View A Video on Rubber Rollers - A Quick Introduction
Rollers have many uses. Ink rollers, laminating rollers and other similar rollers are used for the application of one material onto another material. Other roller varieties can be used to facilitate movement of various machine parts, as is the case with drive rollers. Another very common use of rollers is as tools that provide support and transportation to materials moving through process equipment. Examples of such rollers include conveyor rollers, grooved rollers and guide rollers. Fabricated using a wide variety of elastomeric materials, rubber rollers can be composed of silicone, EPDM, nitrile, polyurethane (also sometimes referred to as urethane), neoprene and more. Rubber rollers are often manufactured with metal cores. Typical roller core materials include aluminum, steel and stainless steel. Industrial rollers often feature metal cores and are used for heavy-duty applications such as metal processing, heat treating, packaging and bulk material handling. Rubber rollers are also used in circuit board printing, laser printing, photographic imaging, medical chart recording, newspaper printing, commercial printing and paper converting. Other rubber roller applications include coating, drying, annealing, calendaring and embossing.
Because there are so many contexts in which rollers are applied, a roller manufacturer
makes an equally wide variety of roller configurations available to customers. Some of the more common roller varieties include conveyor rollers, drive rollers, guide rollers, ink rollers and grooved rollers. Conveyor rollers can be made from a variety of rubber materials and are among the most common roller varieties. Drive rollers are unique in that they have integral shafts that feature a keyway intended for sprockets or gears used to run the roller. This type of rubber roller is often used for machinery such as web machines and converters. Guide rollers, also known as idler rollers, are used to provide support, typically to roller conveyor systems. However, guide rolls do not have the ability to convey power or to make directional changes like drive rollers. Ink rollers, or printing rollers, may either contain ink within the roller itself or simply be engraved with a pattern. Ink rollers can be utilized in machinery sized anywhere from small office equipment or large printing presses. Grooved rollers are often grooved in a V, U or spiral pattern. Grooved rollers are commonly used in applications such as belt driven conveyor systems and laminating machinery.
The more obscure rubber roller types are, for the most part, used only for specified applications. For instance, laminating rollers are a type of heated roller designed for an application that requires heat in order to occur. As a result, laminating rollers are fabricated from such heat-resistant materials as silicone, which can perform well at temperatures as high as 500º F (260° C). Other types of less common rubber rollers include cleaning rollers, live shaft rollers, dead shaft rollers, stinger rollers and spreader rollers. Highly specialized, cleaning rollers can be used to clean a variety of surfaces through the removal of dust and other contaminating particulates. Well-suited for high load quantities and rough environments, live shaft rollers contain external bearings in which both the roller shaft and the roller itself rotates. Dead shaft rollers, on the other hand, have internal bearings at the location of the spinning roller that rotates around a stationary shaft. Used in applications such as offshore pipe-lay vessels, stinger rollers are very similar to dead shaft rollers except that stinger rollers are designed to function specifically in marine applications. Used in many spreading applications, spreader rollers are commonly used in webs spreading machinery in order to prevent web wrinkling and to fix wrinkles by stretching and spreading the web. Spreader rollers are often machined with grooves in designs such as herringbone, spiral, lateral-fluted or circumferential.
Rubber rollers are typically manufactured through molding or casting processes, but they may also be formed through extrusion processes. For solid rubber rollers, molding processes such as injection or compression molding are most likely used. In injection molding, the elastomeric material is heated and then injected into the cavity of a split die chamber or mold, which is then clamped shut and eventually cooled to form the part. For compression molding, the rubber material is placed in a mold under heat, and pressure is applied in order to achieve the desired shape. For extrusion, rubber rollers can be formed through heating elastomeric materials and then squeezing the molten material through a die that has a pin attached to the center, which creates the hollow part of the tube. For rubber rollers with metallic cores, the cores are typically formed through a metal machining process such as stamping. In order to form a rubber coating over the metal core, a rubber-to-metal bonding process is used. In rubber-to-metal bonding, rubber is adhered to a metal substrate through the use of a bonding agent, which typically consists of polymer-solvent solutions, a primer coat based on phenolic-style resins and a top layer that is a mix of polymers and other materials. When carefully and correctly paired with their applications, rollers can be very important assets.
Rubber Rollers Types
are used in countless applications to clean varying surfaces. Clean
rollers are highly specialized and are especially useful for removing
dust and particulates.
are integral components of roller
conveyor systems. Conveyor rollers, which form roller beds, transport
materials along the conveyor from one location to another.
have internal bearings at the location of the spinning roll body that
rotate around a stationary, or dead, shaft.
are rubber-coated rollers used in the printing process to distribute
ink from the fountain to the ink drum.
have integral shafts with a keyway for sprockets or gears in order to
run the roller.
- Grooved rollers are cylindrical rubber tubes with patterns engraved into their outer-facing surface area.
also called "idler rollers," provide support to the roller
system. However, idler rolls do not convey power or make changes
in direction like process rolls.
- Industrial rollers are cylindrical rolls that either have an elastomer bonded to a metal core or are formed as solid rubber.
- Ink rollers, also referred to as printing rollers, are rubber rollers that either contain ink within the roller itself or are engraved with the pattern desired to be printed.
- Laminating rollers, also referred to as printing rollers, often interchangeable with pull rollers, are rubber cylindrical tubes used to pull or drive materials in the heated process of lamination.
are rolls containing external bearings in which both the roll shaft
and the roll rotate. These rollers work best under high loads and
rough environmental conditions, such as high temperatures.
- are strong and abrasion resistant.
Although urethane rolls have a low resistance to acids, they maintain
good resistance to chemicals and oils.
perform well in low temperatures and maintain good strength and elastomeric
properties. However, natural rubber rolls have a low heat and oil resistance.
have great weather and heat resistance and maintain a moderate resistance
to most chemicals.
- Rollers are cylinders used in industrial equipment to move machine components and products.
- are rubber tubes that facilitate movement of materials through machinery.
while often more costly than other types of rubber rollers, perform
well under temperatures as high as 500º F (260º C). Silicone rolls
also have great resistance to ozone and chemicals but are not typically
used in situations requiring great strength.
rotate around a stationary shaft and have internal bearings.
- are made of a thermoplastic polymer and are used in printing presses, labeling machines, and as ink rollers.
are hourglass-shaped rollers that may or may not have outside or integral
bearings. "V" rollers are used for conveying pipe longitudinally.
are used to prevent web wrinkling and to fix wrinkles by stretching
and spreading the web.
Rubber Rollers Terms
- A process used to correct roller imbalance and associated rotation
by either lessening roll weight through drilling or increasing roll weight
by adding weights to the roll interior.
- The amount
of imbalance that a roller can tolerate while still working properly.
- The bearing mechanism
placed between roll races that keeps the internal race motionless, while
permitting the rotation of the external race.
- The mechanism
that facilitates high roller speed through the separation of the bearing
- A rotary support mechanism
placed either on the interior or exterior of a roll to facilitate roll
- A process by which
paper is made by passing it between two rollers, smoothing and polishing
- A process in
which a series of rubber rollers deposit a thin film of paint coating
on a continuous metal or plastic web.
- A blade-like device
that removes foreign matter from a roll. The doctor rests on the uprunning
surface of the roll.
in which a certain degree of rotation occurs due to imbalance. Dynamic
balancing is corrected in a balancing machine.
- An apparatus used
for measuring the hardness of rubber.
- A material, such
as rubber, capable of returning to its initial length after being stretched
at room temperature to twice its original length.
- A build-up on rubber
rollers or the blanket of a printing press that negatively affects uniform
- The building up of
ink on the rollers, plates or blankets of a printing press.
- Using a bar or roller
to gather the full width of stretch film to create a "rope"
that is nearly unbreakable.
often occurring in low-speed applications, in which the roll is properly
balanced so that no rotation occurs.
- Paper used in print media,
insert cards and in other applications; it is sold in a roll for high volume, high-speed printing.
- The industry
involved in processing continuous material strips called webs that will
be used in future processing operations. Common web materials include
plastic, metal and paper.
- A deformation in
a rubber roll in which folds and creases form on the surface of the roll.