New aluminium versions have been added by WDS Component Parts to its already wide selection of hand wheels. Aluminium offers the advantages of light weight, strength and no corrosion, all attributes that can be useful in some hand wheel applications. Size for size, aluminium wheels are significantly lighter than cast iron or steel alternatives and often not much heavier than plastic ones.
They are robust so can be used in applications where they may be knocked, hit or subject to other accidental mistreatment. Because aluminium does not rust, they can be used in environments where corrosion may become an issue, as an alternative to stainless steel wheels.
Like the rest of the range the new hand wheels are available in spoked and solid versions and can be used for adjusting, setting or calibrating machines of all sorts. They can also be used on pipes, doors, medical equipment, precision machinery, in fact virtually anywhere where a shaft needs to be turned manually.
The new aluminium hand wheels complement WDS’ existing offering of wheels that includes plastic, metal, Bakelite, cast iron, glass fibre reinforced plastic (GRP), pressed steel and stainless steel choices.
Both spoked and solid version are cast and polished aluminium and suitable for many possible duties. Eight diameter sizes are available, from 100-500mm, and there is a choice of bore options that includes H7 hole, keyway hole, pilot hole and square hole. Each hand wheel can be fitted with a fixed or rotating grip in several different styles.
Hand wheels are used throughout the whole spectrum of human activity, from the harshest industrial environments to operating theatres, laboratories, archive storage, aircraft hangers etc. Each application area has its own special demands, and WDS believes it can meet all but the rarest of them.
For instance, the stainless steel wheels are useful in hygienic environments, such as medical centres and in food processing, but also in harsh industrial applications, offshore and marine installations where corrosive chemicals may be present or salt laden air can be highly corrosive. They may also prove popular with architects and other designers who choose them purely on appearance.
Generally users prefer spoked designs for their hand wheels, but there is also a steady call for solid ones – often for aesthetic reasons, to match an existing wheel or for safety reasons in applications where a spoked wheel could say trap an operator’s finger.
Complementing all the hand wheels, aluminium and others, WDS offers a huge selection of fixed and rotating grips. These are available in a range of sizes, materials colours and designs so can be matched to the requirement of the individual application and helping make the overall installation as ergonomic as possible.
For applications where fast rotation is required WDS can fit the hand wheels with revolving grips that allow the users to operate the wheel in a continuous fashion.
For applications that require positioning or some other form of incremented movement, WDS offers a range of shaft position indicators and control knobs. The shaft position indicators are available in vertical and horizontal orientations, and provide up to five-position indication. Control knobs are typically chosen for applications such as machinery setting, and the WDS range includes graduated knobs, adjusting knobs and arrow buttons.