Guide rollers are slides also known as idler rollers. The primary goal of guide rollers is to make sure that materials and parts moving on a track or pathway stay properly aligned as they travel through equipment or machinery, and the secondary goal of guide rollers is to offer additional support to parts moving on said path. In other words, they point items in the right direction and make sure they continue going in the right direction.
Quick links to Guide Rollers Information
Advantages of Guide Rollers
Guide rollers offer their operators the advantage of easy installation and low maintenance care. To the applications they serve, guide rollers offer reduced friction, a low rotating mass, and easy movement. They last longer than linear ball bearings, which do not distribute the weight of their loads as well and more quickly succumb to the damages of wear and tear. Guide rollers are available to fit the needs of systems of different lengths, load bearing requirements, required or requested durability, required tolerances, and required precision. To get the best guide bearings for your application, we recommend that you bring your specifications to a manufacturer. A good manufacturer can look them over and guide you through the selection process or custom make your guide rollers for you. To find a slide provider of the high caliber you wish and require, consult the list provided for you on this page, all of which are excellent options. IQS partners only with the most capable and reputable manufacturers; get started today.
Materials for Guide Rollers
Guide rollers are the bearing portion of a linear guide system. They are typically surrounded by stationary bases below them and platforms or surfaces above them, and they can be constructed with or without a shaft. However, regardless of their exact configuration, in order to cater to the needs of their various applications, guide rollers may be made from a variety of materials. It should be noted that any materials chosen in guide roller construction should provide the guide rollers with hardness adequate to provide uniform surface tension. Surface tension is especially important in the smooth running of conveyor belts. Common and acceptable materials for guide roller fabrication include rubbers, plastics like nylon, and metals. Most often, manufacturers select rubber materials like polyurethane, vulcanized rubber, and silicone.
Guide Rolling Manufacturing Processes
When formed using rubber, as they most often are, guide rollers are created using either compression molding or injection molding. During compression molding, raw rubber stock is first heated until it reaches a molten state. Then it is placed in an open mold, where a plug member is placed, which is a pressurizing top force. After the plug member plugs the mold, pressure is applied, and as it builds, the molten rubber takes the shape of the mold. Similarly, in injection molding, raw rubber is likewise heated until molten. In this case, however, after it is adequately heated, the rubber material is injected into a mold cavity or split die chamber, which is then clamped shut. After the rubber is properly encased in the mold, the mold is cooled by running water. By cooling the mold in this way, the roller is able to form. Though they are typically made from rubber materials, as was mentioned before, guide rollers must be hard. Therefore, to increase this hardness and add to their tensile strength, guide rollers are often encased in jackets. Typically, these jackets are made from metal materials such as aluminum or steel. To adhere the metal jacket to the rubber guide roller, manufacturers employ a rubber to metal bonding process. During this process, the rubber becomes adhered to the metal substrate using a bonding agent typically consisting of a combination of polymer-solvent solutions, a phenolic-style resin based primer coat and a top layer made up of a mixture of polymers and various other materials.
Applications of Guide Rollers
Some of the industries in which guide rollers are used include automotive manufacturing, construction, film manufacturing, foil production, healthcare, material handling, metalworking, mining, paper milling, and textile production. In automotive manufacturing, guide rollers are used to facilitate the needs of applications such as car lifts, tensioners, and other power transmission equipment. Meanwhile, in construction, they serve the needs of off road equipment like lift trucks. In healthcare, guide rollers are used with health imaging equipment like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. In materials handling, they are used with traveling cranes and conveyor systems. In mining, guide rollers are used to carry items underground and underwater. Guide rollers have many applications, but perhaps the most common possible applications are the aforementioned in conveyor systems.