The air casters exist of a flexible rubber membrane that is fed by compressed air operating from 15 to 60 psi. A controlled leakage of the compressed air creates a thin air film between the floor and the air caster. The air caster can now float a few tenth of a inch above the floor with virtually no friction which makes it possible to move heavy loads and objects with relatively low force. It only requires 2 lbs of pulling force to move a weight of 4,400 lbs.
One single air caster with a 16 inch diameter has a capacity of 4,400 lbs!
The load itself is only raised by a few inches. Due to the relatively low flow, no dust cloud is created and the floor does not get damaged because there is no point-concentrated load. The noise level is also low due to the low pressure applied.
The right kind of floor for air caster movement is characterised as being airtight, smooth and flat. An unsuitable floor can (temporarily) be improved to enable the air caster transport system to float. This can be done, for example, with metal or plastic sheets. Less suitable floors cause higher air use, friction and wear.
The ideal floor is mechanically power trowelled to a smooth, even finish. Any joints can be filled using a suitable silicone product.
If the floor is not level and you are handling heavy loads there is a risk that the object will drift. This can cause dangerous situations if you don’t take the right precautions.
When you have a reasonably level floor you can make use of internal or external power drives to control and brake the load. We would recommend using power drives on loads above 4 tonnes to be safe.
The basic principle of air caster transportation is that a thin air film is created between the air caster and the floor. To achieve this, you need to have sufficient air pressure and flow available at all times. The air needs to be dry and clean. Valves have been mounted on almost all installations in order to control this supply.
Insufficient air supply results in higher friction, more wear and even failure to function.