The air casters consists of a flexible rubber membrane that is inflated by compressed air, with a pressure between 1 and 4 bar. A controlled “leakage” of the compressed air creates a thin air film between the floor and the air caster. The air caster now “floats” a few tenths of a millimeter from the floor, so there is practically no friction and it is possible to move heavy loads / objects with very little force. It requires only 1 kg of pulling power to move a weight of 1,000 kg.
A single air caster with a diameter of 400 mm has a capacity of 4.000 kgs!
The load itself is lifted only a few centimeters. Due to the low air pressure (1-4 bar), the floor is not damaged because there is no point load. The noise level is also very low because of the low air pressure that is 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. Gauges 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.