TPE: Why Does It Matter To The Hospital Bed Caster

TPE: Why Does It Matter To The Hospital Bed Caster
hospital bed is a bed specially designed for hospitalized patients or others in need of some form of health care. These beds have special features both for the comfort and well-being of the patient and for the convenience of health care workers. People may focus on features that include adjustable height for the entire bed, the head, and the feet, adjustable side rails, and electronic buttons to operate both the bed and other nearby electronic devices. However, there is an unremarkable part that could cause inconvenience or discomfort to the patient if it is malfunctioned - a caster.

caster (or castor) is designed to be attached to the bottom of a larger object (the "vehicle") to enable that object to be moved. They are available in various sizes and are commonly made of rubber, plastic, nylon, aluminum,  or stainless steel.

Hospital bed casters are not just wheels that can move. Casters shall be made as durable, easy to maneuver, and maintain. For hospital bed casters, they shall meet the technical requirements, the appropriate dimensions, and the requirements for testing. All standards are specified in DIN EN 12531:1998. Phon Tech offers a range of PHOENIX styrenic thermoplastic elastomers (TPS) that could help you design the caster with an elastomeric tread that passed those tests described in EN 12531 & EN 12527.

Static test, dynamic test, and fatigue test for locking/braking device are three tests that are related to the right selection and the material performance of TPE. 

Static Test - is the test that the caster is under a certain load without permanent deformation that adversely affects its performance. The compression set of  TPEs is the key element to pass the test. TPEs will perform better if the rubber content is more in the formulation. Click here to learn more about the compression set test.

Dynamic Test  - is the test that the caster will run the caster under a certain load at a fixed speed (4km/h) and get impact with obstacles. The height of the obstacle is 2.5% or 5% of the wheel diameter depends on the tread hardness. PHOENIX TPEs can withstand 1000 time obstacles impact and no permanent deformation after 30,000 revolutions of a 150mm diameter wheel under the load of 150kg. Thanks to the exceptional wear resistance and impact strength of TPEs.

PHOENIX TPEs are well designed to meet the stringent requirements of hospital bed caster. Moreover, they do not break down in water or steam, and it does not squeak like polyurethane wheels.
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