robust machined steel handle.

  1. Passive Swivel Lock: Offering a balance between mobility and stability, it shifts between locked and free-swivel states based on applied thrust. However, it's less suitable for towed tasks.
  2. Vertical Mounted Swivel Lock: Positioned discreetly under the yoke base, it's a go-to for intensive heavy-duty demands, ensuring tighter security.

Choosing the right locking system is crucial, considering both the application and ergonomic ease, ensuring efficient and secure aerospace operations.

Caster Concepts: Excellence in Caster Manufacturing

Caster Concepts stands as a leading company in the realm of industrial caster and wheel solutions. Catering to diverse industries, we have carved our legacy with top-tier products and an unwavering commitment to unparalleled service.

Distinguishing ourselves further, Caster Concepts showcases an adeptness in delivering custom caster solutions. Recognizing that generic solutions don't address unique challenges, we designmold our offerings to client-specific requirements.

Whether it's a holistic custom design or minor adjustments, like altering mounting patterns, swivel leads, or bearings, we ensure precision in everyto the minor detail, reinforcing our dedication to excellence.


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