In many manufacturing operations, assembly lines are used to move products through their phases of production. In distribution warehouses, packaged orders must make their way to shipping vehicles in an orderly, organized and timely way.
Even in individual pieces of processing equipment, materials movement tools are often necessary. In industrial heat treatment equipment, grocery store checkout lines and even in consumer printers, movement tools can be essential.
Conveyor rollers are among the most common roller varieties; this is because conveyors are so widely used throughout industry and commerce.
Ink rolls and laminating rolls are also very common, as their use is widespread in many commercial operations. The overwhelming majority of rollers used in such situations are made of rubber.
The major exception is in non-belt conveyors, which often use metal rollers. In most other cases, rubber rollers are often the first choice of professionals because of rubber’s useful properties.
Rubber rolls are cylindrical tubes that facilitate movement of materials through machinery. Rolls vary widely in size and can be ordered to fit particular length and diameter combinations.
Like most all rubber products, rubber rolls can be made in a variety of colors and thicknesses. Rubber rollers can be manufactured from an assortment of different rubber materials, including polyurethane, neoprene, natural rubber, silicone, nitrile and other materials.
Rubber is an excellent material for assisting in the movement of objects because it can be compressed and relaxed repeatedly without losing its shape (though silicone has much less shape memory than most rubber materials).
Each material has its strengths, which include resistance to heat extremes, water, wear and certain chemicals. When ordering rubber rolls, the conditions in which they will be used should be considered in order to ensure safe and effective operation.
Rolls are often used in packaging and assembly systems and are often a component of conveyor belts. Rubber rolls are used for a variety of purposes, including car wash rollers, wheels, casters and as ink rollers. They are also used in printing presses, labeling machines, mailing machines and on boat trailers.
Types of Polymers Used for Making Rubber Rolls
Rubber rolls are utilized for many purposes, such as, guiding conveyor belts, squeezing materials, laminating surfaces, and spreading. A range of industries, including paper, plastic, textile, steel, printing, and leather processing, need rubber rollers, for one reason or another. Since, an array of industries utilizes rubber rolls, different types of rubber rolls with different polymer have evolved over time, such as drive rollers, urethane rollers, conveyor rollers, industrial rollers, laminating rollers, and ink rollers.
Here, we are discussing the types of polymers used in making rubber rolls and their properties.
EPDM (ethylene propylene diene terpolymer) is a synthetic polymer derived from petroleum products. This polymer is used most extensively these days, since it is resistant to ozone and chemicals. However, the polymer shows limited resistance to abrasion.
Nitrile is a polymer of butadiene and acrylonitrile. Initially, nitrile rubber was used to make seals, hoses, and grommets installed oil-handling industry, since they have a resistance to oil and grease. Rubber rollers used in the printing industry are made from nitrile rubber, as printing inks mostly are oil based. With the development of technology, nitrile rubber is blended with number of synthetic to add resistance against a group of materials. To give additional properties to the rubber, such as abrasion and ozone resistance, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is blended with nitrile, and it is known as nitrile PVC. In other blends, carboxylic acid is added to nitrile making it highly resistant against abrasion and chemicals. The most advanced nitrile rubber is hydrogenated rubber, which makes it highly durable and resistant against a host of things, including temperature, abrasion, oil, and fuel. It is expensive, though, it lasts a lot longer than the alternatives.
Neoprene is a synthetic rubber made by polymerization of chloroprene. Neoprene once was used most extensively, however, with the advent of other synthetic rubber, its use has declined. Neoprene is stable and shows flexibility over a range of temperature, as well as exhibiting resistance to compression set.
Viton, a brand of rubber, is a fluoropolymer elastomer. Other than rubber rolls, the rubber is also used in making chemical-resistant gloves and o-rings. This rubber is used where other rubber cannot work and, therefore, is expensive.
Polyurathane or millable urethane is considered one of the most effective roll rubber, as it exhibits high wear resistance—an import attribute of a conveyor rubber rolls. The rubber shows excellent resistant to solvents and high dry traction but has very poor wet traction properties.
Corona treater is used when high dielectric ability is needed; rollers used at treater stations are made with this rubber, as it shields against the high voltage.
Silicone rubber is an elastomer of silicone connected by hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen. Silicone is a recent addition to rubber that is used in making rollers. Silicone rubber has a unique releasing property which things do not to stick to rubber. A modern blend of silicone and EPDM has hit the market, bringing the properties of silicone and EPDM together. Rubber made with this blend shows resistance to abrasion, heat, and temperature.