On the level: materials and features of feet

Written by: Essentra Components Ltd | Published:

Feet. The unsung heroes of any machine, appliance or piece of furniture. They are the simple and often invisible devices that support your product: ensuring it remains level, protecting it and the surface it stands on from damage, and absorbing any vibrations.

Also known as levelling feet, levelling mounts, bumper feet, machinery feet, machinery mounts, anti-vibration mounts, glides and casters, their design can be as varied as the machines they support. Here we highlight some of the factors you need to consider when choosing the right foot design for your application.

Here we highlight some of the factors you need to consider when choosing the right foot design for your application.

What profile do you need?
The height of your feet will to some extent determine their design. The push-in or tapped types offer a lower profile but don’t give you the ability to adjust the height. Screw-in or stud types are levelling feet with threaded stud for both attachment and levelling. The stud is easy to attach and the position can be locked using a threaded insert or mounted nut.

Do they need to be anti-skid?
If you want to ensure your machine or appliance doesn’t slip or slide on its supporting surface, you can add a non-skid pad or socket mount to your levelling foot. A more heavy-duty alternative is to use rubber suction cups that stick and hold, and only release when needed.

What kind of load are they bearing?
Naturally, your choice of foot or leveller will be determined by the weight of the appliance, machine or furniture it needs to support. When browsing for levelling mounts or casters, be sure to refine your search by load capacity.

What material are you looking for?
Mounts with a plastic base are lightweight and low in cost. They can also can add an element of vibration control. Metal-based mounts support heavier loads and provide greater durability. Of course, they will also add more weight and won’t provide any vibration control but this can be offset by adding anti-vibration mount.

What are the options available?
From light-duty to industrial-quality feet, here’s a brief rundown of the main types of options available – along with their key features and benefits:

Levelling feet – adjust for stability and to reduce shock, vibration or tilting
They are often used on machinery, workbenches and appliances to ensure the item remains stable on uneven surfaces. They are available in plastic, steel, nylon and as rubber pads. You can also get weld cups and covers to protect supporting surfaces and reduce noise levels.

Bumper feet – protect delicate surfaces and lower noise levels
They are used on appliances, electronics, cutting boards etc. to protect various surfaces and to ensure doors, drawers, and cabinets close quietly. Bumper feet are also used to prevent items from sliding or skidding. They are available as a push-in (or tapped type) and as screw-in (or stud type).

Saddle feet – maintain constant contact with the surface they are resting on
They are often used on chairs and metal tubes to prevent scratches, scrapes and damage to the floor. They also help to prevent the chair leg from wear and damage.

Anti-vibration mounts – help to absorb any shock and vibration
They are often seen on appliances and machinery that have a tendency to move when in use. They protect both the product itself and the surface it is resting on.

Glides – protect the surface a piece of furniture or machinery rests on
They also make it easy to move these items from one location to another without damaging the surface. Many glides are now self-levelling. You can also find glides that allow an item to maintain greater contact with the surface they rest on.

Casters – allow movability and protect surfaces from damage
They can be used to level the furniture or appliance. They come in a wide range of sizes and styles to meet different needs and to carry different weights.

For more information about feet, castors, glides and more visit www.essentracomponents.com or call 0845 758 5070

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