A rubber roller is a machine part composed of an inner round shaft or tube covered by an outer layer of elastomer compounds. The inner shaft is made of steel, aluminum alloys, or other strong and rigid material composites. On the other hand, the outer layer is typically fabricated from a polymer such as polyurethane, silicone, EPDM, neoprene, and natural rubber. Rubber rollers are used in different manufacturing processes for performing operations such as:
• Pushing and Pulling
• Film Processing
• Material Conveying
• Squeezing and Wringing
• Cooling and Uncooling
• Grains Milling
• Sanding (belt)
• Cutting (bandsaw)
Rubber rollers take advantage of the desirable properties of elastomers, such as impact strength, shock absorption, compression and deflection, abrasion and chemical resistance, high coefficient of friction, and controllable degree of hardness. These properties make them suitable for handling manufactured goods without causing damage to the item or itself, compared to metal rollers. Plus, the rubber covering can be regrouped or repaired to continue its service life; in most cases, in less time and investment than a metal core repair. They are the preferred machine parts for applications requiring high surface durability with low to medium hardness. With proper design and engineering of the rubber compound, rubber rollers can withstand degrading forces brought by mechanical and thermal factors.
Advantages of Rubber Rollers
Rubber rollers are used because of the elastic properties of rubber that cannot be offered by any metal. Metals can be corroded, scratched, dented, and cracked which can happen easily and frequently. In addition, the texture and hardness of metals scratch and damage whatever medium they touch. Other materials like fiber-reinforced composites can provide better quality but are more expensive and not readily available. They are not readily available and are typically more expensive. Rubber rollers are the most economical method while offering extended roller longevity and physical and mental unique mechanical properties such as:
• Surface with a high coefficient of friction: The coefficient of friction between steel surfaces under clean and dry conditions is about 0.5 to 0.8. Aluminum to steel also yields a comparable value of about 0.45. Rubber, on the other hand, has a coefficient of friction with a range of 0.6 to 1.2 for various materials. This makes rubber a suitable lining material for conveying equipment such as rollers. A high coefficient of friction prevent the items from sliding, especially when transferring items in a non-level plane.
• No burrs from scratches and tears: Metals can easily be scratched by harder materials. These scratches can develop burrs on the surface of the roller, which damage products during operation. The covering of rubber on rollers protects the metal core from damage. Any damage to the surface of the rubber is not as detrimental to operation, in contrast with the sharp burrs from a scratched metal.
• Resists deformation from impacts: Because of their elasticity, rubbers are known to have good impact strength. They can easily absorb energy and dissipate it to a larger area while returning to their original shape. This prevents surface indentations and cracks which can cause the roller to prematurely fail.
• Better chemical resistance: Specific rubber types can withstand different chemical exposure. Covering the roller core can prevent corrosion, which can cause permanent damage to the roller. The most popular option for a metal roller that resists chemical attacks is stainless steel, which is far more expensive than rubber linings.
• Replaceable lining: Since the rubber lining takes the most damage during operation, the rigid roller core is preserved, with no structural damage. The roller core can easily be serviced by removing and replacing the used rubber lining. This extends the life of the roller core and the whole equipment. It also prevents expensive repairs like replacing the whole roller or cylinder.
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